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The Role of Same-sex Friendship in Personality Formation

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It is commonly accepted that friendships between people mostly consist of same-sex friendships, which are most common among groups of high school girls or boys who always move together. “The Leading B*tch” is one of the most well-known images in teenage TV series, originating from the view of the society about same-sex friendship. In early adolescence, while people are going on high school, making some friend of same sex seems to be a task that must to be completed. Many reasons explain the need for friend, but these reasons will be pointing to the same final goal –  personality formation.

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During early adolescence, teenagers’ independent consciousness, self-esteem and the desire to communicate and friendship begin to increase. In this period of time, mental problems such as anxiety disorder occur frequently. Qing Liu (2013) has stated that teenagers try to find the sense of belonging in the society, but because they spent most of the time during school, they tend to find there belonging in their friendships. When people first go to high school, which is an unfamiliar place, they will easily feel lonely and the need of identifying themselves become more and more imminently. By making friends, they can not only bring themselves self-identification, but also fulfill their need to express their loneness.

Students, mostly the ones who are in high school, spend most of the time with their classmates instead of their family members. Because of their age, high school students tend to have less experience of life than adults. This leads to the dependence to others because they have yet built their personality completely. But students mostly focus on relationships with the ones who have most time with, so most of them tend to depend on their classmates and make friends with them. According to the survey of Xueqin Li and Mei Zhang (2016), sampling from 998 students equally selected from college, high school, middle school and elementary school, up to 72 percent of the female sample choose to express and share feelings with friends.

There are also difference between two genders that effect students’ need of friendship. Xueqin and Mei (2016) differentiated friendship of female and the one of male students: male students make friends from motivation, which depends on activities materially; female students view friendship as emotional, built by communication of feelings. Female students build their personality through communication and values sharing, because they are only at a young age, when they meet a person that owns a different valuation than them, by making the choice to accept this valuation (accept friend) or dislodge it (break friendship), female students can develop their own complete valuation of the society. Male students’ form of personality works in a similar way with the ones of females’, though their same-sex friendships are less stable than female, the more they hang out with friends, the more they will be affected by the personality of their friends. Since friends effect each other, male students complete their formation of their characteristic. After school time, when these friendships last for a long time, friends often have similar personality.

Besides the difference of female and male, there is another factor that effect the personality formation in school no matter which gender – competition. Girls understand more about female and boys knows more about male. Making friends with same gender means that friends are the ones who mostly understand each other besides themselves. Friends will start comparing each other unconsciously and begin their competition through the same hobby the have or the same activity they are engaging with. However, competition is not always beneficial, when competition end up to conflict, this is the time when relationship broken and bad effects will happen on former friends.

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In summary, same-sex relationships participate in most of the part of personality forming at early adolescence. Different genders shows different effect and characteristic on the process of building up teenagers’ valuation of the world.

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