Lesbians earn 7% MORE than straight women, while gay and bisexual men are paid hundreds of pounds LESS per year than their heterosexual counterparts, study finds
- Economist Nick Drydakis reviewed data on 24 previous studies of wage gaps
- He found gay and bi men in the UK tend to earn 4.7% less than straight men
- And this figure increased to 10.9% when considering the US labour market
- In the UK, discrimination on sexual orientation is prohibited by the Equality Act
Gay and bi men tend to earn much less than their peers each year, despite anti-discrimination laws — but lesbians are paid 7.1 per cent more than straight women.
This is the finding of a economist from the Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge, who reviewed a series of past studies into salary discrepancies.
The greatest pay gap was found between straight and gay men in the US, with the latter earning 10.9 per cent less than the former.
In the UK, the difference was smaller but still problematic at 4.7 per cent.
In the United Kingdom, discrimination based on sexual orientation is supposed to have been prohibited as a result of the 2010 Equality Act.
Paper author Nick Drydakis speculated that the reason why lesbians tend to be paid more is because they are stereotyped as being more manly and career-focussed.
He added that they are seen as less likely to have a higher earning male partner to ‘provide for them’ or to take time out of their job to raise a child.
The average annual salary in the UK for men is £33,900, as compared to just £27,900 for women.
Despite anti-discrimination laws, gay and bi men tend to earn much less than their peers each year — although lesbians are paid 7.1 per cent more than straight women
THE KEY FINDINGS
In the UK, gay and bisexual men together earn an average of 4.7 per cent less than heterosexual men.
In the US, however, this discrepancy is even greater at 10.9 per cent.
Bisexual men earn 10.3 per cent less than heterosexual men.
Lesbians are paid 7.1 per cent more than their straight counterparts.
Bisexual women earned 5.1 per cent less than heterosexual women.
‘The persistence of earnings penalties for gay men and bisexual men and women in the face of anti-discrimination policies represents a cause for concern,’ said paper author and economist Nick Drydakis of the Anglia Ruskin University.
‘Legislation and workplace guidelines should guarantee that people receive the same pay and not experience any form of workplace bias simply because of their sexual orientation or gender identity status.
‘Inclusive policies should embrace diversity by encouraging under-represented groups to apply for jobs or promotions and providing support to LGBTIQ+ employees to raise concerns and receive fair treatment.
‘Standing against discrimination and celebrating and supporting LGBTIQ+ diversity should form a part of HR policies.’
In his study, Professor Drydakis performed a meta-analysis on data from 24 previous studies that investigated wages paid to people of different sexual orientations in countries across Europe, North America and Australia in the period from 2012–2020.
He found that, in the UK, gay and bisexual men together earn an average of 4.7 per cent less than heterosexual men in equivalent positions, while, in the US, this discrepancy is even greater at 10.9 per cent.
The investigation also found that bisexual men earn 10.3 per cent less than heterosexual men.
Lesbians, meanwhile, were found to be paid 7.1 per cent more than their straight counterparts, while bisexual women earned 5.1 per cent less than heterosexual women.
In the UK, gay and bisexual men together earn an average of 4 .7 per cent less than heterosexual men (stock image)
According to Professor Drydakis, explanations as to why lesbian women often receive higher wages than straight women typically focus on the former group’s perceived ‘masculine characteristics’.
‘If lesbian women invest more heavily in market-oriented human capital by staying in school and choosing a major that leads to higher earnings and longer working hours, such choices can influence their workplace outcomes,’ he wrote.
‘Furthermore, a peripheral explanation for the lesbian earnings premium may revolve around women with children earning less than women without children.
‘Lesbian women might prove less likely to have children than married women, so it makes sense that they may earn more because of their commitment to the labour market,’ the economist continued.
‘Additionally, lesbian women might show more dedication to the labour market because they are less unlikely to engage with a higher earning (male) partner who would provide for them.
‘If this is the case, lesbian women might invest more in a workplace career.’
The full findings of the study were published in the Journal of Population Economics.
WHAT SCIENTISTS THINK LEADS TO SAME-SEX ATTRACTION
Scientists have long sought to quantify the extent to which genetic and non-genetic (or environmental) factors impact a person’s preference for same-sex relationships.
Previous studies had hinted that genetic factors were complex, but their relatively small scales made it hard to draw reliable conclusions.
In the new study, researchers used data from over 470,000 people, over a 100 times more than previous works.
They confirmed that homosexuality stems from both environmental and genetic factors.
Rather than their being one single ‘gay gene’, however, the team found thousands of places — or loci — in the genome that seem to play a role in sexuality.
Only five of these had a ‘significant’ impact — and, combined, all the factors accounted for only 8–25% of the variation in sexual attraction between different people.
The factors at play are so complex that is impossible to predict from a person’s DNA whether they are attracted to members of the same-sex or not.