We know the "tampon tax" is a terrible additional strain on the bank account balances of period-having individuals everywhere. But, it turns out, the cost of every-day items (that, like, come on should be considered gender neutral in 2015) is still a greater financial burden for women than it is for men.
A new study from the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) found that women's products (including adult clothing, personal care products, home health care products for seniors, toys and accessories and children’s clothing) cost, on average, seven percent more than similar products made for men.
The study zeroed in on several comparable products that were world's apart price-wise: Take these terrifying children's bike helmets designed somewhere in my worst nightmares...
The one marketed toward girls costs almost twice as much.
While other items like scooters, jeans and backpacks fair no better, the study finds that the price differences are particularly striking with "personal care products" like shampoo, razor cartridges, lotions and deodorant. (You know, things that you have to stock up on super frequently.)
"Of all the industries analyzed, personal care had the highest premium for women, with products costing, on average, 13 percent more than personal care products for men," the study finds. "Because personal care products are purchased at a higher frequency than the other consumer goods included in this study, this 13 percent difference translates into a significant financial burden for women over the course of a lifetime."
The DCA study linked up their findings to a 1994 study from California that found a $1,351 gender tax per year -- with women paying that much more than men for the same services: "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."
Probably the biggest bummer of all, the study finds, is that so much of this "gender tax" garbage is unavoidable for women who are buying products that are marketed to them (or their kids).
"Though there may be legitimate drivers behind some portion of the price discrepancies unearthed in this study, these higher prices are mostly unavoidable for women," the study's impact report concludes. "Individual consumers do not have control over the textiles or ingredients used in the products marketed to them and must make purchasing choices based only on what is available in the marketplace. As such, choices made by manufacturers and retailers result in a greater financial burden for female consumers than for male consumer."