There is the rule that we use the male gender noun when referring to a group made up of male and female members. However, I seem to hear "amigos y amigas" used very often. Is that an exception to the rule or would it be correct to also call the group "amigos" only?
amigos y amigas?
A group of boy friends and girlfriends can be refered as "amigos y amigas" or "amigos". "Amigos"= "boyfriends" (in term of "amigos y amigas")
Rikko, in Spanish this is only used to be "politically correct".
This is against any kind of rule in Spanish and the correct form is: amigos.
I think the speaker is just trying to be polite when he says "Amigos and Amigas..." just like when they say "Damas y Caballeros..."
Because you're right, there is a rule that if there is one male in any group we use the masculine nouns.
You can call a group of friends as 'Amigos'.