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A little girl seen loading a washing machine. One recent analysis found that girls are typically assigned chores that fall into the unpaid work category, and another analysis found parents pay girls about 50 percent less in allowance than they pay boys. (Getty Images)

Home economics

Gender pay gap extends all the way to kids’ allowances, analysis finds — and it’s worse than in the real world

By WITW Staff on August 9, 2018

A recent study found that the gender pay gap, which feminists are working so hard to mitigate and eventually equalize, starts way before people begin earning a salary in the real world. The pay gap can be traced all the way to childhood, when parents, compensating their children for household chores with an allowance, on average pay their boys more than girls. It’s a phenomenon that has actually set the table for the income disparity to flourish in the real world. Also, as a report in The New York Times points out, girls spend more time doing chores than boys do.

According to a recent data analysis by BusyKid, a mobile phone app that allows children to track their allowance and income and helps them save and budget their money, the parents of the children using the app on average pay boys more than double what they pay girls in allowance money. BusyKid found that boys’ average weekly allowance is $13.80 compared to girls’, which is $6.71.

The latest data from Pew Research, examined in 2017, showed the national gender pay gap is gradually shrinking, but women are still only earning 82 percent of what men earn for equal work on an hourly basis. It’s important to note that BusyKid provided no details on the methodology used to determine these figures, or whether the data analysts corrected for variables in differences between what older children earn versus what younger children make. But still, the figures are rather jarring.

The data analysis showed boys also out-earn girls when it comes to bonuses, though that margin is much slimmer. Boys using the BusyKid app take home an average bonus of $17.01, while girls bonuses average $15.54.

As The New York Times points out, these pay disparities and the inequities in the amount of time boys and girls spend doing chores — and the types of chores they are assigned — set the stage for what happens when they grow up and enter the working world. Another analysis found that male teenagers between the ages of 15 and 19 spend an average of 30 minutes a performing chores. Females in the same age group spend an average of 45 minutes daily on chores. And girls, the Times notes are, often saddled with chores that later in life fall into the unpaid work category, such as house cleaning, which in adulthood impact the devotion a woman can make to her job. Boys are often paid for doing chores that they should likely be doing anyway — things like maintaining personal hygiene, the BusyKid analysis revealed.

But the news isn’t all bad. Girls are spending less time doing chores than they were spending a decade ago. And there are other signs that boys and girls are beginning to pick up the responsibility of family care more equally than they have in the past.

Read the full story at The New York Times.


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