The Penis Discount

by Vins
Published: Updated:

On 27 August 2013, a Fox News expert, Dr. David Samadi, argued that it is wrong for the Obama administration to force gender equality in health care costs. Samadi asserted, “Men have the prostate, while women have the breasts, the ovaries, the uterus. They get checked in every part.”  The ideas they are trying to convey is that woman have more body parts and in turn should be paying more for health care. Another Fox news anchor joked “1-800-GOD, can we change the organs of a woman so that she doesn’t cost so much?”

This logic suggests other, equivalent arguments. Should the elderly pay more because they have weaker immune systems and get sicker easier?  More generally, at what point do these radical ideas defy equal rights?

Statistically, women live longer than men on average. Thus, advocates of higher health insurance rates for women argue that men utilize the health care system less, because they do not on average live as long. During the Fox News segment, host Gretchen Carlson played devil’s advocate, asking whether women ought to get a discount, since they tend to be more proactive than men in seeking preventative screening.  Why be charged more for being more conscientious, she asked? Previously Time Magazine had reported that on rising costs of preventative screening, but did not compare the costs of preventative care with its alternatives.  Carlson also pointed out that women were blamed for maternity costs, “but men and women have babies together.”


David Edwards, “Fox News expert: ‘Women have the breasts’ so health care should cost more than men” The Raw Story, August 27, 2013,

Student Researchers: Ashley O’Brien, Maria Gutierrez-Munoz, JP Carrillo, Jessica Lozano, Ian Levy (Santa Rosa Junior College)

Faculty Evaluator: Susan Rahman (Santa Rosa Junior College)