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Results

More than 2,600 people responded to the Relationships Australia online survey in March 2016.  Around four in five survey respondents (79%) identified as female, with more females than males responding in every age group (see figure 1 below).  More than eighty-five per cent of survey respondents were aged between 20‑59 years, and almost 40 per cent of respondents comprised women aged between 30-49 years (inclusive).

As for previous surveys, the demographic profile of survey respondents remains consistent with our experience of the groups of people that would be accessing the Relationships Australia website.

 

 

Men and women reported significantly different levels of influence when asked about a number of household decisions relating to social activities, the raising of children, finances and spending, and the number of hours spent in paid work (figure 2).

Shared decision making was reported most commonly by both men and women when survey respondents were asked who in the family had responsibility for decisions about making large household purchases such as cars and major appliances (men – 59%, women – 59%), the way children are raised (men – 53%, women – 47%) and social life and leisure activities (men – 53%, women – 47%).

A higher proportion of female respondents when compared to male respondents reported that they usually made decisions about social life and leisure activities (men – 16% compared to women - 32%), the way children are raised (men – 11% compared to women – 38%), and managing day to day expenditure and paying bills (men – 48% compared to women – 38%).

Higher proportions of male respondents when compared to female respondents reported that they usually made decisions relating to the number of hours their partner spent in paid work (men –20% compared to women - 11%), the number of hours they personally spent in paid work (men – 48% compared to women - 34%) and making large household purchases such as cars and major household appliances (men – 27% compared to women - 21%).  Although survey reports could not be compared for members of the same household, in general, reports of male and female decision making were consistent.

The highest proportion of decision making by someone else other than the survey respondent or their partner was reported for the question relating to children, with approximately 9 per cent of men and women reporting someone else made the decisions about how children were raised.  Around 12 per cent of men also reported that someone else made decisions about the number of hours their partner spent in paid work.

 

Relationships Australia State and Territory websites