Battle of the Sexes: Are Boys More Financially Fit Than Girls?

Anna Williams

494365357It’s the conversation almost every parent dreads having with their kid.

No, we’re not referring to the birds and bees here—we’re talking Money 101. After all, the sticky subject of finances can be full of sensitivities and complexities that many parents would rather avoid sharing with their little ones.

Now, new research reveals yet another obstacle when it comes to teaching kids about money. According to T. Rowe Price’s latest Parents, Kids & Money Survey, moms and dads aren’t treating their children equally when it comes to money talks—and could be perpetuating gender stereotypes.

The research found some surprising discrepancies between boys’ and girls’ experiences with money. For example, while only half of girls said that their parents talk to them about setting financial goals, close to 60% of boys said the same. Further, while 12% of boys under 18 were entrusted with a credit card, just half as many girls were.

It’s possible that these small differences in the way parents interact with their kids could be doing a number on girls’ money confidence: 45% of boys in the study said they were very or extremely smart about money, compared to 38% of girls.

So what gives? While the report doesn’t exactly pinpoint why this gender gap exists, one stat might be especially telling: 80% of parents with a son said their child understands the value of a dollar—while just 69% of moms and dads with a daughter said so. In other words, parents might believe that boys are simply smarter about money.

Unfortunately, this isn’t exactly news: Research earlier this year found that parents are statistically much more likely to talk to their sons about investing than their daughters. All this, despite studies suggesting that a gap in math skills (which could have an impact on money savvy) between boys and girls doesn’t actually exist.

Of course, whether you’re raising a son or a daughter, teaching your youngster about money is always important—and it doesn’t have to be tough. Here, learn how to chat with your children about everything from piggy-bank savings to the cost of college.

  • gingered

    Wow. How sad! This is definitely something that needs to change. As a wife and mom, I understand the importance of properly managing money. I in fact, not my husband, am the keeper of budget and the books for our family. I only have sons, but if I had daughters you betcha they’d be on the money talks too. I often see Moms (in particular, but dads too) that take their girls shopping while finding other activities to do with boys. Maybe if nothing else, that’s a starting point to helping girls understand the “value of a dollar”.

  • ana

    My dad taught my brother and I the same things about money and saving. My brother is a spend money as soon as he gets it type and I’m a saver who’s in a much better position financially than he is. It has to do with personality and other influences, not gender.