The Fields and Consequences of Friendship with the Opposite Sex: A Phenomenological Study among Students at Kharazmi University



Expended Abstract Introduction: The friendship of college students with the opposite sex and its increasing growth at the level of the universities of the country has now emerged as a transpersonal phenomenon and has found a family and societal dimensions. It seems that friendly relationships with the opposite sex among boys and girls have different meanings, dimensions, effects, and outcomes. Girls and boys have relationships with one another with different motives - making choice for proper marriage, curiosity and other cognition, and temporary friendships that can be merely an emotional relationship or for meeting the sexual needs. Huge difference between social, religious and family norms with the values and attitudes of the modern world and the everyday experiences of young people have resulted in contradiction among them. On the one hand, instinctive pressures and tensions tend to turn young people toward the opposite sex, and on the other hand, socio-cultural and moral considerations have acted as obstacles. This contradictory situation has always been a complicated issue for adolescents and young people, as well as families and authorities, and has created an uncertain status in terms of how to deal with this issue. Since the family is the first small community that a person experiences, his influence and support, up to the age of 15, and more during childhood, are direct and intense. In adolescents and young people who enter environments such as high school and university, they take effects beyond what is officially considered for these educational institutions. One of these influences is the influence of peer and friends group. These groups have a normal or deviance effects on the thoughts and behaviors of adolescents and young people. Meanwhile, these groups of friends can, if they fail to comply with social norms, cause various mental, physical and social harms to the individual. Encouraging the relationships with the opposite sex is one of the influences of friendship groups in the educational environment. As it has been said, when the relationship with the opposite sex comes from the community level into the campus as the organization and the center of the new sciences and the essential elements of society, it is also seen that at the university, the relationship between the two sexes has become a fundamental issue because, on the one hand, the students are mostly young and, until the time of entering the university, have not experienced mixed gender educational environment,they and have not received any education in relation to the opposite sex, and on the other hand, due to the age requirement for entering the university, they have the greatest desire to communicate with the opposite sex, and according to the limitations before entering the university, they believe they can freely meet their emotional and sexual needs at the university environment. In addition, we should not forget that such unconscious relationships, although possible in the short term with consequences, will have many negative consequences, especially for girls, in a variety of fields, which, if possible, can be compensated for with countless consequences. This article aims to investigate this phenomenon with emphasis on perceptions and motives, consequences, patterning, etc. among boy and girl students of Kharazmi University. Method: The approach of this research was qualitative and its methodology was phenomenology. The participants consisted of 2 groups of dormitory and non-dormitory students at Kharazmi University that semi-structured deep interview with 15 female students and 15 male students (30 students in total) according to saturation criteria to reach the sample size. Sampling method was purposeful sampling with snowballing strategy. To analyze the data, thematic analysis was used. The age range of the students was 19 to 31 years old. Eight participants were male and female undergraduate students (5 dormitory and 3 non-dormitory) and 7 oarticipants were graduate students (4 dormitory and 3 non- dormitory students). Students from different disciplines and at the same time both groups of male and female students were selected from different terms. In extracting and displaying the results, among male and female students, initial codes were extracted from the interview texts for a deeper understanding of them. In the next stage, sub-themes were extracted from the initials codes. In the final stage, the formation of the main theme, the general and abstract concept of the sub-themes, were taken into account and labeled. The result of these stages was 323 initial codes, 104 sub-themes and 16 main themes. Findings: Male and female students had different understandings and experiences of the relationship with the opposite sex, and at the same time entered this relationship with different motivations. The motivation and, in other words, the rewards expected by many female students to form a relationship, was to meet the emotional and romantic needs, and on the contrary, this reward was on the part of male students in terms of meeting sexual needs and pleasure motivation. Various background factors such as family atmosphere, university space, dormitory, virtual space, and peer group have played a significant role in the experiences of male and female students in relation to the opposite sex. In addition to the differences in the motivations of friendship between the two sexes, girls and boys have a different understanding of friendship, as girls have romantic and lovely understanding of friendship with the opposite sex because of their emotional dimension, while the perception of male students of this relationship was based on the pleasure and sexuality. Six characteristics of friendship among male and female students were lack of stability, diversity and non-commitment in relationships for boys, and in contrast to immersion in love, lack of real self-representation, readiness for the lack of stability of relationships, and awareness of the absurdity of the relationship for girls, were the main features of the relationship with opposite sex among the students. Discussion: The results indicate that girls in general were more interested in emotional, marital and marriage, and economic relationships, and the male students were more into sexual and pleasurable relationships. Ethical Considerations There is no ethical principle to be taken intoconsideration while doing this research. Fundings This study was extracted from a Master’s thesis titled “Difference of Lived Experience of Dormitory Girls and Boys in relation to the Opposite Sex (Case of Study: Kharazmi University)” which was authored by Zahra Amiri, supervised by Dr. Karam Habibpour Gatabi and advisored by Dr. Salahedin Ghaderi, and approved by Faculty of Literature and Humanities at Kharazmi University. Authors’ contributions All authors contributed in designing, running, and writing all parts of the research and paper. Conflicts of interest The authors declared no conflict of interest. Acknowledgement The authors of this article have followed all principles of research ethics, including informed consent, good behavior and avoiding harm to participants, confidence building and non-distortion of data. In addition, we sincerely thank all the participants and individuals in the research for trusting the researcher and providing true information.  

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عنوان ژورنال:

دوره 19  شماره 72

صفحات  195- 242

تاریخ انتشار 2019-08

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