The argument about the gender pay gap is one we should have, especially if we find evidence that companies are breaking the law by paying women less than men for the same job.
However, when we make ridiculous comparisons about the pay gap between film stars and athletes, what is an important debate turns into narrative mainstream media uses to get clicks and to incite fake outrage.
This week’s attempt to once again push the gender pay gap myth comes from a study that has been reported on by the Metro and Evening Standard. The Metro went with headline ‘Boys earn more than girls for chores proving gender pay gap starts early‘.
For someone who grew up in a household in which doing chores was part and parcel of life, the fact that some kids have the luxury to be paid to clean up their room sounds alien to me but to each their own.
Although, what this story does is to take something that is divisive — in this instance it is the gender pay gap — and it misrepresents a study to present something as fact. For starters, you don’t need to be a Jordan Peterson to know that paying your children to do chores is going to affect their outlook on hard-work in the near future.
In my opinion what should be the focus is that parent are paying their kids for good behavior in school. Secondly, the survey that both stories cite does not tell us the salaries of each of the parents that was interviewed, or whether if it was only males who were interviewed. The reason being is that multi-varied analysis would not allow such blatantly skewed result as is proven by this survey which claims:
Boys on average get £6.99 for helping out around the house, while girls get just £4.67 for the same work.
If we broke down the survey as many social scientist have done in their studies, we would get to the answer of why the girls are being paid less. But we all know that context and accurate representation get in the way of a good story, it’s easier to say that gender pay gap begins at home and the patriarchy rules supreme.
Like many of these so-called studies that news papers report on they haven’t been peer-reviewed and even then it’s easy to take one aspect of a study to prove your point and completely ignore the rest. It’s similar to how the Daily Mail reports every week that something you do in everyday life is giving you cancer.
If you see a news article that begins with ‘A study suggests…’, most likely that study didn’t suggest that. But if you want to believe that you are intelligent because your house is messy because a study you read in the Metro said ‘Messy people who swear a lot might actually have a higher IQ‘, I have some magic beans to sell you.