The Pink Tax: An Unequal Representation

What if you were taxed for items that are deemed a necessity to your hygienic health based solely on your sex? This is exactly what is plaguing many Americans today. This unequal taxation is often referred to as the “pink tax,” a term used to describe the marked price difference between goods and services marketed especially towards women. For example, a prominent sociologist has observed women pay on average $1.44 per ounce of deodorant while men pay $1.15 per ounce of deodorant. Feminine hygiene products, deodorant, and razors are just a few of the goods that fall under the pink tax because they are labeled as luxury items. According to the federal government, any item that is related to feminine hygiene is considered a luxury item and is therefore taxed based on a specific state’s laws. Through a review of scholarly literature and an original survey, the present research aims to inform the public on the implications of the pink tax, including demonstrating whether or not it is unconstitutional.

  • Poster
  • By reviewing scholarly literature and generating an original survey of college students, the present research aims to educate the public on the implications of the pink tax, a sex-based form of discrimination, and demonstrate whether it is unconstitutional to women, families, and anyone who contains a uterus in America.

  • Sociology, Political Science, Social Work, Gender and Sexuality

8 thoughts on “The Pink Tax: An Unequal Representation”

  1. Very interesting Harlee.

    As a political science major, I find your research to be intriguing. Out of curiosity, did you ever see the ad campaign Burger King did by charging more money for a pink box of fries than a regular box? It was meant to raise awareness.

    1. I did not see the original Burger King campaign when it came out but it did pop up numerous times during my research. I thought about adding it to the Encouraging Accounts section of my presentation but I found it difficult to find proper scholarly sources to include with it. Thank you for your comment and question.

  2. Thank you for such a wonderful presentation on an important topic, Harlee! It’s so crazy to think that items that are essential to maintaining a woman’s health are “luxury items,” and are more expensive.

    I’m not sure if you already know this or not, but as of today, April 1st, the “Pink Tax” in the state of Ohio is no longer applied to feminine hygiene products! Small victories!

    1. Thank you for your comment Morgan and your additional information. I did not know about the tax no longer applying to feminine hygiene products in Ohio. I greatly appreciate you letting me know. I can now research this and create an updated version of this research project for a later student conference this month. One small victory for women in Ohio is one large victory for all women!

  3. cdtyree20@icloud.com

    Harlee,
    Wow! This is a great topic to bring awareness to others, especially women about the gender gap still being in full effect even in todays society. I have heard of the “Pink Tax” before, but I had no idea that it was on that many things. As Morgan mentioned in a previous comment the way I had heard about it is by Ohio stopping the Pink Tax on feminine hygiene products. The fact that the same products are used yet ours is more because they are considered a luxury yet for men who have the same items don’t have to pay the extra tax is ridiculous. Hopefully more states get on board with stopping the Pink Tax all together because it still represents that there is unequal treatment between men and women even in 2020. This was a great presentation, and I learned quite a few new things that I had not known about before watching. Thank you so much for sharing it with us today.
    Caitlin Tyree

  4. Tiffany Nascimento

    I am so glad to see this topic represented at the conference! Thank you for such a quality presentation! It is so important to spread an awareness of the “Pink Tax.” It’s ridiculous that basic feminine hygiene products are considered a luxury. This tax, in my opinion, outright goes against the U.N.’s Declaration of Human Rights. Hygiene is not a luxury. It’s a necessity. I remember the day that Ohio abolished the “Pink Tax.” What a good day that was, too.

  5. I knew that the “pink tax” was an issue but I never thought that it could be ruled unconstitutional. I’m not sure the Toxic Shock Syndrome has anything to do with what makes up a tampon, but rather inserting a foreign object regardless. As for the dry cleaning, is that not just because of the materials used in “female” verses “male” clothing items? For example “women’s” clothing tends not to be made of tweed while some “male” items are.

  6. Jonathan Bontrager

    Harlee,
    Interesting take on this; well-delivered! Just curious, did either yourself or any of the studies you referenced attempt to take into consideration the different choices men and women tend to make based on their needs or preferences? For instance, do you think that the lower price of generic deodorant compared to deodorant branded for women may be due to a higher demand among female consumers for a product with more ingredients, such as certain fragrances?
    Thanks!
    Jonathan

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