Real Simple magazine has a piece on why people lie, with analysis of the six types of lies (I think there are way more) and how to avoid them. In a teeny-tiny article side bar, author Jenna McCarthy quotes Bella DePaulo, a visiting professor at UC-Santa Barbara, who studies lying. (Yes, this is where you all can slap your forehead with you palm and say, ‘Who pays for these studies?!’)
Anyway, DePaulo says that women are more likely to lie to protect someone else, while men are more likely to lie to protect (wait for it…) themselves or their self images. Evidence of lying to protect someone else comes out in full force when women are talking to each other, the studies show. Women compliment bad haircuts, awful outfits, messy homes, etc., not because they’re against honesty, but because honesty clashes with other values like kindness and tact.
Which leads us to ask: In your own moral code, what value takes the highest place? Do values shift depending on circumstance? And, where do you find your moral code – is it from a traditional religion or do you develop it outside of external forces, and if so, how? In your experience, do you think it is true that men are more likely to lie to protect themselves and women more to protect others?