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Media Opportunity: Children choose pay equity at a young age and would incur a cost to make sure equal work receives equal pay: Dalhousie study

Posted by Communications and Marketing on February 17, 2021 in News

At what age do children begin to understand gender-based pay inequities and what would they be willing to do to correct such inequality?

A Dalhousie University researcher addresses those questions in a new study that yielded surprising findings. The paper, published recently in Child Development, suggests a majority of children recognize the injustice of pay inequity at an early age and would incur a personal cost to ensure both boys and girls are paid equally.

Dr. John Corbit, a SSHRC postdoctoral fellow in Dalhousie’s Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, conducted a series of interviews and created scenarios with children between the ages of four and nine in Boston, Mass., and a small rural village in the highlands of Peru.

Dr. Corbit and his colleagues evaluated how children respond to scenarios in which boys and girls were paid an unequal number of candies for the same work around their classroom. The children were then asked if they would like to give up some of their candies to redistribute the pay. The overwhelming majority of participants chose to intervene against gender-based inequality and redistribute the candies equally.

Dr. Corbit is available to discuss his findings, what they tell us about gender-based inequality and how it is not likely to be an early feature of our psychology.

Media contact:
Alison Auld
Senior Research Reporter
Dalhousie University
Cell: 902-220-0491


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