Study finds bisexual people earn less than both straight and gay colleagues on average
A new study has found that bisexual people earn considerably less than their straight counterparts.
The study, ‘Sexual Orientation in the Labor Market’ was authored by Trenton D Mize, a PhD candidate at the Indiana University Department of Sociology.
It found that bisexual men earn 11 to 19 percent less than straight men.
Bisexual women earn between 7 and 28 percent less than straight women, the study also found.
“Sexual minorities face diffusely negative sentiments, being viewed generally unfavorably and stigmatized as non-normative in most societal contexts,” writes Mize in the study.
“Many sexual minorities also face assumptions of lower competence compared to heterosexual individuals, a key factor influencing hiring decisions.”
The pay gap is more pronounced that that between gay people and their bisexual colleagues.
On average, gay men earn 5 percent less than straight men, and lesbians earn more than straight women.
Mize notes that, without bringing in stereotyping and discrimination, the wage gap for bisexuals is harder to explain.
“All non-heterosexual individuals face negative stereotypes and — sometimes — discrimination. However, bisexual men and women face additional stereotypes that can be particularly disadvantaging,” Mize told NBC OUT.
“One thing that has driven an increase in social acceptance of gay men and lesbian women is an increase in perceptions that they are sexual orientations someone is born with, or have no choice in. However, because bisexual men and women are romantically interested in both men and women, individuals view them as having some degree of choice to their sexual orientation. Perceptions of choice are important, because people are more likely to discriminate against a person if they believe that person has a degree of choice to their disadvantaged status,” he added.
But he does note that the stereotypes faced by bisexual men are “immature or dishonest about their sexual orientation”, but that they can “culminate into general perceptions that bisexual men and women are less competent and capable.”