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Home>UPDATE: Parents favor their sons over their daughters in this one life-changing way

UPDATE: Parents favor their sons over their daughters in this one life-changing way

UPDATE: Parents favor their sons over their daughters in this one life-changing way

09/23/2017

By Maria LaMagna

Parents may have 'antiquated expectations' for their kids

When it comes to their kids' college costs, parents are playing favorites.

Parents of all boys are more likely to have money saved for college than parents of all girls, according to a new survey from T. Rowe Price, an asset-management company. Some 50% of parents who have only boys have money saved for their kids' college, compared with just 39% of parents who have only girls, it found. The company surveyed more than 1,000 parents on questions about college savings. Within that group, 238 parents had only boys and 155 parents had only girls.

Parents of all boys were also more likely to say they will cover the entire cost of college: 17% of parents of boys said this, compared with just 8% of parents with only daughters. But that's not all: Parents with all boys were also less likely to say they'd send their children to a less expensive college to avoid student loans; just 60% of boys' parents said this, compared with 72% of girls'. And 23% of parents who only have sons are willing to take on $75,000 or more in student loans, compared with just 12% of parents of girls.

All parents should be conscious of college costs, said Roger Young, a senior financial planner at T. Rowe Price, in a statement. But the discrepancy between genders stood out, he said. "A willingness to save more, pay more, and borrow more among parents of all boys suggests there may still be some antiquated expectations based on gender."

In some areas of the world, couples may actually have more children (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3000027/), in an attempt to have sons (https://www.jstor.org/stable/20007464?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents), particularly in developing economies, studies have found over the past three decades. And families with more children may have a harder time saving for college.

Of course, it may come down to sexism. Some 75% of men earn more than their wives (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/one-very-traditional-and-arguably-sexist-view-of-marriage-has-not-changed-2017-09-20), so they have the clout and may see their own unrealized potential in their son before their daughter. In fact, fathers were 58% more likely to take parental leave from work after a birth (https://news.virginia.edu/content/study-paid-family-leave-more-enticing-dads-not-game-changer), if the child was a son, a 2015 study from researchers at the University of Virginia concluded.

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