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Men, women lie about sex to match gender expectations
Date:5/28/2013

COLUMBUS, Ohio People will lie about their sexual behavior to match cultural expectations about how men or women should act even though they wouldn't distort other gender-related behaviors, new research suggests.

The study found that men were willing to admit that they sometimes engaged in behaviors seen by college students as more appropriate for women, such as writing poetry. The same was true for women, who didn't hide the fact that they told obscene jokes, or sometimes participated in other "male-type" deeds.

But when it came to sex, men wanted to be seen as "real men:" the kind who had many partners and a lot of sexual experience. Women, on the other hand, wanted to be seen as having less sexual experience than they actually had, to match what is expected of women.

"There is something unique about sexuality that led people to care more about matching the stereotypes for their gender," said Terri Fisher, author of the study and professor of psychology at The Ohio State University's Mansfield campus.

"Sexuality seemed to be the one area where people felt some concern if they didn't meet the stereotypes of a typical man or a typical woman."

Fisher discovered how people would honestly respond to questions about sexuality and other gender-role behaviors by asking some study participants questions when they thought they were hooked up to a lie detector machine.

The study appears in a recent issue of the journal Sex Roles.

Participants were 293 college students between the ages of 18 and 25.

The students completed a questionnaire that asked how often they engaged in 124 different behaviors (from never to a few times a day). People in a previous study had identified all the behaviors to be typical of either males (such as wearing dirty clothes, telling obscene jokes) or females (such as writing poetry, lying about your weight). Other behaviors were identified as more negative for ma
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Contact: Terri Fisher
Fisher.16@osu.edu
419-755-4280
Ohio State University
Source:Eurekalert

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