One of my most painful childhood memories is a vague feeling that it's best to keep your distance from boys. No, there were a lot of normal guys around who were fun to play with, there were also those with whom one could really be friends ... BUT! great, well, or there I don’t know, sit next to me and discuss something vital, as someone always appeared nearby winking conspiratorially and immediately inquiring, they say, have you found yourself a fiancé? And what is most disgusting, these were not at all my teasing peers - peers in such cases were simply sent to the address, and the question was settled on this - but quite adult people (mainly grandparents) whom it was not comme il faut to send. “Yes, this is my friend,” I delicately tried to keep the defense of my personal space. “Zhanihi! Zhanihi! persisted the older generation, delighted with their own insight.
So, little by little the boys moved away from the girls, in the company everyone could still communicate together, but having a boy friend - nope, the risk of running into a neighbor grandmother-reasoner is too high, it's not worth it! I do not have a single example from childhood of a boy being friends with a girl, neither in my own life, nor in the lives of my friends. This is very pitiful, because such communication must be able to greatly facilitate both the transitional age and later adulthood.
For me, it's just amazing how it is in "The Blue Bead", for example, Karolinka is friends with Petrek, and in "The Snow Queen" Kai is with Gerda, and the verdict "Zhanihi!" never sounds.
I am now watching how five-year-old children, friends and girlfriends of my child communicate, and I am not overjoyed: they are still free from conventions, it doesn’t matter for them who to be friends with, with a boy or with a girl, the main thing is that they have fun together and interesting! After all, friendship is friendship, and what does the bride and groom have to do with it.