Longevity - If the genes fit...

clock • 7 min read

Ever wondered why females tend to outlive males? Is gender a ‘short-cut' - a proxy to behavioural differences? Eli Friedwald takes a tour of the competing theories trying to explain the difference in life expectancy between the sexes

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has recently ruled that the use of gender in determining prices for insurance contracts will not be permitted from 21 December 2012. The clear thrust of the ruling is that insurance companies should be charging clients explicitly for adverse behaviours and not using gender as a ­convenient short-cut. This prompts an obvious question: to what extent are the observed mortality differentials attributable to behavioural, rather than biological differences, between the genders? The Advocate General at the ECJ presented its arguments for recommendation...

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