I also think it's the leading compulsion for eating disorders and other psychological problems of self...mutilations and/or overt cosmetic improvements, obsessions of the physical, by women.
It's as if many females are literally driven insane by the needs to compete and it's never stated or clearly defined and often discouraged from even being discussed without a lot of strife affiliated, thus, women internalize the threats and harassment that is inherent in female competition.
Men get together and at least bond and relax and enjoy mutually supportive group efforts...women rarely do that. Even sewing circles, things of that nature, are traditionally rife with women all competing with one another, as to who has the "best" gossip, etc...
Which is why women gossip, also. It's a form of destroying other females (competitors) and trying to get some other competitors into a sorta' truce...let's all gossip about someone we can all agree to destroy (which is what gossip is all about, destroying someone else)...in my experience, anyone who behaves like that is proving that they're capable of also destroying anyone else, thus aren't trustworthy (and thus, I don't participate, and disassociate).
Men gossip, too, I realize, but the behavior is the basis relied upon by many women about which to have anything "in common" with other females they wouldn't be spending time with, otherwise.
Might have something to do with the fact that females as children are not raised to participate as much in group activities as are males...and when they do, they are demeaned by other females and then the psychological problems manifest at teen years: rebelliousness and/or self harms, etc.
Wow. You've put a lot of though into your observations!
However, many of us leave those behaviors behind in Junior High. Or maybe it's just that I'm older than you and things were different in my youth when I was forming friendships? I must've picked some great friends, because besides the normal "pecking order" squabbling of young girls, female friendships were never as you've described for me.
Looking back, I think I always was the Leader of the Pack, though. Could they have been talking about ME and ripping me to shreds behind my back but never confronted me on it?
Nah. They were all strong, successful, good-student, life-grabbers as I was. We had no need to tear one another down to build our individual selves up. Water seeking it's own level and all that.
If what you say is true, then no wonder there are so many messed up young women wandering around out there these days.
I raised three boys. From what I understand from my other friends with daughters, I was infinately lucky. ;)