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Homosocial is a descriptive term which refers to the social relationships that develop between people of the same gender. It is most commonly used to describe the relationships that occur between men, but it also be applied to relationships between women. Homosocial relationship differs from a homosexual or homoerotic relationship, because it does not have a sexual or romantic element. Only friendship exists.
The term homosocial was popularized by the academics Jean Lipman-Blumen and Eve Sedgwick.
Homosocial can be used in a number of different ways. Homosocial behavior is the behavior people exhibit when enjoying social time with friends of their own gender. Homosocial behaviors are seen when people of the same gender form friendships and mentoring relationships. These relationships have intimacy without any romantic or sexual feelings. They are strictly platonic. When a man has a special homosocial bond with another man it’s commonly called a bromance.
A homosocial preference is a preference for forging social bonds with people of the same gender. People might have a homosocial preference because they find they share more interests with people of their own gender.