Do boys get more hongbao money than girls in Singapore?
Do boys get more hongbao money than girls in Singapore? Does subtle gender discrimination actually exist in Singapore?
Do boys get more hongbao money than girls in Singapore? A report in The New Paper has piqued our interest. Apparently, data extracted from 125,000 OCBC children’s accounts between infancy and 15 years old revealed that infants and teenage boys received the most hongbao money, compared to other groups of kids.
Quite surprisingly, the findings reveal that boys between 10 and 12 years old received about $274 more than girls. Is it a case of gender discrimination and upholding of traditional patriarchal values, we wonder? Why do boys get more hongbao money than girls in Singapore?
However, National University of Singapore sociologist Tan Ern Ser remains far from convinced that this disparity is due to gender bias. According to him, there were probably many other factors at work, including social status, number and generosity of red-packet givers, and tendency of some red-packet receivers to spend the money instead of saving it.
He said: “There may still be gender bias in Singapore, but I am not convinced that this is reflected in the lower amounts that girls are getting. My sense is that educated, middle- and upper-class folks are less likely to practise gender discrimination, and with Singapore becoming more of a middle-class society, we would expect the latter to decline.”
What Singaporeans are saying
We did a quick check and most Singaporeans haven’t heard of such a disparity. Samantha Bek, mother of 3 says, “All my 3 kids get the same amount”, a sentiment that is also endorsed by mother of two, Meiling Wong.
Growing up in Singapore, Candice Chin never experienced it either, “My brother and I go visiting together during Chinese New Year and we get the same packets!”
So what could be the possible reasons for this imbalance? Apparently, sometimes variations do happen when:
- It’s the first grandchild in the family.
- Closer relatives obviously get more money than distant ones.
- Sometimes if the boy is the eldest, elderly people tend to give more as the eldest would have to be more responsible and take care of the younger kids.
How to teach children to spend their hongbao money wisely
- Walk the talk: Children learn from parents what good spending and saving behaviour looks like. If we don’t think twice before making unnecessary purchases, chances are our kids will not blink when it comes to spending their money. Instead, every time there is a purchase, have healthy discussions on whether it is a want or an actual need.
- Set a challenge: Make it a game; challenge your child if he can save a certain amount of money over a period of time. Maybe he could deposit his savings in a bank. Praise him every time he exerts control over his urge to spend. Measure how much more it would take to achieve his target. That way, you will notice considerable improvement in his Math skills too!
- Educate your child, teach gratitude: Educate your child that the money that she gets to spend is a privilege, not an entitlement. Teach her about the poverty faced by many others in this world, about their lack of access to even basic amenities. Teach her to be grateful for the simple pleasures of life. Maybe she could even set aside a portion of her money to donate to charity.
(Source: The New Paper)