Are You Guilty of Gender Bias?

Parents of youngsters are often unwittingly guilty, as shown by how they handle kids’ allowances

Do you give your son an allowance? What about your daughter — does she get one too?

You might be surprised to learn that parents are more likely to give their sons allowances than their daughters, according to a survey by Junior Achievement.

Indeed, boys ages 8 through 18 are more likely than girls of the same age to get an allowance (67% vs. 59%), giving boys an earlier opportunity to learn about handling money.

As you know, I’m a huge advocate of teaching children about money as soon as they’re able to form questions. The topic of an allowance can serve as a good teaching tool. For example, instead of giving your kids an allowance, hire them: Pay them for completing certain chores or performing agreed-upon assignments. But avoid overpaying, and be careful not to bribe them to do things they should do for free as members of the household — such as taking out the trash.

If you decide to give allowances, don’t be guilty of gender bias. Treat daughters the same as sons; age disparity might be a legitimate reason for distinction, but gender certainly is not. There’s enough gender-based pay disparity in our country; we don’t need more.

Originally published in Inside Personal Finance August 2014

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