New study suggests women are hard-wired for cattiness

CINCINNATI -- "If only you knew how mean she really is, you'd know that I'm not allowed to wear hoop earrings, right?" character Gretchen Wieners says in the film "Mean Girls."

We all know about the groups of "mean girls" in high school, but a new study suggests women are hard-wired to be catty. That's why, as the study says, "mean girl" behavior persists even after graduation.

So what do you think?

In the movie, Regina George is the classic Queen Bee who smiles to your face while stabbing you in the back.

Shauna Bleh said she grew up with that sly behavior in high school, and now finds it continues in the work world.

"They'll go, 'oh, you have a wonderful necklace' but then they'll go, 'umm, you know'," Bleh said.

She said of her colleagues, "you just gave me a compliment but then you took it back, so why would you do that?"

The study out of the University of Ottawa found that gossip, backstabbing and shunning have evolved as effective ways for women to hurt someone else while minimizing harm to themselves. But most people, we found in Cincinnati, disagree.

Jennifer Smith said she's not catty.

"No, not at all," she answered when we asked her.

David Taylor thinks cattiness isn't about gender.

"I think men can be catty, women can be catty, I think it's just what your personality is," he said.

As Regina discovered in the movie, meanness can backfire. When she wore sweatpants to school after gaining a couple of pounds, her friends dismissed her from their lunch table.

"You can't sit with us!' character Karen Smith said.

Apparently, sweatpants were against the rules that day - a set of rules one must follow to be included.

In downtown Cincinnati, lawyer Jennifer Johnson said, "I think kindness is a better tactic. I do know a lot of people who gossip, but in general, I don't think that's the way to get what they want."



Print this article Back to Top