Nearly 70 percent of boys say they get an allowance, compared to just under 60 percent of girls, according to a new survey from Junior Achievement.
But unfortunately, 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.
And it’s not just that boys are more likely to be paid by their parents, but they also get more money. One study found that boys spent just 2.1 hours a week on chores and made $48 on average, while girls put in 2.7 hours to make $45. A British study found that boys get paid 15 percent more than girls for the same chores.
Obviously, compared to pay inequity in the adult working world, the stakes of the allowance gap aren’t all that high. But in terms of socialization, I think it tells us a lot. Since allowances exist in this fuzzy gray area — some kids don’t get them at all, some get them loosely as “payment” for chores, some get them just for being a kid as an early entitlement program – this gap reveals a lot about how sexist norms around gender and unpaid labor are perpetuated, starting from a very young age. Read More