After a study was conducted by the Department of Consumer Affairs NY, analyzing and comparing over 800 item prices, researchers have found that women pay more than men for the same items. The products in question ranged from beauty products, as well as personal and health care products, to children’s clothing and toys offered by both brick-and-mortar stores and online stores.
The price disparity is on average 7% higher for women than for men, with only around 4 men items costing more than the version marketed towards women. This is extremely surprising, taking into account the fact that most items simply differ in color, products towards women being commonly colored in pink.
Besides color or design differences, there isn’t much difference between, for instance, a man’s razor and a woman’s razor, even if the latter is priced higher than the other. The same can be applied to toys, with girls having to pay almost 50% more for items when compared to boys. Shampoos, bike helmets, jeans, basically every item on the list showed signs of differences, sometimes even reaching 80% increases.
This gender discrimination is more than likely spread out across the US, not only in the Manhattan region from where the products were originated from. One of the reasons why this so-called gender tax exists is because it is a rather viable business practice.
Even if women on average have a lower hourly income than man, with a difference of about 21 cents, they still pay more for products which are almost completely the same. Why this occurs is still in the realm of speculation by this point.
Another reason could be the common misconception that women products are generally more luxurious than men’s, even if they have the same ingredients. For instance, men shampoo’s are considered to be simpler when compared to women shampoos. Razor blades meant for legs need to leave the skin smooth and silky, even if men’s razor do the exact same thing for a cheaper price.
In order for this to disappear, the market isn’t the only factor that needs a massive overhaul. The general public needs to revamp its way of thinking as well. The “boyfriend style” women jeans marketed by Levi’s are basically men’s jeans with another label, even if they cost around $20 more. When presented with an item that might have a men-targeted counterpart, women buyers should consider the latter as a much more viable option.
Because women pay more than men for the same items, the public masses need to change as a whole in order to effectively eliminate this unjust “gender tax”. But the change needs to come from within before we hope to consider the market will change as well, mostly due to the fact that this business practice has been cemented in its place for dozens of years up to this point. It will take a massive public outcry in order for this to be quelled effectively.