Financial Education: Are You a Discriminating Parent?

Educating children about finances

In August, we reported on a Junior Achievement survey revealing that parents who give allowances to their young children are more likely to give them to boys than to girls.

Boys ages 8 through 18 are more likely than girls of the same ages to get allowances (67% vs. 59%). This gives boys an earlier opportunity to learn about handling money.

I urged readers not to be guilty of gender bias, because there’s already enough gender-based pay disparity in our country. We don’t need more.

Now comes another survey with results I find equally disturbing: T. Rowe Price reported that 58% of the teenage boys it surveyed said that their parents talk to them about setting financial goals, but only 50% of girls said that.

This might partly explain why 45% of boys said they are very or extremely smart about money, while only 38% of girls said the same.

The survey also found that, of parents with one child, 80% of those with a boy think their child understands the value of a dollar, compared to only 69% of parents raising a girl.

Also, boys have more access to credit cards: 12% of them have cards, compared to only 6% of girls.

We’ll discuss the wisdom of giving teenagers credit cards another time. Here, though, I ask: Why would there be a gender difference when it comes to access to credit cards?

Ask yourself: If you’re raising both boys and girls, are you treating them differently? If so, ask yourself why. I think you’ll be hard-pressed to come up with a legitimate answer.

As I said in August, there’s already more than enough sexism in this country in the financial arena. Let’s work to root it out — not perpetuate it.

Originally published in Inside Personal Finance December 2014

More Life Events Advice