Friday, November 27, 2015

Elizabeth Street


Why Raising A Girl Could Cost You $855 More Per Year

Feb 25, 2014

Why Raising A Girl Could Cost You $855 More Per Year

A survey found that almost half of respondents wanted their first child to be a boy, and of those people, half said it was because they believed boys are easier to raise than girls. Of course, we laugh in the face of this wild presumption. Some children sit, read, play quietly with their toys, others use your living room furniture as a jungle gym and won’t stay still during story time. It’s personality and genetics, not sex, that determines this.

Perhaps what these parents weren’t saying was that boys aren’t easier to raise than girls, they’re just less costly. According to a recent New York Times article, this common perception is actually based in considerable fact. However, contrary to what you might expect, it’s not clothes, makeup, or feminine products that rack up the price tag attached to baby girls. It’s brains. “Parents of girls spend, on average, 25 percent more on education per year in a child’s lifetime than parents of boys. That’s a striking reversal from the 1970s, when parents of girls spent about 30 percent less.”

Experts like Dr. Sabino Kornrich, a sociologist at Emory and an author of Investing in Children: Changes in Parental Spending on Children 1972-2007, attribute these findings to the fact that “women today are more likely to attend and complete college than boys, meaning more tuition dollars.” States Dr. Kornrich: “If girls are doing better and getting accepted into better universities on average, or parents feel they have a higher likelihood of graduating,” it follows that “they just might invest more.”

What we want to know is, in light of all this, and given that we girls are so full of intellectual (and literal) capital, why hasn’t the gender wage gap followed this same reversal trend? It's an eyebrow-raising disconnect...wouldn't you agree?

By Cordelia Tai

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