The City of New York in a recent study of 800 products found that those marketed to women tend to cost more than those for men.
The city’s Department of Consumer Affairs said the study revealed that in the 35 categories of products it looked at, all but five contained products more expensive for women. It found that products cost an average of 7 percent more than those meant for men, and that stuff marketed to women cost more 42 percent of the time, compared with men’s products, which cost more 18 percent of the time.
Here’s an example of some products where it found a gender gap. It includes two scooters sold by Target that appear identical — except the one for girls is pink, and it costs twice as much.
Washington Post asked Target about the scooter discrepancy:
A Target spokesperson said the company lowered the price of the pink scooter after the report was released Friday, calling the discrepancy a “system error.” (The retailer blamed the same kind of glitch last year after catching heat for selling black Barbies at more than double the price of white Barbies.)
The agency looked at stores in New York City, but it’s part of a larger problem, DCA Commissioner Julie Menin said, noting that women are generally paid less than men.
“It’s a double whammy,” she told the Washington Post. “And it’s not just happening in New York. You see in the aisles the issue is clearly applicable to consumers across the country.”
The biggest gaps in prices were found in hair care, which cost women an average of 48 percent more than men, according to The Post. That’s more than four times the second place category, razor cartridges, which cost 11 percent more than they do for men.
This gender gap has existed for a while, as The Post notes.
In 1991, Ayres, a professor at Yale Law School, sent men and women to car dealerships across the Chicago area. He learned white women were charged 40 percent more than white men, supporting the stereotype that dealers assume women knew less about car values.
There’s no federal law against pricing based on gender, though California and Dade County in Florida both have laws on the books. California banned it in 1996, citing a study that found “adult women effectively pay a gender tax which costs each woman approximately $1,351 annually, or about $15 billion for all women in California.”