Suspicious minds: women are more likely to go through their partners’ phones… with good reason

December 19, 2016, 3:05 AM GMT+0

Phones play an indispensable role in our lives. Whether it is ordering a meal or finding a date, booking a taxi or buying a bag, we rely on phones as to navigate much of our daily life. Above all else, phones remain a key to our social lives.

Over the years, phones have uncoupled some of our favourite Hollywood romances. Reece Witherspoon and Ryan Phillippe, Sandra Bullock and Jesse James, Rihanna and Chris Brown are all rumoured to have broken up after finding content on their loved ones’ phones that they were not expected to see.

But how suspicious are everyday Aussies about what their partners have on their phones? And do they have anything to hide? YouGov, as one of the world’s leading market research firms, polled 1,000 Australians between 24th and 27th October 2016 to find out just how this game of mobile hide-and-seek is playing out.

While most Aussies (81%) are happy for their partners to look through their phones, 12% are not. Interestingly, the number of those that feel uncomfortable with their partners looking through their phones is remarkably similar to the proportion of people polled that have things on their phones that they do not want their partners to see (11%).

Men, especially young men, are more likely than women to have something on their phones that they are keen to hide. In total, 14% of men and 8% of women say they have something they do not want their partners to see. This rises to 24% of men aged between 18-34. By contrast, older women are the least likely to have something to hide; just 1% of women over 45 have something on their phones they do not want their partners to see.

With this in mind, it is perhaps unsurprising to note that women are more likely to go through their partners’ phones than men; 34% of women go through their partners’ phones, compared to 28% of men. Yet levels of trust remain the same across genders; 93% of both men and women say they trust their partners either a little or a lot.

There is also a generation gap in opinions of whether people like to look through their partners’ phones. Older generations are less tempted to look, with 82% of over 45s saying they have no reason to look through their partners’ phones. Younger generations are more suspicious, with 58% of 18-34 year olds saying there is no reason to look.

Cheaters beware! Being caught out is seemingly a deal-breaker; 68% of those polled agree with the statement “once a cheater, always a cheater”. Women are particularly resistant to the idea that cheaters can change, with nearly three-quarters (74%) agreeing to the statement, compared to 62% of men. This rises to 77% for women over 45. Young men are the least suspicious about cheaters’ ability to change their spots, with only 50% agreeing that once a cheat, always a cheater.