Gender Tax: 10 Things Women Pay More for than Men

women pay more

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:

Dry cleaning

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.

Shaving Cream

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.

New Cars

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.

Unisex Clothing

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.

Car Repairs

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?

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10 Responses to Gender Tax: 10 Things Women Pay More for than Men

  1. ms says:

    Out of curiosity, when you assembled this list did you come across a complementary list of things men pay more for than women?

  2. When we got our life and disability insurance policies, we discovered that men pay more for life insurance and women pay more for disability.

    Paying more for cars and car repairs REALLY bugs me!

  3. getforfree says:

    I am a woman and I don’t use most of the services listed above.

    I don’t use dry cleaning or make up. I use deodorant and shampoo, but I don’t think it costs more than those made specifically for men. I think regular shampoo costs less than the one that is specifically for men. Our whole family (we have a man, a woman, boys and girls) can use the same shampoo and the same bar of soap.

    I have never had bought a new car, and never used repair shops, my husband maintains and fixes our cars.

    I don’t have a health insurance.

    I buy my clothes on clearance, most are 80% off or better. There is more woman’s clothes in any store than men’s, so you get better clearance choices. Also women can wear more different types of clothes, like pants or skirts, dresses. I have both boys and girls, and I would say, it’s easier to find more selection and better discounts on girls clothes than boys. A boy can wear a pair of pants for 1 year or so and then it will get too small. A girl can wear the same skirt for about 3 years because it doesn’t really get small, just too short, and the skirts can be various length’s as oppose to pants. Girls dresses usually last 2 years before they get too small. Tights last long too because they stretch.

    The things that costs more for women are the things that men don’t need, like feminine pads and tampons. Haircuts, if used a salon, but we cut our own hair. Women tend to have longer hair, so they might use more shampoo. Women might use more shaving cream to shave their legs, but I only do that in the summer, so no shaving cream is needed for me in the winter time at all. Also, men tend to be taller and bigger than women, and boys bigger than girls same age, so they might need more food.

    The men and women are just different and have different needs, but I don’t think being one cost more than the other.

  4. getforfree says:

    Maybe just let you husband deal with the cars, so he could get charged less for the same service.

  5. Jeff says:

    How often do women actually pay traffic citations when they’re pulled over? How often does a woman pay anything at all when she goes on a date with a man? Never? I work with a single lady who admits she flirted with a Chrysler dealership sales manager to get a brand new Jeep Liberty at invoice price, a crazy discount!

    My Right Guard deodorant, Gillete shaving products, Head and Shoulders Shampoo, AND Dove+MenCare products ALL cost more than whatever my wife uses.
    I find this entire article to be misinformed and slightly offensive.

  6. Debbie M says:

    Men pay more for car insurance.

    Women pay more for hair cuts.

    Men generally get more pockets, even in coats and blazers.

    Men probably pay more for high heels and other things that generally only come in women’s sizes.

    And as getforfree says, it’s harder to find used clothing for males, and for kids, pants have to be replaced more often than skirts and dresses, both because there is less leeway in length and because the knees go out.

  7. getforfree says:

    I got out of the ticket once, but I don’t think it’s because I am a woman. I didn’t flirt with him. I am not super pretty and don’t usually wear make up or fashionable clothes. I shop clearance and don’t have a fancy hairdo, I have long hair and keep it in a ponytail.

    I apologized to the police officer and I was so upset, I just started crying.

    I think, sometimes it doesn’t matter whether you are male of female, black or white. I was just lucky.

  8. J says:

    I think it’s disgraceful and all you apologists are obviously misogynists who basically just need to leave the world now. It’s men who got us into this mess and women who are getting us out!!!

    Women were kept from the workplace for years and as a result they are paying the price to have to compete in a masculine domain. It’s obvious that men should be taxed more to make up for the damage they have done.

  9. J says:

    This makes my blood boil. You should have reported him for harassment. No matter what you did there should be no reason EVER that a male police officer should be intimidating a defenceless woman so much that it makes her cry.

    He should have a fine to pay and contribute to a womens’ group to prove he is truly sorry.

  10. Alan says:

    Of all of these the one that grates me the most is the healthcare thing.

    Women pay more for health care insurance because they typically live longer than men, a disparity I’ve never seen any feminist care about.

    If women were dying earlier than men it would be a major feminist issue and we’d be wearing ribbons and holding awareness events, calling it patriarchal discrimination and talking about men’s privilege.

    But when it’s men dying early we just blame them for not seeing doctors enough, and publish articles about how women pay more for healthcare?

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