Who are better, boys or girls? It’s a perennial question, fuelled by centuries of inequality and sexism. Any straw will be grabbed, any report misinterpreted, any glass ceiling cracked. Of course, when the question is posed it always helps to be more specific. Who are stronger? Who are more compassionate? Who are better at sports? Who are easier to raise?
In reality most of these questions are pretty subjective. Sure there are obvious genetic differences between boys and girls but in most day-to-day stuff you can say they’re pretty equal and there are always exceptions to the rule. One thing you can’t argue with though, are cold, hard stats (unless it’s with other, equally solid stats). So we might not be able to gauge whether boys or girls are better via a Gantt chart but when it comes down to which sex it costs more to raise we can draw on some pretty compelling figures.
So, who costs more to raise, boys or girls? Well the short answer is boys if you believe the following survey – it’s definitely not the long answer. A survey of 1,000 parents commissioned by Halifax shows that boys cost an average of £105,963 to raise from birth to the age of 11, while girls cost in the region of £93,016.
So, why the difference? Is it down to boys being way cooler than girls and therefore deserving much more great stuff than girls? Stuff like toy cars and plastic guns and marmalade? Although if that’s the sort of sexist stereotyping you want to engage in surely girls love dresses and crowns and dolls and expensive things like that.
The discrepancy was put down to, principally, a difference in school uniforms. Apparently boys are much more likely to scuff and screw up their uniforms than girls and thus have to get them replaced, thus making their poor tortured parents spend more.
If you’re looking for a breakdown on where all this money is going, NatWest have just released a Child Cost Calculator . It looks at how much raising a child costs, which is pretty nifty. It doesn’t go into gender though.
And that’s that, boys cost more to raise than girls. Let’s all abandon the male of the species in favour of the more cost-effective female. Sure the human race might wither and die (or it might become a splendid utopia) but, hey, we’d all have a little more money in our bank accounts. Of course boys are only more expensive if you listen to that particular survey. Other surveys are a little more contradictory.
For instance, research by lovemoney.com looks at precisely the same thing: the cost of raising boys and girls. It rather contrarily contradicts the above survey. It states fairly explicitly that girls are more expensive to raise than boys. In monetary terms this amounts to about £2,140 between the ages of five and 18.
If the first survey postulates that boys scuff up their uniforms more than the girls, thus leading to more expenditure than entirely necessary then what do lovemoney.com say about girls being more expensive than boys?
Their reason comes down to more expensive hobbies. Or at least that’s one of them. Each year parents of the male of the species spend around £556 in membership fees while parents of girls spend about £603 up to the age of 18.
Then there’s pocket money. Girls apparently get much more money in this situation too. Boys get £2,061 in the pocket during their childhood while girls get £2,162.
Now gender stereotypes dictate that girls are much more likely to be concerned with shiny things like bracelets, and diamonds and hats. According to lovemoney.com hats and bags cost £893 during childhood for girls while for boys it costs £644.15.
So in summation, it’s definitely better to have a boy rather than a girl when it comes to spending, unless of course you believe a different survey. Perhaps, there is no right or wrong answer and that’s how it should be. Really we should just forget about the whole differences between the sexes and admit that, hey, we are all beautiful unique snowflakes and can’t really be defined by the limited distinctions between genders.
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