A new study says gossiping is not a character flaw. It is instead a highly developed social skill and competitive tactic.
Women tend to comment on each others’ appearance. Men, on the other hand, gossip about each others’ wealth and athleticism.
The study’s author Adam Davis of the University of Ottawa doesn’t seem to regard the men’s gossip in the same light as that of women. He seems to think it is only women whose gossip is designed to undermine rivals for a potential mate’s attention.
Personally, it sounds the same to me. Women assume men are more interested in a more attractive mate, so they try to make other women seem less attractive. Men assume women want a rich partner or at least a physically fit one who can presumably protect them.