Infuriating New Study Confirms That It Costs Way More Money to Be a Woman

All that unnecessary pink packaging apparently comes at a price.

Some women already make less money than men for doing the same work. And now, a new study has confirmed what women everywhere have long suspected: there's a tax on women for buying products that are marketed to them. Can't we win, just once?

New York City's consumer affairs division released a study last week called "From Cradle to Grave: The Cost of Being a Female Consumer," and the results will make you furious. Researchers compared 800 products that had clear male and female versions, and found that on average, a product for women cost seven percent more than the same product marketed to men. And across the entire list of products, women's items were priced higher 42 percent of the time.

Here are just a few examples:

Kids' toys:

Pricing gap photo 1

(Image credit: New York City Department of Consumer Affairs)


Pricing gap photo 2

(Image credit: New York City Department of Consumer Affairs)

And razor blades:

Pricing gap photo 3

(Image credit: New York City Department of Consumer Affairs)

This study suggests that over her lifetime, a woman will spend thousands of dollars more than a man does to buy similar products. The reasons for the price disparity are complex, and can sometimes involve pricier ingredients or differences in taxes. Or it might just be because companies think they can get away with it. The city is calling on retailers and manufacturers to reconsider how they price their products. But at the end of the day, a razor is just a razor, even if it's pink rather than blue. So when you're not busy taking down the patriarchy for charging women more, take a moment to peruse the men's razor aisle to save a few bucks.

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Megan Friedman

Megan Friedman is the former managing editor of the Newsroom at Hearst. She's worked at NBC and Time, and is a graduate of Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism.