The gender wage gap is one of the most contentious social issues of our time, and recent studies show that the difference in how men and women are paid could go as far back as childhood. Even children are compensated differently for performing household chores, and the difference can be as great as 50 percent!

The Pay Gap Starts Young

Santander recently conducted a survey of 500 UK parents with children under 15 years of age. They found that boys are paid an average of 6.99 euros, while girls are paid just 4.67.

In another 10,000-parent study conducted by BusyKid, a US-based mobile app, boys age 5 to 7 were shown to make 50% more than girls in the same age group. The average girl makes $6.71 per week, while the average boy makes $13.80. What gives?

Boys Take On More Strenuous Chores

According to Graig Murset, CEO of BusyKid, they “found a lot of the boys were given more strenuous jobs like mowing the lawn, washing the car and trimming the bushes.” Harder work means higher pay.

Girls complained more frequently about dirty chores, so parents added extra incentive. Boys tend to prefer outdoor chores regardless and were more than happy to comply.

Boys Are Incentivized For Basic Hygiene

Along the same theme of being okay with being dirty, boys are sometimes paid to keep up with basic hygiene. Parents will do anything to combat stinky body odor and rotting teeth.

Girls, on the other hand, are naturally inclined towards showering and brushing. Boys have created a job market out of things that girls just do. Despite earning significantly less, the BusyKid study found that girls save nearly the same amount as boys. In a given month, girls put away an average of $23.49, while boys save $24.98.