Study reveals gay men earn 6.8% less than heterosexual men

gay men earn less, heterosexual men
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This study, published in Journal of Population Economics, found that gay men and women still earn 6.8% less than heterosexual men – across places in Australia, US, and EU

The presence of LGBTQ people may seem accepted in public spaces, especially in the West – where adverts full of rainbows spring into life every Pride month, or where some politicians run as openly gay candidates.

Ongoing LGBTQ discrimination is an open secret

However, there is a lot of fear, misunderstanding and hatred in the complex undercurrents of these images. For instance, in Liverpool, homophobic attacks increased by 25% over the last year.

Researchers from Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) looked at 24 studies published between 2012 and 2020, focusing on countries in Europe, North America and Australia.

Bisexual men earned 10.3% less than heterosexual men on average, while bisexual women earned 5.1% less than heterosexual women. Lesbian women earned 7.1% more than heterosexual women.

In the UK, gay and bisexual men together earned 4.7% less than heterosexual men, and in the US they earned 10.9% less.

IN the US, Gay and bisexual men earned 10.9% less.

‘Earning penalties’ exist for gay and bisexual people despite laws

Professor Nick Drydakis, author of the study and Director of the Centre for Pluralist Economics at ARU, said: “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.

“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.”

Read the full study here. 


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