Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Insurance EraRisk, Governance, and the Privatization of Security in Postwar America$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Caley Horan

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9780226784380

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2022

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226784410.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 02 July 2022

The Unisex Insurance Debate and the Triumph of Actuarial Fairness

The Unisex Insurance Debate and the Triumph of Actuarial Fairness

(p.167) 6 The Unisex Insurance Debate and the Triumph of Actuarial Fairness
Insurance Era

Caley Horan

University of Chicago Press

This chapter examines public debates over sex discrimination in insurance risk classification during the 1970s and early 1980s. Feminist activists during this period identified gender-based risk classification as an impediment to women’s economic advancement and sought federal legislation that would mandate unisex rating in all forms of private insurance coverage. The insurance industry responded to charges of sex discrimination with the full force of its powerful lobby, ultimately defeating feminist efforts to equalize insurance access, pricing, and coverage for women and men. To combat unisex insurance legislation, industry leaders developed and disseminated the notion of actuarial fairness, an ideological construct designed to compete with feminist demands for equality. Widespread public acceptance of the industry’s rhetoric during these debates signaled the triumph of market-based definitions of fairness over social commitments to equality in American political life.

Keywords:   risk classification, insurance discrimination, feminist activism, National Organization for Women, corporate lobbying, insurance regulation, actuarial fairness

Chicago Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.