Economic Consequences on Gays and Lesbians of Heteronormativity in the Workplace

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Virginia Tech

Feminist scholars have theorized that the workplace is gendered and heteronormative1, but little research quantifies the economic consequences of those organizations. This study investigates income discrepancies between gay men and straight men and between lesbians and straight women, to quantify these consequences. Using the National Survey of Family Growth 2006-2010, and controlling for several correlates of income, I use ordinary least squares regression to test the hypothesis that lesbians have higher incomes on the average than straight women do, and that straight men earn more than gay men. I also use hierarchical regression to test the relative strengths of the associations between income and possible causes of variation in it. The study found that gay men earn more than straight men because of higher educational attainment, and that lesbians earn more than straight women, though this finding is not statistically significant.

LGBT, heteronormativity, gendered division of labor, workplace discrimination, income gaps