While there exists a broad knowledge on social relationships and friendships, there is still very little known about the relationships between gay and straight individuals. Even though popular culture and the modern media has attempted to portray these relationships in their own light, this blog was constructed specifically to help interested individuals understand the social dynamics that exist within these relationships from a psychological perspective. Because gay-straight relationships/friendships are becoming more common as more young gay men and women are coming out, it is more important than ever for individuals (gay and straight) to learn from one another and build acceptance.

The Creator:

My name is Eric Russell, and I earned my Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology at the University of Texas at Arlington, with a specialization in social psychology and statistics. My research interests include close friendships (particularly between gay and straight individuals), mate attraction, mating strategies, evolutionary psychology, and personality psychology. Specifically, I have pioneered a program of psychological research investigating the unique dynamics of gay-straight friendships. Much of my research has been featured on many news websites and blogs including:

NBC  News, New York Daily News, Pacific Standard, The Atlantic, Psychology Today, IFL Science, Huffington Post, KPCC Los Angeles, Scientific American, and Bustle.

For more information about me, please see my CV or if you have questions about my research, please contact me here.


Russell, E. M., Ickes, W., & Ta, V. P. (2018). Women interact more comfortably and intimately with gay men—but not straight men—after learning their sexual orientation. Psychological Science. (link)

Russell. E. M., Babcock, M. J., Lewis, D. M. G., Ta, V. P., & Ickes, W. (2018). Why attractive women want gay male friends: A previously undiscovered strategy to prevent mating deception and sexual exploitation. Personality and Individual Differences, 120, 283-287. (link)

Lewis, D. M. G., Russell, E. M., Al-Shawaf, L., Ta, V., Senveli, Z., Ickes, W., & Buss, D. M. (2017). Why women wear high heels: Lumbar curvature and physical attractiveness. Frontiers in Psychology, 8:1875. (link)

Rosenbaum, M., Russell, E. M., & Russell-Bennett, R. (2017). “I’ll wait for him”: Understanding when female shoppers prefer working with gay male sales associates. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 36, 172-179. (link)

Russell, E. M., Ta, V. P., Lewis, D. M. G., Babcock, M. J., & Ickes, W. (2017). Why (and when) straight women trust gay men: Ulterior mating motives and female competition. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 46, 763-773. (link)

Lewis, D. M. G., Russell, E. M., Al-Shawaf, L., & Buss, D. M. (2015). Lumbar curvature: A previously undiscovered standard of attractiveness. Evolution and Human Behavior, 36, 345-350. (link)

Lewis, D. M. G., Al-Shawaf, L., Russell, E. M., & Buss, D. M. (2015). Friends and happiness: An evolutionary perspective on friendship. In M. Demir (Ed.), Friendship and Happiness (pp. 37-57). Netherlands: Springer. (link)

Russell, E. M., DelPriore, D. J., Butterfield, M. E., & Hill, S. E. (2013). Friends with benefits, but without the sex: Straight women and gay men exchange trustworthy mating advice. Evolutionary Psychology, 11, 132-147. (link)