friendship, sex, sexual restraint, marriage, sexual satisfaction


For young adults today, the word "friend" has multiple and sometimes contradictory meanings. For example, the term "friend" can refer to one's "best friend (BFF)" or "boyfriend" or "girlfriend"–labels that typically convey an ongoing relationship of commitment and concern between two people. But at the time, someone can be "friends" with several hundred people on their Facebook page, many of whom he or she never associates with or barely knows. And even a stranger is considered "friendly" when he is nice or courteous, even though there is no ongoing form of friendship in that association. In our modern society the word "friend" can be used to refer to some of the most significant relationships in our lives and also to transitory and insignificant associations between loosely connected individuals. In fact, the use of the word "friend" has become so ambiguous that it could be argued that the word has experienced what could be "verbacide"–or the death word. The word is still in use, but its exact meaning has become lost.

Original Publication Citation

Carroll, J. S. (2016). The Benefit of Friends: The Importance of Sexual Restraint and Friendship in Marriage Formation. The Family in America: A Journal of Public Policy, 30 (2), 229-243.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date



The Family in America: A Journal of Public Policy




Family, Home, and Social Sciences


Family Life

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor