The Truth About Gay and Lesbian Income

Joe Clark, who has previously written about women’s hockey, took a look at the myths surrounding gay and lesbian income statistics. Interestingly, Clark found that “[g]ay males earn less than straight males, often much less. Meanwhile, lesbians earn more than straight females.” Clark attributes the difference to professional choices, not discrimination: “Gay males have more education than straight males, but they do not choose male-dominated professions as often as straight males do. In fact, they choose female-dominated and/or service professions much more often.” Gay males also work fewer hours than straight males. Lesbian women, by contrast, work more hours than straight females and are “overrepresented in male-dominated professions that pay better than female-dominated professions.” [%comments]

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  1. Jill says:

    This research seems to also assume that the reason women earn less than men are their chosen profession and hours, which to say the least cannot be taken seriously. It tells part of the story but a more detailed research can see more patterns. Perhaps gay males are treated more similar to women, and hence are paid less? An interesting conversation on how accepting is liberal society of gays really?:
    http://www.thinqon.com/topic/how_accepting_is_liberal

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  2. GiorgioNYC says:

    Thanks, Times. Now when money’s tight I’ll just hit up my lesbian friends.

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  3. Meg says:

    But who makes more: gay males or gay females?

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  4. nottom says:

    It seems like this is pretty good evidence that much of the “gender gap” is by choice and not the result of discrimination.

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  5. Kim says:

    Perhaps the reason “male-dominated” fields have higher salaries is because we accept the pay gap between teachers, nurses and other “female-dominated” fields and banking, engineering and the like. Perhaps if more men were Kindergarten teachers, we’d start paying them more.

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  6. Jen says:

    My female partner works as an estimator in a construction company. Yeah, not many women become estimators. There are plenty of women in her office, but they are in sales or secretarial work. My partner went into estimating because she’s good at math, and… well, why not? She works fairly regular hours for a good salary. The straight women who work in the office could have gone to the same college my partner went to and applied to the same jobs. I don’t know why they didn’t. I’m not even sure that they are unhappy in the jobs they did chose even though they pay a lot less.
    My guess? Lesbian women go into higher paying professions for the same reason that a lot of us can fix our own computers, change our own tires, and mow the lawn. Men don’t look after us. We learn to do all of the things men would usually do. That isn’t to say I’m not happy to have a nice guy friend carry something really heavy up the stairs for me. But it is to say, generally speaking, we do a lot of things straight women don’t learn to do. Some of those things happen to pay well, so why not take a better job? Also, most of the secretaries in my partner’s office have husbands who make more money than they do… maybe they don’t feel as much pressure to work longer and harder for more.

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    • Alex says:

      Also you learn to have skills and make more money because you have to attract women. Straight women don’t have to, obviously.

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  7. AaronS says:

    When you boil it down, aren’t we just saying that “girls” make less than “guys”–whether you are one or the other because of plumbing or orientation?

    While I find it absolutely wrong to pay a woman less for doing the same job as a man, in SOME cases it seems that women gravitate (or perhaps have no other choice) to jobs that are not treasured as much by the masses.

    Indeed, we all understand that nurses and teachers are VITAL…and yet for whatever reason, we pay a basketball star enough to pay a hundred nurses.

    The fault is not necessarily in the chosen industry, but in societies poor prioritization of the things that really matter. Very simply, we take our money and our leisure very seriously–so we pay bankers and rock/movie/sports stars massive amounts.

    I wonder what would happen to our society if, while continuing to respect that significant talents of our stars, we rebalanced things so that we could attract the VERY BEST teachers in the world to our classrooms? We could then draw from a rich pool of talent, rather than have to do with anything less than the best.

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  8. charles says:

    Um, Kim & Jill – you’ve heard of confirmation bias? Lets get back to good old supply and demand. There is no big giant head organizing a conspiracy to pay women less. You’re chasing shadows.

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