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Results

Just under 600 people responded to the Relationships Australia online survey in November 2017.   Three-quarters (80%) of survey respondents identified as female.

As was the case for last month’s survey, more females than males responded in every age group (see figure 1).  Eighty-five per cent of survey respondents were aged between 20‑59 years, with more than half (58%) of responses contributed by women aged between 20-49 years (inclusive).

The demographic profile of survey respondents remains consistent with our experience of the groups of people that would be accessing the Relationships Australia website.

There were no significant differences between the reports of men and women when they were asked to select from a list of traditional ways people usually met partners.  Women (44%) were more likely to report that they usually met partners through mutual friends when compared to men (34%).  A higher proportion of men (42%) when compared to women (36%) reported that they usually met partners through ‘other’ methods (see figure 2).

More than 60 per cent (62%) of women and 57 per cent of men reported that they had used online dating sites or applications to meet new partners.  The types of relationships sought through online dating were not significantly different for men and women.  Figure 3 shows that more than one-quarter of survey respondents used online dating to find long-term relationships, followed by relationships for fun (men-10%, women-7%).

Men (60%) were significantly more likely than women (42%) to consider online dating as safe.  Fifteen per cent of men and 21 per cent of women consider online dating to be unsafe.

More than 50 per cent (51%) of women and 37 per cent of men thought that online dating did not lead to healthier, safer relationships than relationships where people meet in more traditional ways.  In general, survey respondents reported that dating websites and apps benefited everyone, but were most useful to lonely or isolated people, or younger people and/or teenagers (figure 4).

Relationships Australia State and Territory websites