It’s Research Wednesday! Where I share the latest, or most fascinating, in the science of friendship.
“The scorn of the sexy woman is practically ubiquitous among other women, a new University of Ottawa study has found – and showing too much cleavage may just be the surest way to be ostracized from the female circle.” (“How to lose friends and alienate colleagues: Show cleavage, study finds”; The Globe and Mail, 11/22/2011)
It’s silly to think that a little bit of cleavage could determine whether or not we become friends with someone, but according to this new study, once we see a scantily clad female, our claws come out.
Here’s the gist of the research: “Pairs of women were left in a room thinking they were participating in a study on conflict. While they were waiting, an attractive woman wearing provocative clothes entered to talk to another researcher setting up the cameras. The reactions of the women were filmed after she left.” In 44 out of 46 cases, the pairs of women immediately started insulting the girl and laughing at her expense. (When the same woman entered in conservative clothes, most of the participants didn’t even notice her.)
As the author of the study puts it, “we can’t tolerate anyone giving away the milk for free.”
I’ll often hear men claim that their wives check out other women more than they do. I believe it. I notice women when they walk by, and I’ll bet you do too. I’ve always thought that women are especially catty about ladies in sexy outfits due to insecurities. These researchers say it’s more about aggression. It’s that we are engaged, in science speak, in “intrasexual competition.” What they’re saying is that The Bachelor is a microcosm of life, and we’re all just hating on each other until we get the guy.
Blech. I try not to think too much about this. It does nothing to advance the female cause. But I’m not here to agree with the research, I simply report it.
Do you think women are cattiest towards gals in sexy clothing? Does that make it harder to make friends if you dress provocatively?
MWF Seeking BFF comes out in six days! Less than a week! If you pre-order a copy, I’d love to send you a friendship bracelet as a thank you. Just email me, tell me you’ve ordered and that you’d like a bracelet. Pre-orders are great because they contribute to a book’s first week of sales, which is the most important week. They also help build buzz about a book–always a good thing! Thanks so so much.