Study says it, women know it's true: earn less, pay more

"Study says it, women know it's true:  They earn less, pay more"
Bob Dart, Cox News Service

WASHINGTON -- When it's time to pay the bills, women get clipped by
hair stylists, taken to the cleaners by cleaners, hijacked by car
dealers and gender-gouged on everything from health care to auto
insurance, a consumer study showed Monday.

"I found that women truly do pay more == and get less," said Frances
Cerra Whittelsey, author of _Why Women Pay More_, published by consumer
advocate Ralph Nader's Center for Responsive Law.

Blaming both sexism and suckerism, her book documents how womn get
bad deals everywhere from car repair shops to cosmetics counters:

*  Although women buy nearly half of all cars sold in the United
States, they are consistently charged more than men.  A study by a
Northwestern Univeristy law professor found white women paid $150
more than white men did for identical cars.  Black women paid about
$400 more than did black men and about $800 more than white men.

*  In a New York City study where men and women asked the price of
a used car, 42 percent of the car dealers quoted a higher price
(average $496.67 more) to woemn; 36 percent quoted the same prices;
22 percent gave men the higher price (average $183.18 more).

*  Women paid an average of $20 and men $16 for the same basic
shampoo and haircut, another New YHork City study found.

*  To launder and iron a white cotton shirt, cleaners charged over
one-fourth more for women's shirts than for men's, another study
found.  Department stores often did alterations for free for men
purchasing clothes but charged for altering women's clothes.

"women pay more for haircuts and dry cleaning because of 'traditional'
pricing," wrote Whittelsey.  "Women pay more for auto reapirs and used
cars and new cars...because the people who sell these services believe
we are suckers and decidd we are the ones on whothey cna make their
profit margins."


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