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Men vs. women: Who lies the most?


How many times today have you thrown out an “I’m fine, thanks!” or “Nooo, your booty actually looks SMALLER in those jeans” or my favorite, “In fact, they are real”?  If you have once or three times (today), you are in good company.

A British poll of 3,000 people found that all of us tell several fibs a day. While this is not a surprise (stop feigning shock), the big question is who is doing all this lying and at whom are the untruths directed?

Rather than break this down by age or socioeconomic status or some inexplicable quirk, this seems like a prime opportunity to turn a quantifiable scientific study into a battle of the sexes. So who lies more — men or women?

According to the Science Museum, the organization that commissioned this poll (and a place I like to imagine hundreds of jars of brains floating in orangey liquid line every room), the answer is definitively men.

The male Brits who took part in the poll fessed up to lying three times a day. Females said they fudge the truth twice a day. Although women tell only one less lie daily, that adds up over the course of a year. If you do the math (that is, if you really did pass that second-grade multiplication exam like you told everyone), that adds up to 1,092 deceptions a year for gents and 728 for the ladies.

Although they’re lying less often, women are both doing a better job of it and feeling guiltier than guys and doing a better when they do. Just over half of the respondents said women are superior liars. The ramifications of that skill seem to weigh heavy, however, with 82% of those women surveyed saying are remorseful about lying. This compares to 70% of men who say they feel guilty.

You might think that most of the thousands of lies we tell every year are pointed at our partners. Not so. At least according to this poll. This survey indicates that both genders are most likely to lie to their mothers, with 25% of men and 20% of women confessing they have. Only 10% of all participants said they are likely to lie to their partner.

I’m not sure if responses to that question count as one of the 728 or 1,092 each of the poll-takers tells each year, but I’m pretty sure they should.

Now, the nitty-gritty good stuff. What are the top lies we’re telling? Number one on the list for men (and number four on the list for women) is the old “I haven’t had that much to drink” (insert eye rolls here). Women’s favorite lie is “Nothing’s wrong; I’m fine” followed by “I don’t know where it is. I haven’t touched it” (let’s all assume she’s referring to the remote control).

Here are a few other little white faves:

  • “I’m on my way” (#5 for men, #7 for women)
  • “I’m stuck in traffic” (#6 for men, not even on the radar for women)
  • “It was on sale” (#6 for women, not worth the breath for men)
  • “I have a headache” (people still say this out loud?)
  • “You’ve lost weight” (#9 for men, women can’t be phony about this topic)
  • “Sorry I missed your call” and “Oh, I’ve had this for ages” (at #8 for men and women respectively)

Let’s wrap up with my favorite aspect of this whole piece, the big snow that securely holds the #10 spot for both men and women (cue drum roll)…”It’s just what I’ve always wanted!”

Do you think this assessment of British fibbing holds true for American men and women, too?

Be honest: What’s the number one lie you are most likely to tell?

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[photo credit: Getty Images]

Related: women, relationships, men, lying, lies, liars