BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — A new study shows that women pay an average of about seven percent more than men for the same products.
CBS found in a study that the discrimination goes beyond retail. As part of the investigation, a male producer and a female producer each bought almost exactly the same button down shirts in similar sizes. They took them in to get dry-cleaned and asked for the same service.
The woman was charged at least twice as much in more than half the businesses they visited. The same thing happens for products like razors, and toys like scooters.
Dry cleaner owners say the machines are designed for men’s clothing, and women’s shirts simply don’t fit. Price gouging for services is illegal in New York, but there is no federal law and no legislation that prevents it in retail.
Lawyers say part of the problem is that the extra costs begin when the product enters the U.S., in the form of import taxes. It’s a practice that dates back to the 1800s, when women’s hats and gloves were taxed higher.
News 4 asked viewers on Twitter and Facebook if they think government officials should force companies to charge the same for men’s and women’s products. The Twitter poll showed 51 percent of voters in favor of the idea and 49 percent saying it is not necessary.
One of the lawyers CBS spoke with said it is really in consumers’ hands to force the change by what they buy.