Pixabay/StockSnapA new research has suggested that women are more likely to gossip about their peers if they are dressed provocatively.
A recent study has found that women are more likely to gossip about other women who are attractive or provocatively dressed, but their motivation may not be due to jealousy or resentment.
Researchers from Florida State University found that women are more likely to spread rumors about a woman wearing a low-cut top as opposed to a woman dressed conservatively.
“It tends to be that girls gossip a lot more about other girls who are really attractive, popular or perceive to be flirty,” she continued.
Previous studies have found that women tend to treat their attractive peers badly as part of their social weaponry in the competition to gain the attention of a man.
However, the latest study suggested that the gossip may not be out of envy or a grudge, but out of concern for their peers.
As part of the study, the researchers split up 104 participants into pairs and introduced them to another pair of strangers.
The first stranger, who was Reynolds’ research assistant, wore either a low-cut top or a conservative looking dress when she met the participants. In their meetings, the research assistant, whom Reynolds described as “very beautiful and threatening,” would reveal to the participants that she was hungover and may have slept with two men the previous night.
The participants would then move on to meet with the next stranger and the researchers would take note whether they would gossip about their first partner.
The findings indicated that the participants were more likely to gossip about the research assistant if she was provocatively dressed, but it was not necessarily aimed at maligning her character.
“I asked the second [actor] ‘how did they phrase it?’. A lot of them honestly just seemed worried about her,” Reynolds recounted, as reported by the Daily Mail.
“What I take from that is women may not even be doing this in a consciously malicious way. It might feel as though they are really concerned. Probably spreading this is not helping that woman in the slightest though,” she added.
Reynolds, who focuses her research on evolutionary and social psychology, has conducted other studies about attractiveness and how it affects women.
In a research released in July last year, Reynolds and her team found out that women who are considered less attractive than their husbands are more likely to diet. In contrast, women who were considered to be more attractive than their husbands did not have the same motivation to diet.