Recently, there have been a number of stories in the news about how women pay more for certain items than men. If you’ve ever gone into a store, you might have noticed that similar products for men and women do sometimes have a drastic price difference. Unfortunately, this is an all too common occurrence. Here are a few items that tend to be priced higher for women than men:
Have you ever gone to drop off some dry cleaning and noticed that a dress is maybe $5 more expensive to clean than a man’s suit? Or that a woman’s blouse is a bit pricier to clean than a man’s dress shirt? There are often a lot of excuses given for why a certain item costs more to clean than another, but women generally pay a good deal more for dry cleaning than men do.
Soaps and Shampoos
Very often, soaps and shampoos are made with similar (if not identical) materials and ingredients regardless of whether they’re marketed towards women or men. The only difference is usually the scent and color of the packaging. However, many soaps and shampoos for women are twice the cost of what they are for men. There usually isn’t any reason for this price difference, especially once you realize that aside from the scent or packaging, the soap or shampoo is usually made with the same ingredients.
There have been various studies about the varying costs of deodorant, most of which have concluded that women can sometimes pay up to $1 more than men. When researchers from the University of Central Florida questioned manufacturers about the price difference, they were told that products made for women were more expensive to produce. However, the researchers determined that the only notable difference in deodorant or other cosmetic products aimed at men and women was the scent.
Women tend to pay more for shaving cream as well. A Washington DC news team compared shaving creams marketed towards men and women and found that shaving cream for women was $2.49 compared to the $1.99 price for a similar product aimed at men. Moreover, the shaving cream for women had 4 ounces less than the shaving cream for men. While a $0.50 difference might not seem like a huge deal, it can add up to hundreds of dollars over a lifetime.
A study done by Yale Law School (pdf) revealed that women pay more when buying a new car compared to men. This, it was determined, was done because some car salesmen assumed that women knew nothing about cars, bargaining, or the retail value of the vehicles they were considering. Going on this assumption, they were unlikely to compromise as much as they would for men thus forcing women to pay more for the same vehicle.
In the past year you might have seen something in the news about how much more women pay in healthcare costs per year. You might not have realized it, but women pay about $1 billion more in healthcare costs than men in the United States. Women generally pay a higher premium for health insurance than men, and insurance companies usually claim that it’s because women need more expensive procedures and care throughout their lives. A common one is that women have babies, but the problem is that many health care policies exclude the cost of child birth. What’s more, there are certain preventative procedures that are covered for men but that aren’t covered for women, forcing them to pay more out of pocket to finance medical bills.
Women use more cosmetics than men, so it’s understandable that they can be expected to pay more for them. However, when there are two similar products for men or women, women are still being asked to pay more. For instance, eye revitalizers from Neutrogena that are marketed toward women are $5 more expensive than the same Neutrogena product marketed toward men.
Marie Claire magazine did a study in 2012 about the various items women pay more for compared to men. One of the things they noted was that women tend to get charged higher interest rates on loans or credit cards. They stated that in 2006, the Consumer Federation of America announced that women were typically charged around a 3.2% higher interest rate than men. Anyone who has paid interest on a loan or credit card knows that interest significantly adds up after awhile. Essentially, women who are charged a higher interest rate based solely on their gender and not their credit history are paying thousands of dollars more than men who most likely have a similar financial history.
While the University of Central Florida study quoted earlier focuses on cosmetic products, they do mention in the study that women typically pay more money for gender neutral clothing (pdf). For instance, they state, a t-shirt or sweatshirt that is unisex and put in both the men or women’s section of the store carries a higher price tag in the women’s section.
There have been a lot of studies and experiments about the cost of car repairs for men and women. What many of these studies have determined is that some repair shops charge women more than men, especially if the mechanic believes that the woman is uninformed about cars or car repairs.
This is just a sampling of the products and services that women end up paying more for than men. What other things, in your experience, do women end up paying more for even when the product or service is similar for both?