Think Progress: The Gender Pay Gap Starts at Home... In Children's Allowances

Hardly any members of the demographic group in question are old enough to vote yet, but we may be witnessing the emergence of a Democratic party campaign theme for 2020. Bryce Covert of ThinkProgress wrote Wednesday about a "gender gap" in children's allowances, citing a Junior Achievement survey finding that almost 70 percent of boys get an allowance, while not quite 60 percent of girls receive one.

Covert mentioned other studies which found that even though girls spend more time per week than boys on household chores, the boys are paid more for their efforts, and that while not many boys babysit, those that do tend to receive more money per hour than female babysitters. 

Covert acknowledged that "[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," but another liberal blogger, Amanda Marcotte of Slate, wrote, "To be clear, I doubt that deliberate sexism is playing a role in the allowance gap. Few, if any, parents are sitting a son and daughter down and saying that they think the boy is worth more so he will be getting more money for fewer chores. The allowance gap is likely the result of unconscious bias in how kids are socialized. Parents don't realize they expect girls to pitch in around the house more, but that expectation—as any girl who finds herself pressed into doing dishes while male relatives gather around the TV can attest—gets conveyed all the same."
 
Marcotte added, "Nor is it particularly surprising to find that parents give boys more money. In our culture, and in much of Western Europe, there's a tendency to treat boys as if they're a little more adult than girls at the same age. Girls are often coddled and assumed to be more innocent than boys, so it follows that parents would also assume they have less need of walking-around cash. Hopefully this news will cause some parents to pause and reassess all the subtle ways girls are still told they're worth less than boys and take measures to correct the problem."
 
Christina Hoff Sommers has analyzed the broad claims of a gender pay gap here.

Tom Johnson
Tom Johnson
Tom Johnson is a contributing writer for NewsBusters