Gossiping is what anthropologists and psychologists would call "social grooming." I forget the name of the anthropologist, but he did a study once where he went around and ease dropped on people's conversations, and he found that nearly everyone gossiped for the majority of the conversation, regardless of age, sex or SES.
We human beings are very social creatures, and it's hypothesized that gossiping is a type of social adhesive, i.e., social grooming. Think about our closest primate relatives. They sit together and "groom" each other while pulling bugs and other insects off. In a way, we do the same, except we pull out the mental bugs from our friends and acquaintances. Gossiping unites people and brings us together.
Also, some anthropologists and linguists believe that language actually originated around the fire pit because that was the time we congregated at night to eat and to be protected from the wild creatures, and as a result, gossiping has been around for almost as long as human language. Language and gossiping is a very social activity that is shared all across the globe, nothing unique to gals or us gays.