Most people ‘would rather die than live a long life as a known paedophile’

Shadow man Rex

Would you rather die, right now, or live to a ripe old age – with everyone around you thinking you were a paedophile?

When faced with this question, many people choose death, according to psychology researchers.

People also choose to lose a hand rather than have a swastika tattooed on their forehead, according to researchers from Florida State University, the University of North Carolina and the University of Queensland.

The researchers reviewed multiple psychological studies – and found that people said they would endure physical harm rather than harm their reputations.


United Ireland referendum is ‘inevitable’ following last year’s Brexit vote
Dad of boy who joined mile-high club with teacher says son ‘just wants to move on’
Toppling Kim Jong-un ‘could easily make North Korea worse’
Families forced to live amongst mountains of trash after Birmingham binmen strikes goes into FIFTH week
Leading charity claims paedophiles should be prescribed child-sex dolls

To test the idea, the researchers told volunteers that a questionnaire they had just completed suggested they were racist – but they could keep the information quiet by putting their hands into a container of live forms.

A third of people were willing to do so.

The researchers write, ‘maintaining a moral reputation is one of people’s most important values.

‘ Two lab studies found that 30% of people fully submerged their hands in a pile of disgusting live worms, and 63% endured physical pain to prevent dissemination of information suggesting that they were racist.’