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January 05, 2022

Does it cost more to be a woman than a man?

In many cases, the differences between men and women are not subtle.

By stereotype: men like cars, women like shoes. Men like to eat, women like to cook. Men like Tim Allen, women like Mario Cantone.

Yet where money is concerned, the distinction between the two sexes hasn’t always been so clear.

A new study, though, appears to have things cornered. Based on the latest issue of Consumer Reports, it costs significantly more to be a woman than a man.

Of course, you’re wondering how they arrived at such a conclusion. To get there, the magazine analyzed two tiers of consumerism between men and women.

At the outset, Consumer Reports compared six products that have a his-and-hers version: shaving cream, antiperspirant, pain reliever, eye cream, body wash and razors.

The results? Based on retail prices, products tailored specifically for women cost more than 50% extra.

Minor stuff, yes, but still telling.

And now the meat of the study – it looks as if women get shafted on more serious things than just L’Oreal and Degree.

Based on a 2006 U.S. survey, women are 32% more likely than men of similar income to carry subprime mortgages. According to, when the average American prime mortgage rate was 5.87%, rates women took on often topped 7.66%.

“On a $100,000 loan, that’s nearly $120 a month more – about $43,000 more over 30 years,” MSN’s MP Dunleavey writes.

To make matters worse, women appear to be compensated at work at a fraction of their male counterparts. cites Stanford research that suggests if a man makes $100,000/year at one job, a woman – with the equal level of experience – receives only about $78,000 for that same gig.

Startling info, indeed. But as these are bold claims, despite their sound backing, are they true?

Do you see these trends replicated in Canada? Is it more expensive to be a woman than a man?

By Jason Buckland, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

James HaversJames Havers

James is the senior editor of MSN Money living in Toronto. He has worked for the Nikkei Shimbun (Tokyo),,, Canadian Business and other publications. Havers turned to journalism after teaching overseas.

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...