Why We Gossip

Gossip evolved as a way of keeping track with what everyone in the tribe was doing. It began when humans gathered in large tribes, which consisted of more people that one person could talk to or keep track up from day to day. Essentially, gossip becomes a filtration process that helps people find out what's going on, without having to understand the boring, tedious, or superfluous stuff in between. It helps to pass information along large groups of people--information that might save lives. 

Men don't spend as much time gossiping as women, seemingly naturally. This can be explained by a division of labor between males and females. Men were the hunters and traders who worked outside the village; females were left to domestic chores like cooking, cleaning, and tending to children because they weren't as physically strong or adept as the men. They spent more time socializing, and developed gossip as a way of staying safe. (For example--"He's a dangerous man, you should stay away" would be potentially lifesaving advice.)

Today, this tribe structure is still modeled by society as a whole,  with celebrities and politicians being the powerful members of our "tribe". All these rags and airbrushed magazines are really just a way of catching snippets of information--true or not--about our 'leaders" as quickly as possible.

I think gossip among teenagers or women about one or more people in particular who are not popular or consequential may be a way of making themselves more powerful in their "tribe". 
AllHailIsadora AllHailIsadora
22-25, F
1 Response Apr 18, 2012

The quickest way for anyone to extract me from their lives... even if I'm still physically around them, like at work... is to gossip about me. I have no tolerance for it and I enjoy how much it frustrates them to experience a real life blocking that makes the blocking mechanism on this site and facebook look like a friendly invite.

That's not gossip... even men talk about that stuff... gossip is the part where they meddle in your relationships... and other personal life things that are none of their business.

Gossiping is not always negative; stating that someone has a new job, just got married, just had a baby, bought a new car, etc. is all gossip. That means none of your family, friends, or acquantainces can be a part of your life.

Again the things you talk about guys talk about too. There seems to be a malicious type of gossip that empowers the gossips it will have a OMG element to it as well as a judgmental element as well. This is the the stuff that us guys detest...it is also the kind of behavior that will get you an icy stare from me.

And here we are with media-inflated gender stereotypes. I suppose next you'll tell me that only men talk about cars, or that discussion of past and current romantic partners is limited to females, as per Sex In The City. *eyeroll*

1 More Response