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Especially of women — or men for that matter

Researchers from the University of Michigan have found that women were healthier and happier if they indulged in some gossip with their friends. Vijay Dutt reports.

world Updated: Jun 15, 2009 01:29 IST
Vijay Dutt

Researchers from the University of Michigan have found that women were healthier and happier if they indulged in some gossip with their friends.

Specifically, they found it raised levels of progesterone, a hormone known to reduce stress and anxiety.

Of course, their finding is no revelation.

The Concise Oxford Dictionary has been saying it for a while now: “esp. of women” it says in its definition of the word gossip.

Alice Roosevelt Longworth had a great quip on the subject: “If you haven’t got anything nice to say about anybody, come sit next to me.” Gossip is indeed seen as primarily a woman’s preoccupation.

One leading Indian hotelier once said if you eavesdropped on women during kitty parties, you would pick up the pieces of many shattered reputations.

Which is not to say that men don’t love gossiping as much as women. “When it comes to gossiping, we boys are just as bad as the girls,” columnist Andrew Pierce once said.

“Whether it’s swapping notes about footballers and their tacky wives, or talking shop — which is, of course, a euphemism for gossiping about colleagues.”