Sex, Lies, but No Videotape

Article excerpt

People will lie about their sexual behavior to match cultural expectations about how men or women should act--even though they would not distort other gender-related behaviors, according to research appearing in Sex Roles.

The study found that men were willing to admit that they sometimes engaged in behaviors seen as more appropriate for women, such as writing poetry. The same was true for women, who did not hide the fact that they told obscene jokes, or sometimes participated in other "male-type" deeds. However, when it came to sex, males wanted to be seen as "real men," the kind who had many partners and a lot of sexual experience. Females, 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," indicates psychologist Terri Fisher, author of the study "Sexuality seems to be the one area where people feel some concern if they do not meet the stereotypes of a typical man or a typical woman. …