A new study conducted by psychologist Tracy Vaillancourt shows how bitching and backstabbing are part of women’s evolutionary make up.
Ever heard a female friend ripping another female friend’s outfit to smithereens using only her tongue and eyes? Ever noticed two girls backstabbing each other so cruelly, that if this weren’t a metaphor they’d both be bleeding on the floor in a Julius-Caesar-by-Shakespeare-worthy scene? Well, according to psychologist Tracy Vaillancourt, it all boils down to genetics and thousands of years of evolution.
Apparently, back in the days when cavemen and cave-women roamed the earth – that’s yesterday to some bigoted and closed-minded people out there – women had to find a non-physical way to outdo and outshine their competitors, particularly to attract a male partner so the woman could, 1: procreate; 2: survive.
Babies’ life-expectancy at that point was short, and often highly-intertwined with that of the mother’s, making this all the more important for both the survival of the child and our ancestors’ specie. Women, therefore, had to adapt themselves to non-violent ways to attack each other without actually hurting each other physically.
Men, on the other hand, were much more expendable, particularly because one man can inseminate five women a day, while a woman can only get pregnant once every nine months. This led to men fighting things out the rough way, and women being able to sit down and talk through things, and, when all else fails, look daggers at each other.
But how did Vaillancourt come to this conclusion? By being a sneaky woman, of course! She told participants in this study that it was a research on friendship, and got two friends to sit down and talk. Each pair of friends’ conversation was disrupted by two other women: first by a woman dressed very plainly, and the second by a woman wearing provocative clothing.
I dare you to guess who they were more hostile to.
The moral of this story? We now know why it happens, and psychologists can start understanding why some children get bullied in school. It gives us an insight into how things start, and also allows us to target the problem at its roots. What it doesn’t tell us, however, is whether this makes bitching and backstabbing any more acceptable!
What do you guys think?
What do you think of this study? Do you think Vaillancourt is right?