Abundant jokes have been made on women and gossips. While gossips has nothing to do with gender, many wonder why women have a greater tendency to gossip than men. The new study finds that women may be more likely to spread rumours in order to badmouth another woman competing for a man's attention.
"Gossiping is a highly evolved social skill and an intrasexual competition tactic that relates to women's and men's evolved preferences," said Adam Davis of the University of Ottawa in Canada. The researchers surveyed across 290 heterosexual Canadian students between the ages of 17 and 30 years with three questionnaires - one measuring how competitive the participants are towards members of the same sex as their own, especially in terms of access to the attention of potential mates. The other questionnaires measured the tendency and likelihood of the participants to gossip about others, the perceived social value of gossip, and whether it is okay to talk about others behind their backs.
It was found that people who were competitive towards members of their own sex had a greater tendency to gossip. They were also more comfortable with the practice than others. "The findings demonstrate that gossip is intimately linked to mate competition and not solely the product of a female gender stereotype that may be viewed as pejorative," Davis added.
The research also found that women gossip more about other woman's physical appearances while men enjoy talks about wealth and athleticism. Women participate and enjoy the chit-chat more because it is a way to gather information about potential competitors.
(With IANS inputs)