Recent studies show that gender inequality exists for young girls in their own homes. Girls are being tasked with more chores around the house and are receiving less in allowance money than boys of the same age.
A study conducted in 2016 revealed that girls spend 40 percent more time on household chores than boys. This study also found that once children reach the age of 14, that disparity increases to 50 percent. Additionally, the work girls do around the house is not valued nearly as much as the work boys do.
In terms of allowance, recent data analysis shows that across the United States, boys earn an average of $13.80 a week in allowance, while girls earn $6.71. According to the study, this is because boys are often assigned to do more physical chores such as mowing the lawn and trimming the bushes. However, boys were also paid for tasks that girls were not, including showering and brushing their teeth.
While this gap in both household labor and allowance has been the norm for a while, it is incredibly outdated and exposes young girls to the wage gap that women fight against in the workplace daily.
On top of this, it teaches young children an unfortunate lesson that continues into adulthood: boys have to do less to earn money, while girls must expect to work harder and simply do more to earn the same amount.
In terms of this pattern that follows children into adulthood, Christia Spears Brown, a professor at the University of Kentucky, states, “Chores are really practice for adult living, so the problem is it just gets generationally perpetuated.”
Despite the fact that this disparity in household chores is still a notable issue in the United States, some studies have found slight changes that may indicate a closing in the gap. A big reason for this is fathers becoming more active in the lives of their children, thanks to paternity leave.
One study found that when each parent has an equal amount of work in terms of household chores and childcare, their children would someday mirror their actions with their own families. Positive attitudes about housework and fair division would result in the same for future generations.
A world-wide study also showed that boys are doing more caregiving than ever. The amount of care given to family members is equal between young boys and girls globally. In Norway specifically, caregiving done by boys exceeds the amount done by girls.
The chore gap is still a present issue around the world that exposes young girls to issues they will one day face in the working world. However, if parents make the active choice to divide household work and caregiving, their children will learn to do the same for future generations, and this gap may finally become a thing of the past.
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