The Gender Gap Starts at Home — With Your Allowance

Girls, do you have a brother? Steal his cookie. Go ahead, you deserve it. Odds are he’s been doing less than you and yet being paid more for it for years. Granted, this is how your entire lives will play out, but when you’re older, you’ll have no recourse except to grind your teeth about the unfairness of it all and maybe choose to go by a gender-neutral, mainstream version of your name. For now, you can express your rage at the unfairness by taking something from him, or maybe putting something slimy in his bed.

This article on how the gender gap starts early, and at home, came out in April but somehow I missed it before now:

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.

My only consolation is that neither of my brothers got an allowance. My mom was too busy and my dad too disorganized to figure out a workable system. But I think the next time I see either of my brothers I’ll jab them anyway, out of solidarity. #WorkersOfTheWorldUnite

RELATED: “I understood gender discrimination once I added ‘Mr.’ to my resume and landed a job”

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