Couples in relationships spy on each other

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Ah, paranoia. The cornerstone of our political maneuverings, business dealings, and, apparently, interpersonal relationships. A new survey by online shopping and review site Retrevo found that a third of people in relationships have snooped around in their partner's email or phone.

Females were more likely than males to have checked the email or call history of the person they're dating, spouse, or partner. The numbers slightly evened out when it got to spying on children, though — apparently distrust of a child knows no gender lines.

This really doesn't surprise me. In fact, I'm a little surprised the numbers aren't higher — casual snooping seems like cheating in school or looking at internet porn: nobody actually cops to it, but the conventional wisdom and surveys like this tend to reveal the broader nature of the problem.

In any event, I wonder if it's the ephemeral nature of the material being scoped out that makes all the difference. Would we be as likely to open a desk and flip through our partner's bank statements as we are flip open their phone (or slide to unlock, in a different income bracket) or laptop?

There's little difference between the two — I would argue that interpersonal relationships are as important to a person's life as the "nuts and bolts" material (financial, medical, location of hidden Nazi gold) considered sacrosanct.