Barack Obama and Joe Biden. Matt Damon and Ben Affleck. Brad Pitt and George Clooney. What do all these pairs have in common? They transcend the bounds of traditional friendship to reach the loftiest of relationship goals the whole world calls Bromance.

Researchers at the University of Winchester in the UK looked into the world of bromances and concluded not only are they blossoming – they’re more significant than traditional male friendships. According to Stefan Robinson, one of the study’s authors, today’s generation of men are socially encouraged to enjoy deep, emotional relationships, achieving the kind of intimacy that is deeper than standard friendships.

Bromance makes the world a better place

To explore the evolution of bromances, the study, which was published in “sex Roles: A Journal of Research,” had taken 30 undergraduate heterosexual men studying sport-related programs. The author's goal was to determine how the students interpret bromance, to what extent they value this kind of relationship, and how this bond is carried out.

Apart from sharing the same interest (in this case, sports), the subjects revealed that the bromantic relationship they share with another male involves a lot of openness, both in physical and emotional aspects. These men share secrets they could never tell anyone about, and physical contact – hugging, spooning, and occasional kissing – is a norm.

The subjects were given a set of questions to better understand their views on male-to-male relationships, and they all agree on one thing: love can exist between two people without the need or requirement for sex.

Interestingly, the research team found that the men had fewer hang-ups about homosexuality, which the researchers believe previously hindered bromances.

Discuss this news on Eunomia

A shift in the acceptance of homosexuality

Bromance is a portmanteau of the two words "brother" and "romance." It describes the unique male bonding found between "brothers from another mother." This is between heterosexual males and no matter what is never seen as a gay relationship, though it may be joked about.

Jokes aside, another author of the study, Adam White, said as bromances increase, homophobia decreases.

Occurrences of misogyny and sexism may fall as well.

While male friendship sometimes gets unfairly caricatured as brutish banter or competitive braggadocio, what the authors would like people to realize is that times are changing, and the shift in the acceptance of hetero-relationships is becoming more prevalent. Simply put, if your bromance can't transcend sexism, it's time to call it quits. If it's worth fighting for, it's worth fighting over. And there's no cause more urgent than this.