Measuring Mendacity

Hearing the thoughts of others is a common SF trope. Robert Silverberg handled it elegaically, Mel Gibson made it a romantic comedy. In both cases there was a lot more that could have been done with the premise of overhearing what women really think, as opposed to what they say. The urban myth that men think about sex on average every twenty seconds, while women think about sex every couple of days, might also be a suitable topic for testing by the Institute for Unethical Sexual Experiments. We would need a device that tells us roughly what a person is thinking about, but the way brain scanning is progressing these days, such an instrument may not be far off.

Sensible people already know that the twenty-second story is nonsense, and that this and all other differences between individuals of each sex are far greater than the difference between the two gender averages, but it would be useful to be able to quantify female lying on the subject. If we could scan the sniffily genteel woman who claims that she hardly ever thinks about sex, for the purpose of claiming the moral high ground vis-à-vis “animalistic” men and thereby accumulating moral capital that she can later spend on other things, would we find that she is underreporting her sexual thoughts by a factor of a hundred, or merely by a factor of ten? Similarly, when combined with questionnaire methods, our brain scanner would give us a measure of how much women lie about whether they are attracted to a particular man: we could find out whether it is 90% of the time or merely 80%.

Posted on December 7, 2012 at 11:43 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink
In: WHAT WOMEN WANT, Unethical Sexual Experiments

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