When participants were asked to list benefits and drawbacks of having friends of opposite-sex, 32 percent listed feelings of attraction as a cost, while just 6 percent listed these feelings as a benefit, Live Science reported.
Women were more likely than men to list attraction as a drawback - 47 percent of women ages 18 to 23 listed attraction as a cost of an opposite-sex friendship, while 22 percent of men said the same.
Opposite-sex friendships may also harm romantic relationships. In the study, 38 percent of women and 25 percent of men ages 27 to 50 said jealousy from their romantic partners was one cost of maintaining an opposite-sex friendship.
In addition, the more attraction that people felt in an opposite-sex friendship, the less satisfied they were with their current romantic relationship, the researchers said.
“Our findings implicate attraction in cross-sex friendship as both common and of potential negative consequence for individuals’ long-term mateships,” the researchers, from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, said.
The study is published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships.