Dear of troy: Quite a while ago I encountered the etymology of "gossip" being from the custom of baptizing all the new infants in a community in early England at the same time, which made them "God's sibs". So in later life they would know each other and be neighbors, and naturally indulge in spreading rumors, etc.
Our word "gossip" reflects this through its etymology: gossip from the late
Old English godsibbe, godparent or god-kin. Apart from the application of
"godparent" as a sponsor in the faith of a child, it's not difficult to imagine the
possibility of damage resulting from whispered rumors by family members or
neighbors. Perhaps Europe and the Americas no longer whip or dunk, put an
offender in stocks, or perform some variation of The Scarlet Letter, however in
many parts of the world ...these and much more severe punishments exist. The
recent report from Amnesty International which remarked on the deaths of over
1600 Pakistani women since 1990 from kitchen fires is a sad example of this.
Gossip is an exercise of power.