A new study reveals that parents of pre-school children spend on average £6 per month on books for boys, 25% less than they spend on books for girls.
According to the Childwise Monitor Pre-school Report 2016, a survey of parents of 1,000 0-4 year-olds in the UK, parents of girls spend significantly more, £8 every month, than parents of boys.
Childwise research manager Jenny Ehren said the findings emerged even though equal numbers of boys and girls named a book as their most treasured possession for the survey.
“The gender differences in book purchasing for pre-school children are indicative of reading trends that become more significant with age,” she said. “By the time they reach school, boys aged 5-10 read for significantly shorter periods and much less frequently for pleasure than girls of the same age.”
Parents of girls spend more on their children (£117 per month on average) than parents of boys (£101) across most categories. For example, spending on girls shoes’ averages out at £29 every month, compared to £25 for boys.
Ehren said there were also marked gender differences in the types of toys children receive. “Pretend play items were mentioned by a number of parents, with traditional gender stereotypes appearing particularly prominent here, as toy kitchens, tea sets, shopping trolleys and tills are favoured by girls, and toy gardening sets and DIY kits are favoured by boys," she said.
“Future brand loyalties and behaviour patterns first take shape at this age. A great deal of how children initially learn about the world is rooted in play – they pick up gender clues all around them, some subtle, and some not so subtle.”
The report also revealed that parent spend on average £20 every month on days out with their children.