Susan Shapiro Barash has written a new book called Little White Lies, Deep Dark Secrets: The Truth About Why Women Lie. She posits that not only do women lie more than men, they're better at it, and are prone to "little white lies" to keep people happy and not step on any toes. Barash surveyed 500 women she found on Craigslist, (you know, where people never lie); she claims that 75% lie about how much money they spend, 50% harbor "mixed feelings about mothering and 60% cheated on their husbands. But Lisa Takeuchi Cullen, who blogs for Time, writes: "I have such a problem with each of these so-called findings." She thinks Barash is "perpetuating ugly stereotypes by painting one gender as innately deceitful." Ouch!
Continues Cullen, "The fact is, we all lie." Obviously. But do women lie more than men, and are we conditioned to do so? Scientists do acknowledge that there are biological differences between the brains of men and women — for instance, men have a harder time forgiving than women do. Women often feel the need to keep things calm, and smooth; Dr. Jennifer Hartstein, a clinical psychologist in New York City notes that often women lie because "We don't want to hurt anybody's feelings. We don't want to put anybody down. So, we really work very hard to keep the peace, keep it easy, be nice, be cordial." Except men do that too! Not all women have the morals of that blonde from The Moment Of Truth. So is Ms. Barash's claim that women lie more just a falsehood to sell her book?