Mid-life crisis? Just excuse for men's bad behavior: U.S. poll

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Temper is the characteristic many American women would like to change in men and most females think a mid-life crisis is just an excuse for men to behave badly, according to a survey released on Monday.

The 60 Minutes/Vanity Fair telephone poll of 1,186 U.S. adults also showed that most people think there is no such thing as the perfect man, and education trumps being hard working and being a gentleman as the most important quality for a man as he matures.

Twenty-one percent of people questioned in the poll thought a mid-life crisis was a biological necessity, but nearly 60 percent described it as nothing more than an excuse for acting unfavorably.

“The classic examples of buying a sports car or getting a young girlfriend are clichéd,” according to the poll. “A midlife crisis usually happens unexpectedly like when you’re shaving in the mirror one day and it dawns on you that are not going to be president of the United States and your best days may be in the rear-view mirror.”

More than 60 percent of people questioned also disagreed when asked if chivalry was a thing of the past.

Given the choice of changing a man’s friends, mother, sense of humor, physique or hygiene, nearly 30 percent of women in a relationship selected temper. A third said they would not change any of those things.

The poll was conducted between May 15-19. The margin of error is plus/minus three percentage points.

Reporting by Patricia Reaney; Editing by Bill Trott and Andrew Hay