U.S. gay men earn an average of 10 percent more than straight men with similar education, experience and job profiles according to a recent study.
"We double- and triple-checked the dataset for other patterns that would indicate some fundamental error or data problem. We found none," Christopher Carpenter, a professor of economics at Vanderbilt University, wrote in the Harvard Business Review. "We subjected the gay male earnings premium to a host of extra tests to see if we could make the result go away. We could not."
According to federal data, the wages of gay men had historically been 5 to 10 percent lower than their straight counterparts. Lesbians in the U.S. earn 9 percent more than straight women in similar jobs, roughly the same as in previous studies.
Carpenter and Samuel Eppink used national health interview survey data from 2013-15 for their study, “Does It Get Better? Recent Estimates of Sexual Orientation and Earnings in the United States.”
Carpenter said there isn’t enough data to determine why gay men earn more, and pointed to a wider acceptance of the LGBT community. He said the finding, though, “does suggest several avenues for future study.”
“Our results challenge scholars to understand differential workplace experiences of sexual minority men versus sexual minority women and highlight the strong interconnections between the spheres of work and family for LGBTQ Americans,” he said.
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