Gender Pricing Discrimination: What You Need to Know
Gender-based pricing occurs when a person is charged a different price for a product or service based on that person’s gender. What you may not realize is that discrimination pricing advantages and disadvantages exist for both men and women.
A study in New York City revealed that, on average, women pay more than men for many products and services.
The most significant difference in pricing appeared in personal care products. Similar results were found when the GAO conducted a review of gender-based pricing differences. Gender-based pricing can have a negative financial impact on women throughout their lifetime.
While the Pink Tax is often the subject of discrimination pricing, men can also be the victims of gender-pricing discrimination. The discrimination pricing advantages and disadvantages impact both men and women, although not evenly.
The Costs of Being a Woman
The Pink Tax has been established through many sources, including the Joint Economic Committee of the United States Congress. The Pink Tax refers to women being charged more than men for the same or significantly similar products and services. Over a woman’s lifetime, the Pink Tax can cost her thousands of dollars.
Some of the examples of The Pink Tax are:
Cars and Car Parts
It is a well-known fact that man car dealerships and auto-repair shops mark up their products and services when dealing with women. The reasons vary, but may have to do with the assumption that women are not as educated about motor vehicles as men.
It is not likely that the dealership or auto repair shop dislikes women. It is more likely to do with outdated gender roles and stereotypes. In the early 1990s, the difference in quotes for women versus men for new cars was more common than it is today.
However, it still happens. Recent studies show that women are still quoted higher rates for car repairs compared to men. One noticeable difference was when women admit they have no idea of the price. They are quoted much higher for the car or car repair.
Women who want to avoid The Pink Tax when they purchase vehicles or need car repairs should do their research first. Use online resources for pricing new vehicles and car repairs in your area. By having this information, you can avoid paying more than necessary for motor vehicles and car repairs based solely on your gender.
Study after study shows that women pay more for beauty products than men. Beauty products are the most well-known examples of gender pricing discrimination. An example given in the Senate report is for Schick razors.
The women’s Schick razors cost $7.51 compared to $4.99 for the men’s razors. Other examples of beauty products that cost more for women than men include shampoos, lotion, body wash. Even though the products may have the same ingredients and be the same size, beauty products for “women” can cost two or more dollars for the same product.
One of the best ways to save money is to compare products. Most products marketed specifically for men or women are the same or have very slight differences. If the products have the same or similar ingredients, purchase the men’s version.
Try beauty products for men that are priced lower than similar products for women. If you like the product, you can save money by using the product marketed for men.
Women are generally charged more for dry cleaning services than men. CBS News went undercover to find out why.
The female producer was charged more for dry cleaning in more than half of the businesses they visited. One dry cleaner charged $3 more to dry clean a shirt. The shirts were nearly identical.
One reason given for the price difference was that different machines and procedures are used to launder a woman’s shirt. Some dry cleaners hand press women’s clothing, which does take longer than using the machines.
The only real way to save money is to shop around for a dry cleaner with the lowest prices or buy clothing that does not require dry cleaning.
Gender-based price discrimination is common in the insurance industry. Women are routinely charged more for their health care plans than men. There could be several reasons.
Women have several health care concerns that men do not share, such as contraceptives and pregnancies. Insurance companies used this difference as a reason to charge women higher health insurance premiums. The Affordable Care Act ended gender discrimination for health insurance coverage.
Women concerned with the high cost of health care insurance should shop around for a policy that fits their needs and is priced competitively with other companies.
The Costs of Being a Man
Men also experience gender-based price discrimination. Some areas in which men are generally charged more than women are:
Car insurance companies deem men more of a liability to insure compared to women. They claim that men are more likely to get into car accidents compared to women.
While some of these assumptions are based on gender roles and stereotypes, there is data to back up the allegations. For almost every year from 1975 through 2018, more than twice the number of men died in auto accidents than women. In 2018, seventy-one percent of motor vehicle fatalities were men.
Men typically drive more miles than women. They also engage in risky driving practices more of the time compared to women, such as driving while impaired, failing to wear seat belts, and speeding, which can increase the risk of car accidents. Motorcycle insurance can be extremely high for males because motorcycle accidents are more likely to occur than car accidents and cause severe injuries.
Men can save on car insurance premiums by shopping around for the best rates. They can also work to improve their driving record to pay less for car insurance.
Unfortunately, some drivers are uninsured because they cannot afford or do not want to pay for car insurance. It is essential to understand how to handle a car accident with an uninsured driver. Report the accident to your insurance company immediately because you may have a claim under your uninsured motorist coverage.
You may also want to speak with a car accident lawyer as soon as possible. A lawyer can help you review your options and explain your legal rights. Knowing your legal rights can help you avoid making a mistake that could hurt your chance of recovering compensation for your car accident injuries.
Men do not receive the same treatment as women do in clubs and bars. Many establishments offer “Ladies Night Out” events in which women do not pay cover fees and have special drink offers. Even on regular nights, men can pay double for the same drinks in a nightclub compared to women.
If men want to save money, they can have women purchase the drinks for them and reimburse them for the cost. They can also search for less costly clubs that offer special deals for both men and women.
Men are also treated differently at spas. For men who enjoy spa treatments, they may pay much more for these services than women pay. Even when the service is the same, the rate for men is more than women.
One argument for the price increase is that men do not use these services routinely. Therefore, it takes longer to clean their nails when they do decide to have a mani-pedi. Some salons claim that men have more body hair than women, so the cost of waxing is higher.
How do you save money on salon and spa services? The same way as women. Shop around for a spa that does not charge more for services for men or bases the charge for services on the time it takes to complete the treatment.
Gender Pricing Laws
As discussed above, The Affordable Care Act ended gender-based pricing discrimination for health insurance. However, the federal government is not the only legal entity seeking to end the discrimination pricing advantages and disadvantages men and women experience.
According to the GAO, California has a Gender Tax Repeal Act of 1995 that prohibits businesses from charging different prices for the same or similar services. Miami-Dade County in Florida has two similar laws, the Gender Pricing Ordinance and Dry Cleaning and Laundering Ordinance.
New York City passed City Council Bill Number 804-A in 1998 that prohibits businesses from basing prices solely on gender. New Jersey banned ladies’ nights at area establishments to prevent gender pricing.
While the Pink Tax may still exist, governments are working to prevent gender-based price discrimination for both genders.