The other day I ate lunch near a couple young girls, about 10 years old or so. Both of them were well dressed, had hair not desperately in need of cutting, and were not fat. In other words: not average kids.
They giggled the entire time. I mean, for 30 minutes, the only time that giggling noises were not coming from behind me was when they were shoving food in their mouths; and then, slightly muffled giggling noises were coming from behind me. It was terrible.
Now, this isn’t anything earth-shaking: little girls giggle. They only do it in company (you’ll never see a little girl giggling to herself while reading a book, for instance). And they do it more or less constantly.
I’d like to take about 10 little girls, stick ‘em in a room, and pay a bunch of grad students to observe them with stopwatches, quantifying the amount of giggling each one does. I’m pretty sure that I’d find a perfect correlation between the amount of giggling and the relative social status of each girl within the group. That is, the alpha girl wouldn’t giggle at all, or would only giggle briefly and perfunctorily to confer status on one of the betas.
I’m not sure you could get funding for that, because the official story is that females don’t compete for status, but rather settle everything by consensus. This is obviously nonsense, but it’s the official nonsense at the moment.
Cursory searches don’t turn up anything scientific online on the connection between giggling and social status (except in hyenas, where it’s well studied), but it seems pretty obvious to me (and to the other people who’ve arrived at the same anecdotal conclusion that I have).
The question I’m left with, though, is: why girls? Boys do giggle occasonally, but only very, very low-status boys. On the other hand, nearly all girls seem to spend all of their social time giggling.
Is social status among young females so tenuous that they need to constantly rank themselves on a second-by-second basis? Is it that they can’t effectively sort themselves in the first place and so are constantly seeking an arrangement, or is it that they can’t hold position once attained and so are constantly jockeying for status? Is it that girls aren’t allowed to openly compete for higher status, so they have to have this elaborate system of self-abasement, so the alpha can be identified as the one who just abases herself less?
All worthy of research.