Latest research shows young girls are more likely to get a phone before boys.
Latest research shows young girls are more likely to get a phone before boys. Cathy Adams

Sorry, boys: Parents give mobile phones to daughters

DAUGHTERS are more likely to get a phone when they are young and are more likely to get one brand new, according to the latest Ray Morgan Research.

Surveys showed 7% more girls than boys would get their own mobile phone between the ages of eight and nine, and 2% more girls aged 10-11 would get a phone.

At what age do you think your child should get a mobile phone?

This poll ended on 04 November 2016.

Current Results

6-7

0%

8-9

0%

10-11

0%

12-13

33%

14-15

33%

16-17

33%

18-19

0%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

The gap evens out at 12-13 years, when 41% of boys get their first phone and 38% of girls get theirs.

Another 19% of girls get a phone at age 14 or 15 and again more boys have to wait until age 16 or 17 to become independently mobile.

At this point total mobile phone ownership in teenagers aged 16-17 is 96% (boys) to 97% (girls).

Kids' attitudes to mobile phones

The survey showed attitudes could play a part in why so many more girls get phones before boys.

It may be in part because girls are not as picky about what they receive, and according to the kids themselves, girls' parents are more likely than boys' to want to keep tabs on them to know they are safe.

Boys on the other hand are more likely to believe that:

  • It's important to get advice from friends when deciding which mobile phone to buy
  • It's more important for the device to be built to last than look good
  • Price is the top deciding factor when choosing a handset

Mobile phone attitudes:

Girls more likely to agree

About the same

Boys more likely to agree

I would be happy to have any mobile I can get

The way a mobile phone looks is important to me

Getting advice from my friends is important to me when deciding which mobile phone to buy

My parents want me to have a phone so they know I am safe

The brand of mobile phone is important to me

Having a phone that is though and built to last is more important than the way it looks

I like being able to talk to my family and friends wherever I am

My parents think I spend too much time on my mobile phone

Price is the most important thing when deciding which mobile phone to buy

Sources: Roy Morgan Young Australians Survey, July 2015-June 2016, sample n = 830 Australian mobile phone owners aged 6 to 13

Parents' attitudes

The CEO of Roy Morgan Research, Michele Levine, said one of the key reasons why girls got a phone earlier was because parents wanted them to have it for safety reasons.

"Dads with teenage daughters are around 12% more likely than dads with teenage sons (and also more likely than the girls' mothers) to agree they want family members to carry a mobile phone for security reasons," she said.

"Mums have a fairer view of their boys and girls mobile phone needs, and are more keen to have family members carry a phone overall.

"It's perhaps a dynamic that many families already understand full well: when they want their first mobile phone, girls should go to dad and boys should go to mum.

She said 54% of girls with their own mobile phone received it as a gift, compared with less than half of boys.

"Instead, boys are more likely to have to buy a mobile themselves or wait for a hand-me-down," Ms Michele said.

Sources: Roy Morgan Young Australians Survey, July 2015-June 2016 and; Single Source Survey of Australians aged 14+



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