Another day, another survey driving a wedge between the sexes, and today it’s about the truth. Touchy subject, the truth. So touchy, in fact, that apparently a third of us avoid it at least once a day.
A new survey by UK company Privilege has found that four out of five women tell lies on a daily basis. Some of the women surveyed admitted to lying up to 30 times per day, which is both an impressive feat of memory and also exhausting. How on earth would you keep it up all the time? It must be that propensity for multi-tasking we hear so much about.
But, before you condemn all women for the sins of a few, quoted in a dubious survey, their reasons were good. 55 per cent of those surveyed lied to avoid hurting someone’s feelings. So now think about it again. Your husband asks did you enjoy the dinner he cooked. Your sister asks if you like her new dress. Your child asks if they are the most beautiful child you know. On things like this, all of us, every day, tell little white lies. Probably at least 30, if we have a lot of interactions on a daily basis.
32 per cent lied to avoid getting into trouble and one in four claimed that they lie because life is complicated. Well, that’s a given. But it still doesn’t explain why women supposedly lie more than men. If you were inclined to stereotypes, you’d suggest it’s to do with emotional intelligence – women may be more likely to know instinctively when somebody’s feelings will be hurt by the bare-faced truth.
Personally, I’m more inclined to think this is yet another one of those surveys conducted on five people and one hamster during a blue moon in a wet August. It’s scientifically nonsensical. How can I prove it? Well, I’m a bit scientifically nonsensical myself, but what I can tell you is that another survey, quoted in the same media outlet just last year, found that more men lied than women.
What does this all prove? That everybody is lying to the people who take the surveys. Life is, in fact, complicated.
This piece was first published in The Herald, 6 June 2015.