by Katie Pavid
A recent survey has shown that 42% of British people who have shared a house have had a negative experience with their fellow housemates.
The survey, conducted by BT, identified a range of annoying habits, the top being housemates failing to do their share of household chores. 64% also complained about others not paying their bills on time, while approximately half disliked others playing loud music at unsociable times.
Those interviewed included a random sample of 2030 adults aged 18 and over. 51% of respondents had a preference for which gender they lived with, with females being significantly preferable: 73% claimed they would rather live with a female, since they were more likely to cook and keep the living space tidy.
Reasons for preferring a male flatmate include: they are less likely to nag (40%); they are more relaxed and don’t mind a mess (37%); they’re more independent and less clingy (31%), and they will provide entertainment (30%). When asked what the best gender combination was, the most popular response (70%) was four people: a combination of two males and two females.
Only one in three men who expressed a preference (34%) would prefer to live with another man.
Palatinate asked Durham students whether they agreed with the gender stereotypes which appear to be compounded by the survey. A bailey college third-year said: “I have found that living with an equal combination of genders has worked well. I imagine that a house full of six or seven girls can get intense, and it’s more likely that petty arguments will escalate. Also it’s actually the boys in our house that get into cooking, and I’m a girl and terrible at it!”
One third year said, “I would say personalities are more important than genders when it comes to compatibility. Boys can be clingy too so it really depends on the character of your housemates.”
Another said, “A house full of girls can be just as dirty as boys’ houses. If anything, girls can sometimes be worse.”
Psychologist Corinne Sweet said, “As we’ve seen from programmes like Big Brother, throwing together a group of people with different interests and disparate opinions and backgrounds in a ‘home’ environment can lead to both positive and negative experiences. Ultimately, it’s about striking a balance and learning tolerance – living the way you want to but being considerate towards those around you, and learning to listen and be sensitive to other housemates needs, is pretty crucial.”