A new book suggests that, rather than being damaging or negative, gossip may contribute to political and social processes – and should be viewed more positively.
University of Auckland associate Professor Jennifer Frost, co-editor of When Private Talk Goes Public: Gossip in American History, says there are many myths surrounding gossip, particularly that women do it more than men.
"What we find in our study is that men are gossiping as much as women," she says.
Men involved in politics were also highly likely to use gossip to "gain ground".
Despite both sexes engaging in the practice, Prof Frost says not all gossip is negative.
"We would argue that gossip cuts both ways; that there's good gossip as well as bad gossip."
Gossip can help build a positive impression of those being talked about, she says.
"It builds social relationships, it builds community, it’s a way in which we build our friendships too."
Watch the video to find out more about good gossip and bad gossip.
source: newshub archive