Start Inequality Young: Even Kids’ Allowances Can’t Escape The Frustrating Gender Pay Gap

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I have two boys, and they are far too young to receive an allowance yet. But believe you me, an allowance and allotted chores are definitely on my radar. For starters, it will take the burden off me because I hate unloading the dishwasher with the fire of a thousand suns. Chores for our boys in the future will also promote the atmosphere of equality in our house, where my husband and I share all the childcare and housework 50/50.

Upon researching children’s allowances, the outlook isn’t so good. According to a new Junior Achievement survey, more boys get an allowance compared to girls: 70 percent versus 60 percent.

It’s not likely because boys do more chores. One study found that girls do two more hours of housework a week than boys, while boys spend twice as much time playing. The same study confirmed that boys are still more likely to get paid for what they do: they are 15 percent more likely to get an allowance for doing chores than girls. A 2009 survey of children ages 5 to 12 found that far more girls are assigned chores than boys. A study in Europe also found fewer boys contribute to work around the house.

Sadly, that’s not all. Boys earn more allowance on average. One study revealed that boys spent only 2.1 hours a week on chores with a total payout of $48. Girls did housework at 2.7 hours a week on average with total earnings of $45. Meaning, boys made 15 percent more than girls for doing the same chores.

I don’t have girls, but I can only imagine this would be an outrage for mothers with daughters. Not only is there a wage gap for young girls when it comes to children’s allowances, but the same wage gap continues when young women enter the workforce.

Ugh, even male babysitters make more money than female babysitters, though girls are more likely to babysit. Another troubling point to consider is the fact that more and more families are relying on a woman’s wages as the breadwinner. When women are paid less than men, single-income families are bound to struggle.

I don’t have an overall solution to this issue, but I do have two sons, and I recognize that change starts at home. I always planned to break the housewife pattern my husband and I grew up with in the 1980s. Now I have even more incentive to make my sons work for their pay.

(Image: Pavel L Photo and Video/Shutterstock)