Let’s be frank: Women can be catty. There, I said it. I know it’s not politically correct to point it out, but at some moment in your life (and most likely at many, many moments), you’ve been the target of another woman’s snide remarks about your appearance, talents or achievements for no good reason.
And, just to continue being honest, it’s quite likely that you’ve made some catty remarks about other women at some point yourself. I’m not proud of it, but if we’re keeping it real, I admit I’ve done it, too.
Well, not to make excuses, but it turns out that women are actually wired to be snarky–specifically around ovulation.
Why? Studies (like this one and this one) reveal it’s a primal way of warding off other women who we subconsciously (and often consciously) consider our romantic rivals when seeking out mates or keeping the one we have from straying during the most fertile phase of our cycle.
So, what can we do with this information? Now that we know this impulse to launch unearned insults at another woman is just an unfortunate side effect of fertility, we can try to stop ourselves or our friends from doing it. After all, one great benefit of knowing how your hormone cycle impacts you is having the control to override its influence–and choose a course of action that’s actually better.