Thursday, September 27, 2012

Survival Of The Bitchiest

The blame for the female tendency to engage in bitchiness is often laid at the door of the competitive business of securing a mate. Whether that’s the case or not is a point for debate, but according to scientific research, women are biologically programmed to behave in a ‘bitchy’ fashion.Most women would admit to times when their own behaviour towards another woman is less than endearing, a propensity to gripe and groan about some aspect of her character, choice of clothing or general demeanour. Who hasn’t at some point or another assessed a fellow female’s appearance, found it lacking in some way and shared this secret slating with a member of the sisterhood?

Studies of reproductive-aged males and females have unearthed a marked difference in the way that standard patterns of aggression are expressed. While boys are more likely to actually engage in physical acts of aggression, such as punching or kicking, girls are far likelier to display social aggression, such as gossiping, eye-rolling or ostracising their peers.
Gossip usually tends to focus on the physical appearance of another female or on an obvious character trait. The double negative can always dole out a well-aimed, back-handed compliment, which can undermine a woman’s confidence in one fell swoop. Saying to another woman how you’d love to wear evening maxi dresses but are lacking the curves to carry them off, leaves no doubt as to the intended meaning of the comment. The aim here is most definitely to undermine.

According to scientific research, women are pre-programmed to feel threatened by an attractive peer and as such are likely to consider many women to be a threat. The subsequent reaction to this threat can range from a secretive sneer to outright name-calling or bullying. Sadly, such behaviour can be at its most devastating when it’s subtle. In a school or work scenario, sneering, subtle sarcasm and snide comments may go unnoticed by those people in positions of authority who should have the wherewithal to do something about such socially aggressive behaviour.

It would seem then that such behaviour simply comes naturally to the fairer sex. This threat posed by an attractive woman may explain why some females seek to sabotage the image of their rival. Passing comment on another’s physical appearance or making pronouncements about promiscuous behaviour all contrive to undermine a woman’s allure as a potential partner for a member of the opposite sex. Maybe it’s merely nature’s way of knocking out the competition?

What do you think?

*This post is a Guest post*


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