A platform for voices supporting women's rights
According to Tracy Vaillancourt, lead author of the research Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B. and a professor of psychology at the University of Ottawa, women are hardwired to view any other woman who is younger, prettier or more desirable to the opposite sex, as a threat. In order to neutralise any competition, women will use gossiping, staring, backstabbing and shunning, in order to inflict maximum damage upon others, whilst risking minimal damage to themselves. In other words, women use mean girl behaviour as a safe way to eliminate sexual rivals. “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,” Ms. Vaillancourt explained. “At the other end of the spectrum, they spread rumors behind your back and destroy your reputation.”
Men, on the other hand, use completely different strategies to diffuse rivals. They typically will shout and use physical violence in a display of masculinity and use aggression to defend their turf. Ms. Vaillancourt also noted that men tend to be oblivious to a bout of gossiping and even if they do become aware, they are likely to ignore it, whereas women are finely tuned to whispers and gossiping. But Ms. Vaillancourt states that these findings will not come as a surprise to most women “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.
The scientific validity of Ms. Vaillancourt’s research has been brought into question. Critics have claimed that these findings are based on pure opinion and are not supported by any empirical evidence. Whilst Ms. Vaillancourt’s findings may not widely be considered as scientifically sound, she certainly brings attention to an interesting habit that does seem to be preponderant within female social habits.