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Women Are Charged a ‘Female Tax’ on Consumer Items

Women’s products were, on average, 7 percent costlier.

Image by the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs

The New York Consumer Affairs Board released a report, ”From Cradle to Cane: The Cost of Being a Female Consumer,” which revealed that women are paying more for certain items, which are being marketed to men at lower costs. Based on a study analyzing almost 800 men’s and women’s products at different NYC retailers, the researchers found that women’s products cost, on average, 7 percent more than identical men’s products. Women’s products cost more than men’s products 42 percent of the time.

Researchers from the Consumer Affairs Board found this pattern present in products across the board: Women pay 7 percent more then men for toys and accessories; they’re charged 8 percent more on adult clothing; women’s personal care products cost, on average, 13 percent more than men’s personal care items. For example, the average price of women’s shampoo and conditioner was $8.39; an analogous men’s product, however, cost only $5.68. Women’s razors cost $8.90, whereas men paid $7.99 for essentially the same product.

“Over the course of a woman’s life, the financial impact of these gender-based pricing disparities is significant,” the authors write in the study. “While DCA’s study does not estimate an annual financial impact of gender pricing for goods, the findings of this study suggest women are paying thousands of dollars more over the course of their lives to purchase similar products as men.”

The Consumer Affairs Board is hoping the findings of this study will spur conversation online—they want consumers to post about their own observations of gender-based product pricing disparities with the hashtag #genderpricing.

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