“Cute” little article in The Guardian.
Titled “Why do women lie more than men? Because we’re ‘nicer’,” it stumbles on some revealing truths we all know to be the…truth. Or approaching it, in this blogosector.
A few excerpts:
A new poll suggests that women are twice as likely to lie as men – if respondents were telling the truth, that is. It may be irritating to be told, yet again, that women are more morally slippery than men (just as in Genesis) but one could also argue that women lie more because we are “nicer”.
In the “nature” camp we have the notion that women are biologically programmed to care for helpless babies. This means that we not only have soft, cuddly, fat-retaining bodies, but that our brains are constructed in such a way as to make us communicative and understanding.
In the “nurture” camp we might hear that women have been coerced into being caring and accommodating as part of a long-term brainwashing campaign.
This began in Palaeolithic times, when the birth of agriculture meant that it was materially advantageous for females to stay at home weeding and breastfeeding while males went out to hunt. Being forced to loiter about in the village inevitably made women friendly, if a little gossipy – but it also meant that the men got all the excitement and glory. No wonder we succumbed to telling a few porkies to liven things up.
Men can be incredibly emotionally responsive, and can tell just as good whoppers as women. Neuroplasticity is such that different brains can be developed in markedly different directions… Editor note: We call these men fags where I come from
The result of this may be that it’s often easier for females not only to read the effects of speech on others, but also to tailor their own speech to bring about the best possible reaction: in other words, to tell people what they want to hear.
While this might be considered a bit weak and sappy, it also shows a high level of empathy and verbal dexterity. White lies show human socialisation at its most crafty and sophisticated. And women are not only socialised to produce them, but also have the brain architecture to make us particularly good at it.
I have no bones to pick with the piece’s essential direction. Except I would say that women don’t lie because they’re “nice” inasmuch as they are passive and not confrontational and overwhelmingly conformist. Probably for all the same socioevolutionary reasons the article mentioned.
For most women, their franchise of social lubrication is people and the vehicles of judgement and condemnation the subject affords them in building commune with other women. Gay men, the type who have been openly and practicing gay most of their lives, mimic this behavior, thus perpetuating that “fag image” of the sniveling, back-stabbing, lisping bitchman.
A lifetime of such social training molds master craftswomen in the social art of finesse and verbal manipulation.
Perhaps it’s time for this author, and all of us, to reexamine what really constitutes “nice” in today’s alienated culture. Perhaps it’s society’s default acceptance of such phony superficiality as “nice” that is the real problem.