Sex Matters: Considering Gender in Consumer Contracts
Cardozo Journal of Law & Gender, Vol. 19, pp. 437-509, 2013
74 Pages Posted: 16 May 2013
Date Written: May 15, 2013
We hear about the so-called “War on Women” and persisting salary gaps between men and women in the popular media, but contracts scholars and policymakers rarely discuss gender. Instead, dominant voices in the contracts field often reflect classical and economics-driven theories built on assumptions of gender neutral and economically rational actors. Furthermore, many mistakenly assume that market competition and antidiscrimination legislation address any improper biases in contracting. This Article therefore aims to shed light on gender’s importance by distilling data from my own e-survey of Colorado consumers along with others’ research regarding gender differences in contract outcomes, interests and behaviors. In light of this research, the Article calls for open discussion of gender in contract and consumer law. It also suggests ideas for considering research findings and the importance of context in designing financial literacy and contract education programs that acknowledge gender while honoring individuality and avoiding stereotype reinforcement.
Keywords: contracts, consumer protection, empirical studies, behavioral economics, law and society, gender, discrimination, contract theory, remedies, e-contracts, sales, debt, financial education, consumer contracts, financial literacy
JEL Classification: K12, K40, K41, K00, K29, K20, K30, K10, K39, I22, I31
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation