We may have different views based on being from different cultures, although I thought Aussie's were much more like progressive Americans. Then again, I am sometimes a bit more 'out there' than the average open minded Minnesotan. Contrary to the bisexual platonic relationships leading to infidelity, etc.; I'd say the opposite. Not only does having and respecting people of the opposite sex as friends reduce ones tendency to commit such acts, it leads to more respect as equals.
Those traditional societies where fraternizing with the opposite sex is verboten; women are mostly treated as possessions, sex objects, or worse (think Middle East and India). This was true in the society the Buddha lived in as well and it shows up in the Suttas, as in the extra precepts for bhikkunis and description of what constitutes sexual misconduct. Having female friends, without question, has helped me in viewing woman as fully equal human beings, even having grown up in the very sexist realm of '60's & '70's America and living in our society which is still sexist (although having made great strides in the past 40 years).
Of course, these platonic relationships can evolve into something romantic. My first serious romantic partner relationship evolved from a platonic relationship of 2+ years, there were no other relationships harmed in this evolution.
Nice conversation, by the way.
Therein what are 'six (types of) disrespect'? One dwells without respect, without deference for the Teacher; one dwells without respect, without deference for the Teaching; one dwells without respect, without deference for the Order; one dwells without respect, without deference for the precepts; one dwells without respect, without deference for heedfulness; one dwells without respect, without deference for hospitality. These are six (types of) disrespect.