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Women are more worried about speaking in public than DYING, it has been revealed. It turns out meeting your maker is now not quite as terrifying as the prospect of standing in a room where the audience is hanging on your every word.
Researchers discovered women loath the thought of making a spectacle of themselves, and feel more nervous about stuttering, tripping up and looking foolish than going to an early grave.
Indeed, the thought of public humiliation worries women far more than a visit to the dentist, teeth falling out or even aging.
The findings emerged in a study of 2,000 adults, which looks at the weird and wonderful things which make us fearful, anxious or frightened.
It turns out the majority of women are more nervous about being the last survivor on earth than getting ill or losing their jobs.
And moths, daddy long legs and bridges are more likely to put the fear of God into women than the children growing up and leaving home.
A spokesman for Ripley’s Believe It or Not! London, which commissioned the study ahead of Halloween to identify the very real phobias in today’s day and age, said:
”Women were questioned about the things which make them most worried and frightened and discussed up to 88 different types of phobias.
”Incredibly, although more common terrors such as spiders, heights and the dark did feature on the final list, there were also very real fears most associated with events out of our control – such as losing loved ones, public humiliation or losing important things.
”The study also unveiled some of the stranger things women are frightened of including belly buttons, small boats, fish touching them, and pigeons.”
The top fears cited in the survey were losing family members, followed by being buried alive and then speaking in public.
However the survey did uncover a whole list of weird and wonderful phobias including wooden ice lolly sticks, chickens, feet and men with beards.
Some women confessed to having an irrational fear of peanut butter sticking in their mouths, while others can’t bear the feel of polystyrene, woolly jumpers or cotton wool.
Other weird and wonderful things guarantee to make some women shudder include bubble baths, people on stilts and balloons popping.
The study shows a large number of women are freaked out by things like the sight of blood, horror films and scary television.
Half of those polled admit they would get a partner to catch a mouse for them while 43% would ask him to remove a spider from the bath.
A fifth of men are also expected to put the bins out if it is dark, or get something from the car at night time.
The spokesman for Ripley’s Believe It or Not! London added:
”It’s really interesting to see the results of the survey as at Ripley’s Believe It or Not! London we celebrate all that is unusual from across the globe and play host to a huge range of weird and wonderful exhibits that can delight or shock our visitors.
”I’d have thought people would be afraid of our real Amazonian shrunken heads or the torture instruments showcased in the Dungeon Zone, but we get more people scared of the lifts.”
WOMEN – TOP 88 FEARS
1. Losing family members
2. Being buried alive
3. Speaking in public
9. Crashing the car
10. Public humiliation
11. Losing photographs
12. Teeth falling out
13. Someone seeing you naked
15. Being poor
16. Last survivor on earth
18. Going bald
19. Failing an exam
22. Dead things
23. Small spaces
24. Getting ill
25. Bugs / insects
26. Being judged by others
27. Losing your job
28. Being late
30. Getting fat
33. Going grey
34. Daddy long legs
35. Being dumped
36. Missing public transport
37. Losing your laptop
39. Being alone
41. The dark
45. The kids leaving home
47. Having to downsize the house
48. Fish touching you
49. Germs or dirt
53. Getting a contact lens stuck
55. The TV breaking
58. Upsetting the mother-in-law
59. Balloons popping
60. Small boats
65. Men with beards
67. Being cut off from social media
69. Getting wet
70. The mother-in-law
71. Open spaces
72. Breaking a nail
73. People dressed in animal suits
74. False nails
75. Going outside
76. Fat fingers
77. Peanut butter sticking your mouth
78. Woolly jumpers
81. Wet matches
83. Cotton wool
88. The holes in doughnuts