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.
Young girls suffer a wage gap even when they leave their home in search of wages. Despite the fact that the vast majority of babysitters are girls, the few boys who take on those jobs have higher hourly rates.
A chore and wage gap for young girls may seem trivial, but they are both problems that only grow as they age and the socializing children experience at home may contribute. Asking girls to do more chores without paying them teaches both genders that women are meant to do unpaid work. And when they’re older, far more women will end up doing housework than men. Mothers spend nearly double the time on unpaid work in the home that fathers do each week. On an average day, nearly half of women do housework compared to 20 percent of men, and on the days when they do those activities, women spend more time on them, on average. Meanwhile, fathers manage to find three more hours of leisure time.