Skip to main content

The roots of this problem go even deeper than most first thought.

The gender pay gap in America takes hold while earners are still children, according to a new study from BusyKid, a mobile app and web platform that allows children ages five through 17 to earn allowance to save, spend, share and invest.

Boys earned twice as much per week as their female counterparts for doing chores, plus boys were awarded larger bonuses from parents than girls were, BusyKid found in a survey that analyzed millions of transactions from about 10,000 families using the platform.

Where boys earned an average of $13.80 in weekly allowance, girls earned just $6.71 - that's a 51% discount for young girls. The study also showed boys were given more opportunities to earn money than girls were and that boys were saving more for themselves.

Source: BusyKid
Scroll to Continue

TheStreet Recommends

On the contrary, young girls were found to share more money with charity than young boys did, according to BusyKid data. Boys were more likely to spend a larger portion of their earnings.

"As a father of both boys and girls I think this is an important wake-up call for parents to be cognizant of what they are paying to make sure they are being as fair as possible," said BusyKid CEO Gregg Murset in a statement. "I don't think any parent would intentionally pay differently based on gender, but clearly, it's happening."

The gender pay gap in America has long been a contentious issue among both the corporate elite and those whom they employ. A 2017 Pew Research Center study reported that adult women earn, on average, about 82% of what men earn, and many studies show that difference widens even further for women of color. That means women would have to work an additional 47 days a year to make up the difference in earnings.

And while the flagrant gender pay gap among young children is undoubtedly a problem, overall financial literacy in general could pose a significant issue, too.

An earlier study from BusyKid found that millennial parents ages 18 through 34 are the least confident in teaching their kids about managing money, as only 60% reported feeling self-assured in their ability to properly do so. The National Center for Health Statistics found that the average age for a first-time mother in its most recent study was 26.3 years old - right in the middle of the millennial bracket.

But perhaps there's hope as U.S. parents age. About 76% of parents ages 35 to 44 years old feel confident in teaching financial responsibility, and 79% of parents ages 45 to 54 years old feel confident, BusyKid found.