Why women lie – men, too

Real Simple magazine has a piece on why people lie, with analysis of the six types of lies (I think there are way more) and how to avoid them. In a teeny-tiny article side bar, author Jenna McCarthy quotes Bella DePaulo, a visiting professor at UC-Santa Barbara, who studies lying. (Yes, this is where you all can slap your forehead with you palm and say, ‘Who pays for these studies?!’)

Noses do not grow from lying (Rosanne Olson/Photographer's Choice/Getty Images)
Noses do not grow from lying (Rosanne Olson/Photographer's Choice/Getty Images)

Anyway, DePaulo says that women are more likely to lie to protect someone else, while men are more likely to lie to protect (wait for it…) themselves or their self images. Evidence of lying to protect someone else comes out in full force when women are talking to each other, the studies show. Women compliment bad haircuts, awful outfits, messy homes, etc., not because they’re against honesty, but because honesty clashes with other values like kindness and tact.

Which leads us to ask: In your own moral code, what value takes the highest place? Do values shift depending on circumstance? And, where do you find your moral code – is it from a traditional religion or do you develop it outside of external forces, and if so, how? In your experience, do you think it is true that men are more likely to lie to protect themselves and women more to protect others?

Advertisements

2 comments

  1. When you get right down to it, lying is caused by fear.
    Think about it: every time you lied,  you were frightened.  Every liar you have caught was afraid.
    Religion trades in fear. It owes its existence to fear…
     
    So does Santa Claus:
     
    You better watch out
    You better not cry
    Better not pout
    I’m telling you why
    Santa Claus is coming to town
    He’s making a list
    And checking it twice;
    Gonna find out Who’s naughty and nice
    Santa Claus is coming to town
    He sees you when you’re sleeping
    He knows when you’re awake
    He knows if you’ve been bad or good
    So be good for goodness sake!
    O! You better watch out!
    You better not cry
    Better not pout
    I’m telling you why
    Santa Claus is coming to town
    Santa Claus is coming to town
     
     

  2. I agree Red… Most of our unethical behaviours come from fear (even greed is based in fear). I have struggled most of my adult life with being too honest, especially with those I care about the most. As our friend Jack Nicholson said in A few Good Men… most people can’t handle the truth. It is very sad for me. I have found that most people don’t want the truth no matter how much they say they do. It makes being a human in today’s society a very complicated matter! And I think I tend to agree that women mostly lie to save others (but also will lie to save themselves), and men aren’t as worried about sparing feelings.  Probably why I get along with men better than women!

Comments are closed.