Should Boys And Girls Toys And Clothes Cost The Same?

Should Boys And Girls Toys And Clothes Cost The Same?

Have you ever noticed that toys and clothes for girls seem to be more expensive than those aimed at boys?

If so, you're not alone. Two thirds of parents have noticed a kids ‘gender pay gap’ with stores charging more for almost identical items depending on whether they're aimed at girls or boys.

Worryingly, the gender price gap begins when children are as young as 12 months, with 71 per cent of parents claiming they are forced to pay more for items for girls.

The research, carried out by parenting site ahead of International Women’s Day (March 8th), found a blue and green striped jacket from George at Asda costs £8-£9 for 1-6-year-olds, but a similar jacket in pink rises to £10-£12 in the same store.

When it comes to underwear, a pack of boy’s briefs in Marks and Spencer will set parents back £4-£7, while the same number of girl’s briefs will amount to £6-£8.

And it's not just clothes – pair of blue inline roller skates in Argos costs £7.99, while the pink pair rises to £10.99.

According to the research, girls aren’t always paying more, however. A pair of white skinny jeans from River Island are priced at £20 for boys but just £16 for girls.

But fifty-eight per cent of parents reckon they have to pay more for accessories aimed at young girls, while 52 per cent believe the cost of a girl’s coat is often higher than one for a boy.

By contrast, boys are charged more for shoes, noticed by 28 per cent of parents, and jeans (44%).

On average, girls’ items were priced at 21 per cent higher than the equivalent item for boys, but the items where boys were charged more averaged just 13.5 per cent more expensive.

Previous studies have shown adult women are regularly charged more for items ranging from razors to dry cleaning in a move called the ‘pink tax’ - with the same average price gap of 21 per cent as female toddlers and young girls.

MPs have debated clamping down on the practice for adults and now a huge 97 per cent of the 1,156 parents polled by want gender-based pricing for children’s items stamped out too.

Fifty-five per cent are calling for it to be made illegal, while 42 per cent back a voluntary code of conduct for retailers and manufacturers.

Almost three in five think gender pricing is simply a ‘rip off’ by retailers designed to hit parents, with 55 per cent claiming stores believe parents will pay more for girls’ items.

A further 56 per cent believe retailers make it difficult to compare prices by dividing items into ‘boys’ and ‘girls’ sections, with 37 per cent saying they would back moves to make all kids’ items ‘gender-neutral’.

As a result, a third of mums and dads are shunning stores which use gender-based pricing and 22 per cent have ‘named and shamed’ firms using gender-based pricing on social media.

However, 15 per cent also believe stores are beginning to end gender-pricing discrimination as parents are becoming wise to the practice.

Siobhan Freegard, founder of, said:

“Treating baby girls as a commodity to be exploited aged just 12 months old is terrible. The so-called ‘pink tax’ is bad enough for adult women but a pink tax for tots is just plain wrong. There’s simply no justification for charging more based on gender. An item which is the same or similar should have the same or a similar price tag, regardless of which gender wears or uses it. Luckily, parents are becoming more and more aware of the practise, which should mean more firms becoming reluctant to do it.”

We'd love to hear your thoughts on this story. Do you notice that items for girls cost more than those for boys? Or do you overcome this by going for gender-neutral toys and clothes where possible? Leave us a comment her or come and join the conversation over on our Facebook page.

And don't forget to take part in our pink tax poll!


Reply to
  • Jenna C.

    I only emailed a company yesterday for charging more for the pink back pack than the same modelled blue one :-( So annoying!!

    • Vikki T.

      Buy the blue one then

      • Jenna C.

        Vikki Turner I have two girls, they don't do blue!!

      • Suzanne H.

        Boys and girls clothes should cost all the same. However if I have to pay more for pink then to be honest I would pay it. My girl loves pink and so do I.

        • Eleanor J.

          If they are identical other than colour then yes, how the same back pack in pink is more expensive to make than the blue one I’m not sure. Unless it’s the dying process?

          • Jaime Y.

            Clothes should cost according to style not colour. But if a parent is willing to pay more for pink than blue then more fool them

            • Rebecca M.

              This really annoys me having a girl who loves pink. Someone once said that as blue is more unisex they can make them in bigger bulks, reducing the cost, whether this is true I don't know, but does annoyingly make sense.

              • Lucy G.

                I just find that as a mother of boys the choice of colours of clothing is rubbish compared to girls but I also see the mass of pink and purple nonsense and thank god I don’t have to be pressured into buying it!

                • Laura S.

                  You can find some lovely bright colours and prints for boys if you look around. H&m do some lovely bits, frugi, kits, Piccalilly, Duns, m&s

                • Sarah A.

                  Its the same for pink razors are dearer than mens

                  • Toni W.

                    That's why I buy the men's! :joy: you get more in the pack for less money too x

                  • Vikki T.

                    If you feel the need to buy pink just because you have a girl you deserve to pay more. More fool you if feel that the generic colour isnt suitable and you need pink.

                    • Kirsty H.

                      Some little girls actually like pinks and purples why should people pay more just for trying to get things their children actually like

                      • Kadeeann M.

                        I'm not a pink lover ... but majority of the time you walk into the girls section and it's pink overload in there. Asda being the worst I've found so far .

                        • Hollie G.

                          My daughter loves pinks and purple and would rather wear these colours that anything else. Why should I have to pay more for a pink t short than a blue one? Makes no sense x

                          • Vikki T.

                            The fact there is a pink version of toy that already exists is ridiculous. It's fine for girls to like pink but they dont need it ramming down their throats and convinced they need to fit in with the outdated stereotype that people want to force on them. Girls in pink is a fairly recent concept. And i dont think you would pay more for a pink tshirt than a blue tshirt. Clothes are clothes. Kadeeann McConnell yeah asda are one of the worst. Morrison's are usually pretty good though. I tend to buy more individual stuff when i can like from Facebook makers. Frugi are a good brand too and do much bolder colours and prints (pricey though)

                          • Alison R.

                            Agree that colours of the same design should be priced the same but as a mother of two boys, the lack of choice for boys is appalling and there is little in the way of unisex either :rage: it’s always split along gender lines with girls having more choice

                            • Rachael S.

                              Because they don’t actually sell many boys things!

                              • Kirsty M.

                                My daughter costs more in general to my son ... maybe I made her that way? I did notice a boys shirt in primark £4 but a girls £6 .. maybe it was longer? Maybe dress/tunic design? Didn't really compare! Either way I can get my children an outfit each for roughly the same price Shirt, jeans for my son costs the same as a dress for my daughter. Boxer shorts are more expensive than knickers but tights are more expensive than socks. Everything price wise varies

                                • Kate G.

                                  Should be the same. Disagree that boys have little choice - I enjoy buying a range of colours for my son. Can't say that there seems to as much choice for girls - I personally don't like pink but there isn't much else on offer!

                                  • Toni W.

                                    Even before I had my son, I noticed the big difference in the amount of clothes on offer for boys compared to girls. But then I suppose there is only so many shorts, trousers and shirts they can have out for boys.

                                    • Bethan P.

                                      Wouldn’t say girls stuff costs more than boys, there’s just more girl stuff available compared to boys. With my son there wasn’t much choice. With my daughter there is much more variety. More choice = buying more!

                                      • Jeanette C.

                                        You have more choice of styles and colours with girls. Prices are similar for clothes and toys there is just usually better offers on the boys clothes and toys. Boys once past 3 is rubbish for clothes loads of black and grey hardly any blues or greens etc.

                                        • Annette B.

                                          The choice for boys clothes in most shops is very poor compared to at least 2/3 aisles of girls clothes shoes and accessories i actually find tesco the worst for this very annoying.

                                          • Sammi B.

                                            As a Mum of three boys I completely agree! It’s so frustrating that they have next to no choice compared to girls x

                                            • Sarah T.

                                              I'm with you on this. My 4 year old son I 5-6 clothes and everything grey or black. I feel it's all too old for him and so little choice.

                                              • Shalain S.

                                                Agreed this is one of the saddest things mums also want to dress there boys in nice things but there is next to no choice and I have two boys x

                                                • Yvonne B.

                                                  I agree I get my mum to make trousers for my 4 year old in bright patterns as I hate Little girl though loves pink but has a very short hair cut and gets called a boy even in pink!

                                                  • Diane T.

                                                    Very true I get so frustrated I got two boys n went in my local Asda the other day for an emergency pair of shoes for my youngest and didn’t av time to drive to high street and they had none in his size n very poor choice of ones they did have but they had tonnes of girls shoes.

                                                  • Helen R.

                                                    this was my chat today!x

                                                    • Grace A.

                                                      Can't say I notice a huge difference in price unless you're going for an embellished outfit. The choices in boy's clothes is awful, as is, and if you can actually get your kids size in the nicer stuff on offer, it's costs twice as much anyway.

                                                      • Kellie S.

                                                        Being a mum of 3 boys I’ve never actually noticed the price difference until having my girl 9 months ago. Never really noticed how much choice their is for girls compared to boys! Hardly anything for boys and tonnes for girls, unfair and annoying :neutral_face:

                                                        • Stacey P.

                                                          Boys cost more you have more girl stuff in sales it's annoying you hardly ever get decent boy stuff in a sale