The infamous ‘pay gap’ between men and women could begin as early as childhood.
Parents give sons an average of £2.20 per week in pocket money more than they give daughters, a new study has suggested.
Research organisation Childwise surveyed 2,000 British children from across the UK. They found that boys between the ages of five and 16 receive an average of £10.70 per week from their parents. By contrast, girls are only given £8.50.The gap actually widens as children get older. Among those aged 11 to 16, boys are given an average of £17.80 each week whereas girls were only on £12.50, more than £5 lower.
Researchers also found that sons are given more financial independence than daughters. Additionally, girls are more likely to receive no regular income from their parents at all.
Childwise research manager Jenny Ehren said the results of their research suggest “an early gender imbalance in the way parents educate their children about money matters”. Boys are “more likely to be entrusted with regular cash payments, while girls are more reliant on other people buying them items” she explained. These can range from “expensive items such as clothes and footwear [to] lower cost purchases such as toiletries, hair products and makeup”.
This imbalance could encourage outdated gender roles as young people “pick up gender clues all around them, some subtle, and some not so subtle” Ehren warned.
“The challenge for parents is to avoid inadvertently perpetuating these gender divisions themselves, and to help children learn the skills needed to be a confident and independent adult.”
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the majority of pocket money for both boys and girls is spent on items such as chocolate, crisps, soft drinks and going out.