Things That Cost More for Women
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10 Things That Cost More for Women (or Men)

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Things That Cost More for Women
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Gender Gap

Consumers might pay different prices depending on where and when they buy, their memberships, and a host of other factors. But what about their gender? For some goods and services, there are differences in the prices men and women pay — maybe only a few dollars or percentage points here and there, but they can add up over time. It's most often women paying more, which could be seen as doubly unfair, given the oft-cited statistic that women working full-time make only about 79 cents for every dollar men take home. But in some cases, it's men who pay a premium.

Related: 11 Careers Where Women Are Paid More Than Men

Women Pay More for Haircuts
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Women Pay More for Haircuts

This is sort of expected, because most women have more hair than most men. But costs are higher even when a woman gets the same haircut as a man, according to research in the peer-reviewed Journal of Consumer Policy in 2000. Hairstylists in Denmark were outraged when that country's Gender Equality Board ruled in 2013 that men and women had to be charged the same, and style professionals defended the price difference by saying they spent more time on women.

Women Pay More to Launder Shirts
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Women Pay More to Launder Shirts

While dry-cleaning for pants and suits costs roughly the same, women's shirts often cost more than men's. Sure, they may be made of delicate fabric or have embellishments, but even those that are identical to men's except for the label cost more to get laundered. The culprit is sometimes industrial pressing machines that are sized for men's shirts, an economist told The New York Times, although that doesn't explain why small men aren't charged for hand-pressing.

Women Pay More for Cars
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Women Pay More for Cars

Here's a gap that's shrinking, according to a study analyzing the new car market. Car dealers make almost $250 more than their lowest price when selling to older women. Young women, though, do at least as well as men in their demographic in price negotiations. A 2015 report by Today found that, when a man and woman went undercover shopping for the same car, they were quoted the same price an equal number of times and were discriminated against an equal number as well. Luckily, with car-buying services like Costco and car-buying websites like Vroom and Carvana, it's becoming less necessary for anyone — male or female — to have to negotiate in person.

Cheapest Oil Change
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Women Pay More for Car Repairs

Even if men and women pay the same for a car, keeping it running may still cost a woman more. In a 2012 study crafted by researchers at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management, women calling to replace a specific car part were charged an average 6% more than men if they admitted having no idea what the part should cost (but if they asked for a discount later, they were a little more likely to get one than a man was). The researchers found that when a caller provides their own price estimate, "all gender differences disappear." Another research study in 2017 encountered similar results.

Women Pay More for Most Personal Care Items
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Women Pay More for Most Personal Care Items

For women, grooming is (mostly) more expensive than it is for men according to a report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO). The report looked at deodorant, shaving gel and cream, razors, perfume, and body sprays. For those marketed to women, half were more expensive, though razors and shaving gel for men cost more. A recent study by Massachusetts General Hospital also found that women pay more for facial moisturizers than men. Ladies, if you're buying a personal care product (especially one that's unscented), consider shopping in the guy's aisle. 

Women Pay More for Clothing
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Women Pay More for Clothing

One prime example is jeans, especially now that "boyfriend jeans" are in style. Prices for Levi's 501 jeans vary by style, but similar washes cost $80 for men and $168 for women. Similar shirts, too, cost more for women than men, and it starts from infancy. A report by the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs called "From Cradle to Cane: The Cost of Being a Female Consumer" says clothing for girls costs about 4% more.

Women Pay More for Health Care
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Women Pay More for Health Care

Women between the ages of 19 and 44 spend much more on healthcare than men. Granted, these are the childbearing years, but later in life the gap persists. Healthcare spending for women 65 and older is about 7% higher than for men in the same age bracket, according to 2014 data from the Centers for Medicare Medicaid Services.

Women Pay More for Mortgages
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Women Pay More for Mortgages

This might be most disconcerting of all for women, accounting for many thousands of dollars over a lifetime: A 2011 study found women saddled with higher-interest mortgages. Although the study's authors theorized that women were less likely than men to search for the lowest rate, a follow-up in 2015 showed even worse outcomes for black women. And researchers from the Woodstock Institute found that female applicants in Chicago were less likely to get a home loan at all. Ironically, if women do get a mortgage, they are less likely to default than male owners. 

Women Pay More for Car Insurance
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Women Pay More for Car Insurance

According to Insurance Institute for Highway Safety data going back to 1975, men tend to drive more miles, be riskier and more aggressive drivers, and get into worse accidents, so it's no surprise that the popular perception is that men pay more for insurance. But a 2017 study by the Consumer Federation of America finds that women with perfect driving records pay significantly more than men with identical driving records. Premiums were lower for 20-year old women than for 20-year old men most of the time, but not always. GEICO charged young female drivers more than young male drivers in nine of ten cities. Male or female, it's a good idea to ask for a discount

Men Pay More for Nightlife
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Men Pay More for Nightlife

Ladies' night at a bar or nightclub usually translates to free entry and drink specials for women. Although this practice caters to straight men by enticing women into bars, some men see it as discriminatory that they're stuck paying cover and full prices — and have taken businesses to court (with mixed success).