09:09 08 September 2009
There are many differences between men and women - from the way we think about family to our inner most desires - but when it comes to dishonesty, surely both sexes are on the same page aren't they?
Not according to new research that shows a significant difference between what men and woman consider to be dishonest.
Overall, females are most likely to label some behaviours as dishonest with men seeming to hold a different view between what's wrong and right.
In the internet study, criminologists surveyed some 15,000 participants. Each was presented with 50 different scenarios in 10 categories, which involved varying levels of dishonesty from eating grapes in a supermarket without paying for them to claiming for an expensive insurance fraud.
Nearly all of the female participants (98%) deemed it dishonest for a man to conduct an online romance behind their wife's back, yet considerably fewer men agreed (74%).
However, the study wasnt just limited to matters of the heart. Almost 97% ruled that taking a DVD from a shop was dishonest, yet only 58% believed it was dishonest to download pirated music, and less than half of the participants said it was dishonest to buy a pirate DVD - showing a distinct difference between online and offline crimes.
The researchers wanted to test the central thesis of what constitutes dishonesty in law, namely that dishonesty as a state of mind is based legally upon the "ordinary standards of reasonable and honest people".
Stefan Fafinski, a criminal lawyer at Brunel University, who carried out the study said: "The law is based on an assumption that the majority in society hold the same views about what conduct is dishonest.
"Our research challenges that assumption. We found a great deal of disagreement, even upon very basic situations."
Almost two thirds of people said they had taken stationery home from work, yet 82% thought it dishonest. Astonishingly however, a mere 43% thought it dishonest to try to persuade an elderly person to change their will in their favour, while twice as many thought it wrong to wear a dress before returning it.
The study also looked at differences in peoples likelihood to convict offenders of their dishonest actions. Dr Emily Finch, a criminologist at Brunel University said: "Women are more likely to categorise a persons conduct as dishonest but less likely to convict that person of the offence.
"Female participants are more likely to excuse conduct by reference to the circumstances or character of the person involved."
Disclaimer: Supanet is not responsible for, and disclaims any and all liability for the content of comments written by contributors to this website