Novel Findings on Gender Differences in Self- Disclosure: The Sharing of Personal Information in Japanese Students’ Close Friendships

Abstract

Contrary to common findings on self-disclosure and gender, male students at a Japanese university that were questioned for this study reported significantly higher disclosure to close friends than their female colleagues-overall as well as for various individual topics (N = 479). Two different measures of self-disclosure were used, both yielding similar results. The gender differences were especially pronounced in cross-gender friendships. In accordance with previous literature, subjective feeling of closeness and respondents’ trust in the stability of the friendship were found to be positively associated with self-disclosure. While both closeness and trust in relationship stability were greater in same-gender friendships, no gender differences were found in this regard. The conclusion discusses the possibility of these findings being connected to shifting images of masculinity and femininity among Japanese youth, as well as changing interaction patterns between genders.

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