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Gay men earn more than straight men, new study reveals

Josh Jackman December 6, 2017
A gay male couple representing same-sex couples who have a child through an adoption agency

The ruling came as Republicans in Congress attempt to push for legal discrimination (AdobeStock)

Gay men earn more than straight men, a new study has found.

For years, data has shown gay men earning an average of five to 10% less than their straight counterparts.

But researchers at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee have found that gay men have wiped out this deficit.

Gay Couple Love

And even more than that, they now earn more than straight men.

Gay men across the country now earn on average 10 percent more than straight men who have a similar education, experience and job profile.

This is convenient for gay men and straight women, who – according to a recent British study – see money as one of the most attractive qualities in a potential partner.

Kitt Carpenter, an economics professor at Vanderbilt who co-authored the study, said the results – taken from a large body of data – were a shock.

Happy gay couple sitting on white brick wall background

The previous pay penalty which gay men suffered, he said, was “replicated across numerous datasets in several different countries” – such as Canada, the UK and the US.

It was observed across different time periods, the professor added, and “seemingly did not budge.”

One British study from 2014, for instance, found that gay men earn 9% less than straight men.

And another from earlier this year discovered that the earning gap between gay and straight men still stood at 5%.

Writing in the Harvard Business Review, the professor said: “We went back through the published literature to see if we were making new or strange measurement or specification choices.

“We were not.

“We double and triple-checked the dataset for other patterns that would indicate some fundamental error or data problem.

Gay couple

“We found none.”

Professor Carpenter explained that he tried extra methods to give the data every chance to correct itself – but it was already correct.

“We subjected the gay male earnings premium to a host of extra tests to see if we could make the result go away,” he wrote.

“We could not.”

The professor, who is also studying the effects of legal access to same-sex marriage in the US and Europe, conducted the study with a PhD student.

He said there was not yet enough data to work out why gay men earned more than straight men.

But Professor Carpenter suggested that, as the popular campaign suggests, maybe it’s as simple as the idea that it gets better.

“One interpretation of the literature’s near-universal prior finding of a gay male earnings penalty was that it was a consequence of labour market discrimination against gay men,” he wrote.

“If that’s the case, then, naturally, improved attitudes toward LGBTQ people would reduce this penalty.”

He also said “a few patterns in the literature support this possibility”.

More: business, Canada, economics, gay men, money, research, science, straight men, study, Tennessee, UK, US, US, vanderbilt university

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