From Joanna Bounds @ Yahoo Lifestyle:
If you're lucky enough to have a best friend, you'll know they're worth their weight in Tim Tams. She's been there through break-ups and breakdowns, celebrated your successes, and held your hair back when you puked. She knows secrets even your husband doesn't (she'll take them to her grave). And now there's scientific research to back the fact that hanging with her makes you feel good - female friendships lower women's stress levels, and are one of the reasons we live longer than men.
But new research shows that, compared to our mums, there's been a huge drop in the number of friends 30-something women can rely on during a crisis. Twenty years ago, women reported having two very close friends. In 2005, that number fell to one. "That's a 50 per cent drop, which makes for a public health crisis," says the man who conducted the research, Dr Paul Dobransky, psychiatrist and author of The Power of Female Friendship. "It's not completely clear why, but it's likely related to the [fact that] people are spending more time on their careers." But in these times of uncertainty, we need mates more than ever.