Reckitt’s Survey Uncovers HK Couples’ Attitude Towards Intimacy and Home Hygiene

HONG KONG SAR – Media OutReach – 20 January 2022 –
When couples enter into a new stage of life such as marriage and becoming
parents, how do these changes in identities and responsibilities affect the
relationship? To understand how Hong Kong couples get along in terms of ‘Intimate
Relationship’ and ‘Home Hygiene’, Reckitt Benckiser (Hong Kong) Limited
(Reckitt) surveyed more than 1,000 unmarried and married couples in Hong Kong
between November and December 2021[1] for ‘Hong
Kong Wellness in Action Index’, the company’s ongoing series of health insights
launched in early 2021. 


The
survey unveils yawning gaps in couples who are unmarried, married or parents,
over their expectations and communications on ‘intimate relationship’ and ‘home
hygiene’, hinting at an urgent need to forge better communications among
couples.

Polarising priorities between
couples widens the communication gap


While synchrony between couples is important in maintaining a healthy
relationship, the survey findings suggest that male and female respondents
placed a completely opposing level of emphasis on ‘intimate relationship’ and
‘home hygiene’, with nearly 40% of them having had conflicts with their
partners over these topics (39%). The polarising views could liken communications
to casting pearls to swine, and eventually lead to major disputes.

The survey results
indicate that nearly 80% of male respondents think that consensus with their
partners on ‘intimate relationship’ was very important in maintaining their
relationship (78%), but only 65% of female respondents feel the same. On the
contrary, almost 85% of female respondents believe that getting consensus over
‘home hygiene’ is important (84%) while only 75% of male respondents share the
same thought.

Gender dominance in conversations is putting partners ‘on mute’

The fact that men and
women are placing differing levels of emphasis on these topics further affects
how proactive they are when communicating with each other. The survey found
that discussions related to ‘intimate relationship’ were mostly raised by male
(45%) – over six times more common than women (6%). The story is flipped when
it comes to discussions on ‘home hygiene’, female respondents (48%) were over four
times more likely to
initiate such discussion than male (9%).

Meanwhile,
the ‘more passive gender’ on certain topics showed little desire to communicate
more. For example, male respondents (34%) were twice as less interested than
female respondents (61%) in having more conversations with their partners on
‘home hygiene’ issues. However, avoiding difficult communications doesn’t mean
that conflicts are not occurring. On the contrary, failing to balance the
‘power in discourse’ between couples could result in long-term adverse impacts
on the relationship.

Dissatisfaction grows as relationship length increases and parents are twice
as likely to argue

As
couples step into different stages of the relationship, their expectations and
satisfaction levels for ‘intimate relationship’ and ‘home hygiene’ gradually changed,
resulting in more frequent conflicts, especially when it comes to ‘intimate
relationship’. While 82% of unmarried couples rated the quality of their sexual
life as “quite- to very-satisfying”, only 57% of parents said the same, marking
a 25% satisfaction gap. The survey also indicated that parent respondents are
twice as likely to get into an argument with their partners on ‘intimate
relationship’ than those without children.

‘Home
hygiene’ has become the ‘conflict trigger’ of married couples – more than half
of parents reported that they have had disputes with their partners over ‘home
hygiene’ issues (51%) – triple that of unmarried couples (16%), and nearly 30%
parents interviewed said they have blamed their partners on the lack of hygiene
awareness (29%). These figures may suggest that there is a bigger expectation
gap among parents, leading more readily to conflict.

Establishing positive
communications and pragmatic expectations have always been the key to building
a stronger and healthier relationship. Check out Reckitt’s Wellness Lifehack and learn from Sexuality
Educator on the tips of enhancing positive and effective communications among
couples, such as initiating a ‘weekly intimate conversation’ with your partner
to add romance to your relationship.

The challenge of maintaining
hygiene awareness
       
The
survey found that almost 80% of interviewed couples believe that the pandemic
has changed the hygiene habits of themselves and their partners (79%). However,
respondents showed a lack of confidence in whether they and their partners can
maintain good hygiene habits – one in six respondents felt that their partners’
hygiene awareness had dropped, comparing to last year when the pandemic was
more severe.

Although
the pandemic showed signs of abating towards the end of 2021, and hygiene
awareness of some of the public may have slackened, the pandemic situation has
consistently threatened the community recently. Refer to the ten tips that enable individuals to become the best
hygiene partner for their loved ones.

Mr. Boudewijn Feith, Reckitt
General Manager Hong Kong/Taiwan, added “Reckitt has always existed to protect,
heal and nurture in the relentless pursuit of a cleaner and healthier world.
Last year, we launched the first ‘Wellness in Action Index’ which offered tips
for the public from different age groups to build a healthier lifestyle under
the pandemic. This year, we are leveraging the insights obtained from our new
survey, and our product brands such as Dettol, Durex and Vanish, to encourage
intimacy and improve hygiene protection among couples under the new normal, with
an aim to making every moment that couples share together a lovely and happy
one.”

Reckitt
commissioned an independent research firm to launch the “Hong Kong Wellness in
Action Index” in 2021, to initiate better in-depth discussion of various
health-related topics on a regular basis and develop a better understanding on
citizens’ overall wellness levels. As of today, more than 2,000 Hong Kong
citizens have been polled, for details, please visit
www.reckittwellnessindex.hk.


[1] FRC (Hong Kong) Ltd, an independent research
firm, was commissioned to conduct the survey between 22 November to 3 December
2021. There were 1,010 randomly selected respondents, including 303 unmarried
individuals who are in a relationship and have a plan to get married, 309
respondents who are married without child and 398 individuals who are married
and have children.

 

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