8 Times It’s More Expensive To Be A Woman

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While women might have considerably more rights in the West now than they did at other points in history, they’re still paying for their gender, literally. Women tend to incur a significant hike in prices for similar items purchased by men. Take a look at some of the differences below.

Dry-Cleaning Options

While many people prefer to wash their own clothes rather than send them out for dry-cleaning, sometimes, you live in a city where that just isn’t viable. While only certain items are more expensive for women rather than men, when it comes to dry-cleaning, the fact remains that there is a disparity.

According to a study which was published in 2011 in Gender Issues, a men’s shirt costs an average of $2.06 to get dry-cleaned, whereas women’s shirts tend to cost an average of $3.95. This is all prior to factoring in the higher costs of dry-cleaning shirts that have embellishments, such as pleats, or that are a more delicate fabric, such as silk.

Dry cleaning racks full of clothes
m0851 on Unsplash

Were both a man and a woman to send out one shirt for dry-cleaning just once each month for a decade, the average cost would be $247.20 for the man—accounting for today’s costs—and it would cost the woman $474.


The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics published a study back in 2011 which discovered that men tend to end up paying less for mortgages than women do; women’s interest rates are, as a mean, 0.4 percent higher than they are for their male counterparts.

According to the authors, “The disparity cannot be fully explained by traditional variables such as mortgage features, borrower characteristics, and market conditions.” This basically means that even if a woman has a credit score or qualifying factors that are the same as a man’s, she will still end up paying more.

The authors don’t place the blame on gender discrimination in this case. Rather, they argue that men pay less than women here because women “are more likely to choose lenders by recommendation, while men tend to search for the lowest rate.”

Toy house with keys sitting next to it
Tierra Mallorca on Unsplash

Regardless, this difference between what men and women pay might end up costing thousands for women in the future.


Granted, Uber and other driving services like Lyft are increasingly popular nowadays, but back in 2001, The American Economic Review published a study which concluded that car dealers have a habit of giving white men better first offers than what they offer white women or black women; this difference can be more than $200, and more than $400, respectively.

It gets even more incriminating though, because the final markups end up being nearly 50 percent higher when comparing what white women would have to pay opposed to men, and over 100 percent higher when comparing what black women would have to pay.

Not only that, but the authors noted that white men could generally get “a better offer than their counterparts achieved after bargaining on average for more than forty minutes,” and this is without even having to negotiate with the dealer.

Inside car dealership
SCREEN POST on Unsplash

Despite the age of the study, it’s believed by a hefty amount of experts that things haven’t changed so much in this respect.


It’s not exactly shocking that it costs a whole lot more for a woman to get her locks chopped than it does for a man, though not just for the reason you’d think. It isn’t all because of the oft-more elaborate haircuts that women tend to get than what men will order up.

Catherine Liston-Heyes, an economist, noted that even after calling a slew of “hairdressers and explicitly [saying] we had the same haircut [as a man],” it was still going to cost more.

Back in 1996, there was a study conducted in Manhattan which came to a similar conclusion, though the City That Never Sleeps has progressed to banning pricing that is gender-based.

Black woman with dreads
Jazmin Quaynor on Unsplash

Of course, this doesn’t mean it’s not still utilized. Liston-Heres suggests that it might be the average extra effort and time that a hairdresser must put in to cut a woman’s hair. Either way, you’re paying more. (Ulta, anyone?)


Regardless of how old you are, if you’re a woman, you should always be prepared to pay more for what you wear, despite how similar it might be to the male version.

The Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) in New York City conducted a study that focused on gender pricing and came to the conclusion that ladies’ products tend to be more expensive than those sold to and intended for men, regardless of their similarities.

Not only did the study discover that women are typically paying seven percent more for their products than men are paying for theirs, adult clothing costs eight percent more for women to purchase than it costs men.

Woman shopping, looking at clothes
Cam Morin on Unsplash

Shirts tend to cost 15 percent more for women than men, while dress shirts and jeans have a difference of about 13 and 10 percent, respectively. Good thing Forever 21 sells clothing for men and women now, so maybe you can swap.

Personal Hygiene Products

Not only does it generally cost women much more time to get ready in the morning than it does for men, but all those makeup products really add up.

A video from Glamour showed just how much. Granted, some of these costs are broached in the above section. Shampoo and conditioner, both of which cost $4.99, were put alongside with body wash ($7.99), seven shower scrubbies ($2.99 each), four razors ($11.99 each), three shaving gels ($3.79 each), and a hair pick ($3.29) added up to a yearly average of $191.37 for a woman.

The men’s products, which consisted of just a 2-in-1 Shampoo/Conditioner, some face wash, soap, five razors, and three shaving gels, came in at $185.76.

Hand with soap suds
Matthew Tkocz on Unsplash

Thankfully, both paid $3.99 for six toothbrushes, and $5.79 for six things of toothpaste, bringing the totals for the beginning of each routine up to $250.05 a year for women, and $244.44 a year for men.


As the man in the Glamour video is using a beard trimmer ($34.99), the woman is applying toner ($8.79), one of three she’ll have to purchase in the year alone. The cotton ball that she’s using to apply said toner, costs $2.69, though she’ll have to purchase three packages during the year.

You would think that at least deodorant, like toothpaste, would be equal ground for both genders. After all, both the man and woman will have to purchase about four during the course of the year, but yet, the man is applying a stick of deodorant that costs $3.29 each, while the woman is applying a stick which costs $5.99 each.

Toothbrushes lined up
Filip Baotić on Unsplash

You know what men will never have to pay for though? Anything related to that time of the month. As the woman moves off-screen with her tampon, from one of ten boxes ($8.99 each) she’ll have to buy during the year, the man moves to apply construction cream ($30 each), which he’ll have to purchase four times in the year.


It shouldn’t be remotely shocking that cosmetics present a significant disparity in general. After all, while there are certainly men who wear makeup, it’s more common for women to, not least because society often deems that makeup is necessary and is a major determining factor in whether a woman is attractive or even presentable in social and professional situations alike.

In this video alone, it is abundantly clear just how much this is costing women. Here are just a few of the items used. Both the man and woman apply moisturizer—$9.79 for her, and she’ll have to buy it four times during the year, and $8.99 for him, and he’ll only have to buy it three times)—before she then puts on daily SPF ($10.99 each, and it’s one of four). She sprays $115 perfume (one of two), and he sprays $90 cologne (also one of two).

The woman applies $24 curl enhancer, one of four, and he applies $10 beard balm—also one of four. She applies $52 primer (one of three), $53 foundation (one of three) using a $55 foundation brush, $36 concealer (one of three), $68 bronzer (one of two), uses a $55 powder brush, and $38 blush (one of two).

Makeup brushes in focus, with makeup and vanity blurry in background
Jamie Street on Unsplash

Her $17 brow gel (one of two), $5.79 eyelash curler, $8.99 mascara (one of four), $16 eyeshadow (one of two), uses a $25 eye shadow brush, and $26 lip pencil (one of two) all help to bring her up to a grand total of $1,832.55, compared to the man’s $691.52. Keep in mind, this is all before factoring in the cost of clothing.

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