It just takes an inflammatory headline like the one above to get my eyebrows furrowed, and then amused reaction along the lines of: “Come on, that sounds ridiculous. What’s the basis for that question?”
As crazy as it sounds, I did see an article with a headline along these lines, over at the U.S. News Money site. And actually, it was a pretty good, well-written article based on the results of a survey of kids 8 to 14. Some interesting data was provided.
According to the data shared, among kids in the aforementioned age range, gender differences emerged as follows:
- Talking with parents about financial goals: Boys 58%, Girls 50%
- Likely to say they smart about money: Boys 45%, Girls 38%
- Appreciate the value of a dollar, according to parents: Boys 80%, Girls 69%
There were some other survey results shared, but these were the most salient figures.
Here are my observations:
There is no reason to believe boys are better than girls with money
A few years ago, I wrote about gender equality and opportunities for girls. I shared a real-life example in the post, which illustrated that there could be some stereotyping about gender and abilities even when kids are really young.
In terms of the survey, I’m not quite sure one can interpret these results in a way that indicates that boys are better with money. Maybe it indicates they talk more about it, are more confident with it, and are perceived to be better by parents.
But I’m not sure that these questions indicate that boys are better.
Ultimately, I don’t see any innate reason why one gender should be better with money than the other. Maybe it’s socialized thinking, or perhaps it’s interpreting surveys and anecdotal evidence in a way that supports a stereotype. But I can’t see why boys should be considered better with money than girls.
More than 50% of undergraduate degrees in the U.S. are awarded to females. Women are just as capable of being breadwinners as men. I certainly don’t want my daughter to think that she’s less capable, or that she couldn’t financially lead a family when older. Or, that she’s entitled to be taken care of based on gender.
There are plenty of ways to teach kids about money, regardless of gender. It makes sense to me that if we talk to our kids the same way and with the same frequency and interest, gender shouldn’t be any kind of issue.
Anyway, this topic jumped out at me as being interesting based on the conclusions being drawn. So, I was hoping to not only share, but get your thoughts as well.
My Questions for You
What are your thoughts on the notion that there are differences in ability with money, based on gender at such a young age?
Do you think things are truly equal as I do, or do you think that there are legitimate variations? If the latter, do you think this is innate or socialized?
Have you seen examples of gender stereotyping when it comes to financial ability?