Parents spend more on boys, or boys cost more?

Survey finds parents spend:

£32,000 on raising boys

£24,739.03 on raising girls

Hmmm, interesting. The Times reports this as simply girls costing less, or boys “asking” for more money during their school years. (This is all based on a study of 2,000 parents by a company called GE Money, which most likely has a product to hawk – I couldn’t find the original data, but we’ll go with what we have).

Some of the difference is down to what you might call outside factors – parents apparently spend £3,933.86 on clothes for boys, compared to £3,173.66 for girls – not that big of a difference. However, when it comes to school uniforms, the gap widens to £2,606.10 – nearly £1,000 more than is spent on a girl’s uniform – £1,652.70. There is frustratingly little information about this, but you might speculate that unless uniform makers are taking parents of boys for a ride, this could be to do with extra uniforms for sports activities, or even just boys being socialised to be more rough and tumble, while girls are at least encouraged to sit quietly and read books. Less wear and tear?

Then we come to “gadgets”. Surprise, surprise, parents trump up £3,027.22 of gadgets during a boy’s childhood, compared to £1,502.34 for girls – about half the ipods and games consoles, I presume.

What about after-school activities? Well, the figure for boys is £2,765.84, plus £1,322.58 for club memberships and £1,584.66 for sports equipment. We don’t even get to see a figure for girls.

However, we do learn the amount that parents spend on girls’ shoes (£1,406.86), toiletries (£2,373.84) and “accessories” (£855.96 – I wouldn’t if that counts as ‘clothes’ for boys, see above).

Meanwhile, I point out the comment left on The Times’ story:

Is this because, despite the “sexual revolution” people are still more likely to spend money on boys than girls? Why are dance classes or tennis lessons seen as an expensive extra, but football as a necessary part of development for a ” normal” boy?

Thanks to the reader who sent in this link!

Photo by Nadia308, shared under a Creative Commons license

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