Vintage Credit Reports from 1970’s Describe Effeminate Men, Homosexuals, and Single Mothers Living Alone

Prior to the passage of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, credit reporting companies attempted to document all manner of personal and private information. Often, these credit reports included the personal judgments of investigators laced with prejudice. For example,

“In 1972, a man in San Francisco discovered that a consumer report about him for a life insurance policy included the comment that he used ‘his hands in an effeminate manner, also talks in an effeminate manner.'”

At that time, the Medical Information Bureau (MIB, Inc.) was under no legal compulsion to reveal itself or its activities to its customers. Researcher Robert Ellis Smith investigated these routine invasions of privacy by the insurance credit reporting agencies and uncovered “countless reports [that] included the fact that a prospected insured was living ‘without benefit of wedlock.'” Moreover, Smith reported that “unverified rumors of homosexuality” were common.
(more…)

Comments Off on Vintage Credit Reports from 1970’s Describe Effeminate Men, Homosexuals, and Single Mothers Living Alone