HALF of all women would lie to their husbands or partners to keep their relationship going if they became pregnant by another man, a survey said today.
Figures showed one woman in two would not tell her man that the baby she was carrying was not his – if she wanted to stay with him.
They also said four out of ten (42%) would lie about contraception in order to get pregnant, in spite of the wishes of their partner.
The new survey of women’s attitudes to truth, relationships, and behaviour, said the overwhelming majority (96%) admit to lying.
Almost half (45%) of the 5,000 questioned told the researchers for That’s Life! magazine they tell “little white lies” most days.
The favourite fib told by women was “Of course you don’t look fat” with “These shoes were only ’10” in second place.
One bizarre finding was that a third of women (33%) said they would stay with their husband if they found out he was a “secret transvestite”, but only half that number (17%) would put up with him if he refused to wash.
The National Scruples and Lies Survey 2004 also found plenty of porkies were told over the Christmas period.
Eight in ten (78%) would pass off a second-hand gift as a brand new present, while 50% have claimed a festive card was “lost in the post”.
Jo Checkley, editor of That’s Life! magazine, said: “Modern women just can’t stop lying, but they do it to stop hurting other people’s feelings.
“It could be argued that these little white lies simply make the world go round a little more smoothly.
“But to tell a man a baby is his when it’s not or to deliberately get pregnant when your partner doesn’t want a baby is playing Russian roulette with other people’s lives.”
Eight out of ten women (83%) admit to telling “big, life-changing lies”, with 13% saying they do so frequently.
Partners (70%) are most likely to be lied to by women, with friends (65%), parents (64%), customers and clients (58%) and bosses (57%) also being deceived.
Women will also lie to save people’s feelings, with only 27% saying they would tell a man if he was hopeless in bed (although 36% would tell their friends all about it).
Meanwhile 54% would flatter a man if he asked them about his looks and only 46% would give the “brutal truth”.
Despite this, most women (61%) want their partners to be “brutally honest” if they ask them “Do I look fat?” or “Do you think my best friend’s attractive?”
Elsewhere the survey showed women’s sweet teeth could often override their honesty, with more than half (54%) admitting to stealing sweets or chocolates.
Six out of ten (57%) admitted to stealing something, while one in four had taken from their parents. A quarter (23%) would “sneak a bottle or two” home if they were invited to a party by a well-off friend.
Half (49%) would “kiss and tell” to the media for ‘25,000 if they had a one-night stand with a celebrity, and 38% say they would marry purely for money. 23% would allow their man to sleep with another woman for ‘50,000.
Meanwhile, some 79% have got drunk at the office Christmas party, while a third admit to “getting off with someone they don’t fancy” and 5% have ended up having sex with the boss.
An alarming 31% of all women say they would not tell a future partner if they had a sexual disease. This rises for 65% for single women.
Nearly half (46%) fake orgasms and more than half (55%) claim they are tired, have a headache, or feel ill to “get out of lovemaking”.
A fifth of women with a long-term partner (19%) say they have cheated on him by having an affair, while 30% of all women have had an affair with a married man.
Most women (68%) do not trust their partner.
Members of the Royal Family come behind showbiz stars in terms of their integrity as far as many of those questioned are concerned.
The Queen comes only fourth in a list of famous women with “the most honest face”, behind This Morning presenter Fern Britton in first, singer Kerry Katona (formerly McFadden), and even The X Factor’s Sharon Osbourne.
The “most honest male face” was jointly allocated to Ant and Dec, presenters of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!, with Prince William beaten into second.
* The survey questioned 5,000 women, average age 38, across England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.