We’re all probably guilty of stretching the truth when talking to our kids, but you may be surprised to hear that we are more likely to let the fibs fly when we are talking to our sons. What is it about daughters that makes us more truthful?
Today reports about the analysis published by the National Bureau of Economic Research that finds parents are more likely to tell a lie when talking to sons. During the study 152 parents were given coins with blue and green sides to toss, some were alone in a room while others were allowed to bring their child between the ages of 3 and 6. They were told researchers would not see the results of their coin toss.
The parents were asked to self-report how many times they won the coin toss while in the room. There was a 25% chance that both of their coins landed on green and when this happens they are given a small prize. Unsurprisingly, participants reported winning the most amounts of coin tosses (up to 60%) when they were alone in the room without their children.
But interestingly, parents tended to report 40% winnings when sons were present as opposed to the more realistic 25% winnings reported by parents accompanied by a daughter. Researchers wonder if this may be why other studies have shown that men tend to lie more than women, maybe it’s a learned behavior we’re teaching our sons at an early age?
One of the authors of the study, Anya Samek, explains why she thinks we may be more honest with girls. She says, “Perhaps it’s socially more accepted when men are dishonest, but not women. “It’s not clear whether this is an evolutionary kind of trait where (parents) try to impart more honest behavior onto their female children or whether it’s culturally formed.”
What do you think of the recent study that suggests we are more likely to be dishonest with our sons? Why do you think this is?
Are you an equal opportunity fibber with your kids or do you tend to be more honest with one than the other?