London: Gossip is more than just an enjoyable pastime for women –they have a basic evolutionary need to voice concerns about others to their peers, according to a new book.
The book titled Duels and Duets says the desire stems from a deeper need to protect the community they live in.
“The word gossip has a pejorative sound to it, but with it, women are, in a sense, servicing the moral code of the community,” the Daily Mail quoted author John L. Locke, a professor of linguistics, as telling Salon.com.
“One study of gossip showed that gossipers were concerned about women who are bad housekeepers, and women who are bad mothers, and women who are promiscuous.
“Those things are all threats to each woman in a community; therefore they have every good reason to want to talk about those things,” Locke said.
Men however, are more concerned with displaying their strength and showing off to women, by “duelling” - bantering and exchanging playful insults among boys.
The professor argues girls are more likely to comment to friends about another person’s appearance rather than tell them to their faces.
They are used to sharing information with each other or ‘dueting’, often finishing each other’s sentences as a bonding method.
“When women are dueting and trading in intimate disclosures about themselves and their friends, they’re fortifying a relationship,” Locke noted.
“If you disclose secrets, they could harm you if they’re distributed, especially to foes or rivals. So dueting tends to be reciprocal,” he added.