Posted by: Martin Scherer | 02/03/2011

Europe tells Britain to stop discriminating against men

Did you read that right?

Yes you did.

Surely not! How can men be discriminated against? Men have it all their way. Unless they are black or gay. Even then black men have it better than black women and gay men better than lesbians. Right?

Its not quite like that. British fathers have been complaining for over a decade that when it comes to divorce they get the raw end of the stick. They lose their house, pay alimony and loose rights of access to kids. If you get divorced it is better to be a woman. There are many other areas of subtle and institutional discrimination against men. A British Member of Parliament recently complained about strident feminists.  

Now we seem to have hard evidence from the rullng of European regulators. Or do we?

Apparently young male driver insurance costs couple that of young female drivers. The Europeans regulator has told the British insurance industry to stop such discrimination against men.  As a consequence insurance for women will double but few are confident insurance for men will drop by more that a quarter.

Hang on a moment. The insurance industry is an unemotional industry based on statistical evidence. The evidence shows that young men drive faster, are twice as likely as young women to have an accident and when they do the they cause twice the damage. Is it discrimination that such drivers should pay more? No its  not. Is it age discrimination to charge lower insurance on older drivers because they are less likely to have accidents and when they do the costs are lower than young people? No its not.

What the European ruling shows is that regulation is all too often driven more by emotive and politics than objective evidence. That is tantamount to prejudice. Prejudice means to pre-judge, judge before the facts are known or in this case by ignorance of the facts.  

The recent most substantial survey of women in America for half a decade shows that the position of women in society has improved in that time, but women still get around 20% less in their pay packets than men. Should we jump to the conclusion that is due to discriminating against women. Apparently not. The survey also shows that women do not apply for the higher paid jobs. Not that they are discriminated against. We can debate for the next 50 years as to why that is, but if we are to settle the debate someone should find and reveal the facts.

In the meantime, such biased decisions as made by European regulators simply brings the whole process into disrepute. If the evidence shows that one group drives faster and has more accidents that another then that group should endure higher insurance premiums.  Unless we apply socialist principles which argue that the good ones should subsidise the bad ones.


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