IT IS a dirty truth which reveals that the brief encounter of the average British male can sometimes last a little longer than is strictly hygienic.
According to a new survey, nearly a quarter of men see no need to don fresh underwear each morning, preferring instead to pull on the same pair worn the day before.
The unsavoury revelation that a mere 78 per cent of men slip into clean smalls on a daily basis compares badly against the resounding 95 per cent of women who don clean undies every day.
In all, the research of just how fastidious we are when it comes to the loathsome tasks of washing and ironing suggests gender inequality remains rife, with men failing to carry out their fair share of household chores.
The survey, by market analyst Mintel, found that in general, most people favour clean undergarments, with 87 per cent of all adults changing their pants and socks on a daily basis.
Divisions, however, emerged when comparing the responses of singletons and married people, with those outside of a relationship less likely (82 per cent) to sport fresh underwear than those in a union (88 per cent).
When it comes to keeping on top of the laundry, 42 per cent of households put on a wash between two and three times a week, while nearly four in ten (38 per cent) put on four or more loads a week.
While a large proportion of clothes are washed when they are not visibly dirty, with more than half (52 per cent) of adults wearing shirts and tops only once before putting them in the laundry basket, 16 per cent wait for these items to look visibly dirty before washing.
Women are more than twice as likely (79 per cent) as men (37 per cent) to clear the laundry basket. While the majority of men have some responsibility for laundry tasks, those aged 55 and over are significantly less likely to be involved, with just 56 per cent loading and switching on the washing machine, compared with 81 per cent of men aged between 25 and 34.
Among men who are married or living with a partner, women take on the main responsibility for laundry tasks in the vast majority of homes – only 19 per cent of men living as part of a couple take the main responsibility for putting on the washing machine against 83 per cent of women in the same circumstances.
Richard Caines, senior consumer analyst at Mintel, said: “There is a distinct whiff of laziness among men in the UK today when it comes to underwear.”
He added: “If men are involved with laundry, it is most likely to be as part of a shared responsibility, but over time their level of involvement has been increasing. A generational shift is being seen, with men under 55 significantly more likely to share some responsibility for laundry tasks.”
The survey also found that ironing tops the list of most hated laundry-related tasks.