The researchers concluded that this is how women show aggression towards other women they see as sexual threats. While men “compete” for women via direct aggression against each other (you know, shot taking, arm wrestling, breaking beer bottles over each other skulls, and any other type of contest that purports to broadcast the length of our penis), women “compete” for men in more indirect ways — by insulting and ostracizing them.
Whether or not you agree with the conclusions of the researchers, this “mean girl” behavior clearly exists. The internet abounds with women hating on other women’s outfits. And worse, it’s considered snarky and witty.