We’ve all dealt with mean girls, the backstabbing, rumor spreading, fake girls that seem to torture others mentally and emotionally. In middle school or in the workplace, from the United States to Japan, mean girls are everywhere. Now, researchers are asking why are mean girls everywhere, the fact that it is not a regional behavior could perhaps mean that it is an inherited trait, that we acquired through evolution. Despite the title of this “syndrome”, the indirect aggression that mean girls use is not just a tactic used by women, in fact men use it also, maybe not as often as women and more so in the workplace than anything, but it happens nevertheless.
Researchers have found that girls seem to use indirect aggression the most, but why it is such a prevalent skill set for women is another question researchers dared to answer. Due to women’s role in childbearing, they are more fragile than men, meaning they couldn’t risk injury by settling disputes physically. Instead, slandering someone or excluding them socially, became the metaphorical fist with which women chose to brawl. These attacks were so impactful because during the evolutionary times women worked together and depended on each other to raise their children; if a woman is socially excluded, that poses threats to the well-being of her young, as she won’t have all the help she could have had. In addition, women who are targeted by the indirect aggression often become too sad and anxiety filled to compete in the sexual market, thus making it easier for the “mean girl” to find her mate.
So maybe we should give the mean girls a break, after all it’s not their fault, its simply embedded in them.