Research suggests girls love gossiping

By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer

gossip ladies
“Wait, which bridesmaid spilled soda on her dress?”

I honestly believe the movie Mean Girls is one of the funniest films I’ve seen in a long while! In the movie, the main character pretends to be friends with the most popular girl in school just to tear her down. The drama quickly becomes so exaggerated, that the audience can’t help but laugh. Actually, according to Tracy Vaillancourt, a professor of psychology at the University of Ottawa, it’s just how girls are wired to behave!

The psychologist reviewed over 100 scientific studies on the evolution of behavior in women, and let me tell you, the results are pretty catty. Women might not carry around a “burn book” with them everywhere they go, but according to Vaillancourt, it wouldn’t be too difficult to fill one up with all of the backstabbing information and juicy gossip.

“On the one end of the spectrum, women use mild forms of indirect aggression to convey what they want so there is a lot of guess work to figure out what you did wrong,” she explained. “At the other end of the spectrum, they spread rumors behind your back and destroy your reputation.” Some examples of indirect aggression include sarcastic or petty comments, cruel glances, and unkind words. Wow, that sounds like a description for most of the scenes in Mean Girls!

However, Kim Wallen, a psychologist at Emory University, said he looked over Vaillancourt’s study and found it all a wee bit unscientific for his taste. “Her work comes across as more opinion than review,” he said. He also stated that there was hardly any empirical (observable) data – you know, those numbers and percentages calculated by strict scientific methods.

Regardless, Vaillancourt said even though women might not like to admit it, they cannot completely deny her study. “Unless you live in a cave, I cannot believe there is any woman on the planet who has not engaged in this kind of behavior, experienced it directly, or witnessed it as a bystander,” she said.

Featured image courtesy of (cup)cake_eater on FlickrImage of gossiping ladies courtesy of Dave LaFontaine on Flickr