Canadian Research: Gossip is a Vital, Social Skill

A couple talks at a coffee shop in central Seoul./ Han Jae-Ho / Reuters
A couple talks at a coffee shop in central Seoul./ Han Jae-Ho / Reuters
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Canadian Research: Gossip is a Vital, Social Skill

A couple talks at a coffee shop in central Seoul./ Han Jae-Ho / Reuters
A couple talks at a coffee shop in central Seoul./ Han Jae-Ho / Reuters

Canadian researchers suggests that gossiping, one of the detestable human traits in most societies, is one of the vital characteristics to develop relationships among people.

Researchers from the University of Ottawa said men talk about cues to resource holding like wealth, and the athleticism of their competitors, while women use gossip as tactics to badmouth a potential rival who is competing for a man's attention. Women also gossip more about other women's looks.

This new psychological study finds that gossip is a highly evolved social skill and an intersexual competition tactic that relates to women's and men's evolved preferences.

According to Adam Davis from the University of Ottawa in Canada, the lead author of the study, gossiping is essential for interpersonal relationships, and not a flaw of character.

The study published in the Evolutionary Psychological Science provides the first verifiable evidence for a positive link between intersexual competitiveness, the amount of gossip that people take part in, and whether they are OK with such talk or not.

Scholars agree that gossip has evolved as an efficient way to learn more about others and to enforce group norms.

It is also a method by which people can learn more about their rivals, and can call into question their reputation, especially when they are vying for the same romantically or sexually desirable mates.

Researchers examined 290 heterosexual Canadian students between the ages of 17 and 30 years old who completed three questionnaires. One measured how competitive the participants are towards members of the same sex as their own, especially in terms of access to the attention of potential mates.

The other questionnaires measured the tendency and likelihood of the participants to gossip about others, the perceived social value of gossip, and whether it is okay to talk about others behind their backs.

It was found that people who were competitive towards members of their own sex had a greater tendency to gossip.

They were also more comfortable with the practice than others. Women had a greater tendency to gossip than men, and they also enjoyed it more, and saw more value in participating in such conversations.

Men were more likely to gossip about the achievements of others. Such talk among women often targeted the physical appearance of another and was used to share social information.



Kate, Princess of Wales, Says She’s Making ‘Good Progress’ in Cancer Treatment

 Britain's Kate, the Princess of Wales, Patron of The Forward Trust visits HMP High Down in Sutton, England, Sept. 12, 2023, to learn about how the charity is supporting those in the criminal justice system to manage and recover from their addictions. (AP)
Britain's Kate, the Princess of Wales, Patron of The Forward Trust visits HMP High Down in Sutton, England, Sept. 12, 2023, to learn about how the charity is supporting those in the criminal justice system to manage and recover from their addictions. (AP)
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Kate, Princess of Wales, Says She’s Making ‘Good Progress’ in Cancer Treatment

 Britain's Kate, the Princess of Wales, Patron of The Forward Trust visits HMP High Down in Sutton, England, Sept. 12, 2023, to learn about how the charity is supporting those in the criminal justice system to manage and recover from their addictions. (AP)
Britain's Kate, the Princess of Wales, Patron of The Forward Trust visits HMP High Down in Sutton, England, Sept. 12, 2023, to learn about how the charity is supporting those in the criminal justice system to manage and recover from their addictions. (AP)

The Princess of Wales said Friday she is “making good progress” in her cancer treatment and will attend Saturday’s royal Trooping the Color ceremony, Kate’s first public appearance since her diagnosis.

The 42-year-old wife of Prince William has not made any public appearances this year. She announced in March that she was undergoing chemotherapy for an unspecified form of cancer.

“I am making good progress, but as anyone going through chemotherapy will know, there are good days and bad days,” Kate said in a statement released Friday, adding that she faces “a few more months” of treatment.

“I’m looking forward to attending The King’s Birthday Parade this weekend with my family and hope to join a few public engagements over the summer, but equally knowing I am not out of the woods yet,” Kate said.

The announcement is a significant milestone, but does not mark a return to full-time public duties for Kate.

Trooping the Color, also known as the King’s Birthday Parade, is an annual military parade that marks the monarch’s official birthday in June. King Charles III, who also is being treated for an undisclosed form of cancer, is due to oversee the ceremony, in which troops in full dress uniform parade past the king with their ceremonial flag, or “color.”

Kate is expected to travel in a horse-drawn carriage from Buckingham Palace with the couple’s children — Prince George, 10; Princess Charlotte, 9; and Prince Louis, who is 6 — before watching the ceremony from a building beside the parade ground. She may also join other royals for a traditional Buckingham Palace balcony appearance.

Kate’s announcement in March came after speculation proliferated on social media about her well-being and absence from public view. She has revealed few details about her illness, which was discovered after what she described as major abdominal surgery in January.

In a March video message, Kate said the diagnosis had come as “a huge shock, and William and I have been doing everything we can to process and manage this privately for the sake of our young family.”

On Friday Kate thanked members of the public, saying she had been “blown away by all the kind messages of support and encouragement.”

“I am learning how to be patient, especially with uncertainty. Taking each day as it comes, listening to my body, and allowing myself to take this much needed time to heal,” she said. “Thank you so much for your continued understanding, and to all of you who have so bravely shared your stories with me.”

Charles, 75, disclosed his cancer in February, and has recently eased back into public duties. He attended commemorations this week for the 80th anniversary of D-Day, the invasion of Nazi-occupied Europe on June 6, 1944.

Charles is likely to travel to Saturday’s event by carriage with Queen Camilla and is expected to watch the ceremony seated on a dais, rather than on horseback as he did last year.