It's different for guys and girls.
For girls, yes, we love to have friends (doesn't matter what gender). Actually, we put guys into two categories, willing to date or never date. So, guys that are friends we never want to be with them. So in a girl's mind, guy friends are truly friends.
For guys (unless he is gay), no, they don't like to start friendships with girls if they are not interested. So for guys they don't just have friendships with girls, it's almost always for something else (sex, potential gf).