I was tickled to see the New York Times article last week about the benefits of baboon friendships. Researchers have studied the friendship patterns of baboons in Kenya since 1971. They noticed early on that female baboons with lots of gal pals lived longer than those with fewer friends. Male baboons have been harder to follow and study, but the evidence is now in that male baboons’ life spans are longer the more platonic female friendships they have. Female baboons groom both their male and female buddies, thus decreasing parasites and strengthening bonds that reduce conflict. The same lifespan and platonic friendship associations are noted in many social species from horses to dolphins to humans. Let’s give thanks for our friends!
Who have been your best male and female friends?