Why Girls Gossip…and What They Gossip About

Click here to view my published article on HerCampus.

There are countless reasons why girls gossip.  The no-nonsense truth is because most girls just can’t help themselves.  Females love and crave it and simply cannot get enough of it…good or bad.  It has the capability to destroy friendships, ruin reputations and drive us mad, but at the same time, prompts and livens many conversations.  Let’s face it; we have a love/hate relationship with gossip!


Gals find it fun to spend time sharing secrets and voicing opinions about friends, other people, guys, and current situations within their circle.  For some drama queens, starting gossip makes them feel more important within their group of friends.  Others just feel powerful knowing everything that is going on around them. Some gals just have nothing exciting in their own lives so they live vicariously through everyone else’s. Lastly, it makes some girls feel good to be happy, angry, jealous, or nosy together with others just to pass time. Everyone agrees that it’s wrong to gossip about people behind their backs…but many girls do it anyway, with absolutely no shame.

Gossip isn’t always with bad intent though.  Social media provides a wealth of information (sometimes too much information).  So gossiping at times is simply sharing scoop or having a few laughs (with a side of drinks included) over tweets, pictures, or statuses that have been put out there.

Some studies have actually proven gossip to be healthy in certain situations.  Other times it can be hurtful, even downright devastating to the party being gossiped about.  In mean and deliberate gossiping circumstances, the gossiper is being, in no uncertain terms, a major bitch.


When I interviewed college girls about gossip, most agreed that their favorite topics to gossip about are friendssexrelationships, material/social status, and celebs.  Everyone I’ve spoken with agreed that they, too, have been gossiped about by others. They don’t like when they find out about it, obviously, yet it does not stop them from gossiping about others.

1. Friends.  Quite possibly the most unscrupulous and disloyal subject of all to gossip about is friends…with other friendsbehind their backs. This rarely ends gracefully.  On the other hand, hearing scoop through the grapevine about people you should probably avoid can be really helpful.  For example, finding out that a particular guy you started seeing is also seeing three other girls may be handy to know before continuing to hang out with him.  Finding out that something you had told in secret has been let out can also be helpful so you can take action.  Reputations have been ruined and relationships have ended because of gossip.  Whether someone behaved in a loose manner, drank too much, had something big happen in his/her life (good or bad), or took the walk of shame through the streets of Boston last weekend, the hot topic of friends and their business will continue to lead many gossip sessions. And in today’s world, this gossip is likely to end up on some form of social media.  In these situations we must remember what our moms taught us to be true over and over again, “if she’s gossiping about her to you, what does she say about you to her?” XOXO, Gossip Girl!

gossiping at work

2. Sex. Everyone likes to know where they rate in this category.  From exactly what a girl does with a guy, how often, how soon after meeting him or into their relationship, to all of the down and dirty specific details…sex is the mother ship of all gossip. Most girls interviewed seemed to agree that without gossip, how would anyone know what everyone else is doing?  What do other guys and girls do?  What is expected?  What is accepted?  Who is their ex hanging out with these days?  Who hooked up with who last weekend?!


3. Relationships. This is something most people can relate to and contribute to in a conversation.  Whether it’s about a couple’s long-term relationship, meaningless hook-ups, a girl and guy who are talking to one another in secret, someone cheating, or a break-up…relationships are, have been, and always will be steaming hot gossip.  Most chicks love to hear every juicy, disgusting, exciting, or miserable detail about what is going on in any relationship.  Jealousy can also prompt this type of gossip.  There are drama queens who especially love to hear, spread and even start news of cheating and break-ups; and then there are the hopeless romantics who thrive on fairy tale endings.  After all, who wouldn’t want a Prince Charming?


4. Material/Social Status.  People are curious about the material things their friends have.  From who has a new Michael Kors purse, to the hottest trends on the streets, girls love to gossip about material status.  They are also interested in knowing all social statuses and circles around them.  It’s a way to see where they fall within the popularity and success of their circles.  “My friends and I mostly talk about girls who we aren’t really good friends with.  If we like her, it’s good gossip.  If we don’t, then I have to admit it gets kind of nasty. And we like to know who goes to what parties.”

rich bitch

5. Celebs. This is probably the most harmless subject of all gossip between friends.  From talking about who we like and who we don’t…to who is hot and who is not, what they are wearing and who they are with.  Gossip in the celeb scene actually helps the economy…it sells magazines and music.  Being a celeb can be fun, but nobody said it would be private.  “There are celebs that we just love to hate!”


The skinny on gossip is that you should be using your common and good sense when you participate.  Sometimes it can work in a positive way; a little healthy competition can actually motivate us to work harder and improve our own situations.  We can learn things from gossip and be forewarned of people and situations we may want to avoid.  Unfortunately, people can also be really hurt in the aftermath of gossip; what goes around comes around.  Gossiping about a friend behind his or her back is just nasty, disloyal, and wrong.  If you have something to say to a friend, have the maturity (and backbone) to say it to them, not behind them.  Most importantly, gossip is gossip.  Some of it can be true, but much of it is most likely embellished.  So proceed with caution when it comes to listening to or repeating gossip!

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