The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Study: Lesbians in U.S. Earn 20% More Than Heterosexual Women

Posted on | March 31, 2015 | 39 Comments

CNN has been giving hourly updates to hype claims that a religious freedom law in Indiana could unleash hateful discrimination against gay people. This appears to be a media-driven hysteria. Nineteen other states have laws similar to Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which is modeled after a federal law Bill Clinton signed. Yet the question needs to be asked: Exactly how much workplace discrimination do gay people face and what is its impact?

This chart is from the Germany-based Institute for the Study of Labor, and is from a study which found that lesbians in the United States earn 20% more than do heterosexual woman. Although I’m not sure if I trust these findings, let us stipulate that the study is accurate and ask: Why is this so? Is it because employers are pro-lesbian? Are companies prejudiced against heterosexual women?

Keep in mind the oft-quoted claim that women earn 77 cents on the dollar in comparison to men. As critics of that statistic point out, once you account for differences in education, occupation and other variables, the male-female “wage gap” disappears. That is to say, actual differences between men and women — not sexist discrimination — explain the disparity of earnings. Could this also be true in regard to the lesbian/straight “wage gap” among women? Yes, obviously so.

One reason for the male-female “wage gap” is simply the fact that women are more likely to leave the work force and stay home with their children. Women have a lower work force participation rate than men and, if motherhood explains most of the “wage gap,” it is obvious that this factor would benefit lesbians, who are less likely to become mothers. Interestingly, we find that a very different scenario is evident in the institute’s findings about the earnings of gay men.

According to the same study, gay men earn 16% less than do their heterosexual male counterparts. If earning differentials were caused by discrimination inspired by anti-gay prejudice, we might expect that both male and female homosexuals would show less income than heterosexuals. Yet it appears otherwise, and we can only conclude that other variables — not prejudicial anti-gay discrimination — are the decisive factor in this pattern. What are those variables? We don’t know, but permit me to suggest a controversial hypothesis: Differences in sexual orientation are not random and insignificant; rather, sexuality tends to be a sort of psychological dye-marker for personality types, and differences in personality result in differences in behavior that, in turn, produce differences in earnings.

We need not think in terms of sexist or homophobic stereotypes to accept this hypothesis. Gay men and lesbians often joke about the differences between them. There is a well-known joke:

What does a lesbian bring to a second date?
A U-Haul.
What does a gay man bring to a second date?
What’s a ‘second date’?

In other words, gay male culture is notoriously promiscuous, whereas lesbians are equally notorious for their preference for long-term intimate relationships, so that by the second date, they’re ready to move in together. And the legalization of same-sex marriage has demonstrated this tendency, as 64% of such unions are between two women, so that lesbian weddings outnumber gay male weddings nearly 2-to-1.

Doesn’t this data offer potential clues about the income differentials between these two groups? That is to say, if lesbians earn substantially more than straight women but gay men earn substantially less than straight men, isn’t it possible that this is due to the same personality and behavioral differences we observe in the data about same-sex marriage? Once we accept the premise that differences between men and women are both real and significant — rather than imaginary or artificial “social constructs” — it stands to reason that sexual preference would reflect differences that are also real and significant. Correlation is not causation, but neither are correlations in social-science data entirely random.

Angry protests about the possibility of anti-gay “discrimination” in Indiana fail to take into account the question of whether policies that forbid discrimination are either necessary or efficacious. As we have seen most recently in the Ellen Pao case, “equal opportunity” law has the effect of inciting lawsuits by disgruntled employees who cannot prove they are victims of prejudice. If we are willing to accept that general differences between men and women (or between gays and lesbians) are both real and significant, a lot of what might otherwise appear to be “discrimination” is really nothing of the kind.

“Actually, it’s mostly about satisfying the Democrats’ core constituencies’ bottomless desire to feel morally superior.”
Professor Glenn Reynolds

Those of us who favor economic liberty believe that human beings are capable of acting rationally in their own self-interest. We believe that businesses should have wide latitude in their personnel policies for this reason. The managers of an enterprise have the responsibility of maximizing productivity, and decisions about hiring and promotion are essential to that responsibility. Managers ought not have their personnel decisions constantly subjected to scrutiny by quota-mongering “social justice” activists who have no responsibility to anyone other than themselves and slogan-shouting protest mobs.

Men and women are different. Gays and lesbians are different. It is not “hate” to say so. It is simply the truth.



39 Responses to “Study: Lesbians in U.S. Earn 20% More Than Heterosexual Women”

  1. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    March 31st, 2015 @ 7:42 am

    That is because they do not have to clean up after men!

  2. JoeThePimpernel
    March 31st, 2015 @ 7:46 am

    Work like a man, get paid like a man.

  3. Art Deco
    March 31st, 2015 @ 7:57 am

    1. Male homosexuals do not have families so can be satisfied with occupations that others would eventually eschew because the earnings were insufficient.
    2. Among wage-earners, male homosexuals (like women) tend to have an aversion to dirty-hands jobs which pay better. (The young Chuck Palahniuk an interesting exception).

  4. wbkrebs
    March 31st, 2015 @ 8:20 am

    Beyond what Art Deco says below, the need to support a family pushes men to earn more than they otherwise might. Gay men don’t face this pressure.

  5. Dana
    March 31st, 2015 @ 8:21 am

    Let me be blunt here: if homosexual men males earn less than normal men, it is in large part due to the fact that so many of them are so obvious about being homosexual; that’s not exactly career-enhancing. Lesbians tend to be more like normal women in their daily and professional lives, less obvious, less in-your-face about it than the twinks.

    If you are in charge of hiring or promoting people, homosexual men males who act normal won’t have a problem, because their sexual preferences might be known, but aren’t really part of their professional behavior. If you are in charge of hiring or promoting people, the flamboyant homosexuals are exhibiting a dress and behavior that doesn’t fit in well with professional behavior, and you are far less likely to hire or promote such a person.

  6. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    March 31st, 2015 @ 8:31 am

    Assuming the data is correct (I am not sure it is) could it be because lesbians tend to get into long term relationships (that promote stability and wealth growth) and male homosexuals do so less?

  7. Daniel Freeman
    March 31st, 2015 @ 8:33 am

    Not only that, but there are sound evo-psych reasons for female hypergamy. It served a survival purpose, and became an instinct. So, even before the first date — let alone starting a family — a man that wants to be with a woman knows that all else being equal, income will give an edge.

  8. Jeanette Victoria
    March 31st, 2015 @ 8:41 am

    Homosexuals are always posing at the victim….in fact they are the bully. We have quite the the biggest legacy of homosexual facists bullies is the Third Reich

  9. RS
    March 31st, 2015 @ 8:44 am

    Let us remember that inquiries regarding sexual preference, marital status, children and so forth are impermissible in the hiring process. If those factors are insignificant in the hiring process, disparities in income would necessarily be attributable to other things.

  10. Art Deco
    March 31st, 2015 @ 9:09 am

    I’d refer you to the view of the psychiatrist GJM van den Aardweg. Male homosexuals in his view have an emotional geography that tends to make them both dissatisfied and troublesome within an administrative apparat where you have to implement the decisions of others and accept their assessment of you. IIRC, it’s also his view that male to male social relations are difficult for male homosexuals, which accounts for why they gravitate to odd subcultures wherein male-to-male social relations are partially eroticized and have a different (and bitchy) dynamic. Obviously, there are exceptions, like the fellow who was CEO of BP. (That man’s life was notable for his discretion with his own opinions and his avoidance of gay social circles until he was past 50).

    If van den Aardweg is right, male homosexuals in salaried occupations would tend toward employments in firms with fairly flat hierarchies where they did not supervise anyone. The creative and histrionic aspect you see in male homosexuals would also channel them to lines of work wherein that was salient.

    So, you have male homosexuals in the salaried class working in ad agencies and male homosexuals in the wage class working as office clerks.

  11. Art Deco
    March 31st, 2015 @ 9:12 am

    If data I’ve seen from longitudinal surveys is correct, lesbian couplings are no more durable than male-female couplings.

    I’m going to suggest reverse causation here. Lesbianism is more socially acceptable the north you go in occupational strata and the north you go the more you find women who have not built a family earlier in life. What Susan Sontag once said may apply: she turned forty and she was just getting better offers from women than from men.

  12. robertstacymccain
    March 31st, 2015 @ 9:41 am

    It is ridiculous to suppose that, in hiring skilled professionals and managers, companies do not investigate the backgrounds of applicants. So we have every reason to believe that employers do know basic information about the people they hire, in terms of their marital status, and that such information could influence some hiring decisions.

    The question to be examined is whether “discrimination” — e.g., a pattern of preferential treatment on the basis of sex, race, marital status, etc. — serves a rational business interest. That is to say, there may be legitimate reasons why certain occupations are disproportionately filled by males or females, married people or single people, whites or ethnic minorities, and that these variable rates of employment for different groups are not the result of deliberately unfair practices by the employer. The question is whether (a) the employer is to be considered competent to make its own decisions about personnel, or whether (b) we believe that the damage of unjust discrimination is so socially harmful as to justify constant monitoring to prevent and/or punish discrimination. We have to realize that choosing (b) imposes costs on business that may result in a loss of efficiency and competitiveness. In a global economy, the United States cannot afford to impose unnecessary regulatory burdens on business and maintain market share.

  13. CrustyB
    March 31st, 2015 @ 10:05 am

    I once argued that gay men were on the high-end of promiscuity and lesbians were on the low-end of that spectrum because males were inherently more prone to sleeping around than were women. The people at my table countered me by defending homosexuality by telling me anecdotes about good things they once saw gay people do, as if I were badmouthing homosexuals. I was stating a fact about men, not homosexuals! But this society is on such a hair-trigger about defending .015 of the population…

  14. RS
    March 31st, 2015 @ 10:08 am

    It is ridiculous to suppose that, in hiring skilled professionals and managers, companies do not investigate the backgrounds of applicants.

    I speak as one who has hired professionals and can tell you, such investigation is limited to making sure the applicant has the necessary credentials to practice my profession and has no legal or ethical impediments to doing so. Employers are concerned with an employees personal life only insofar as it effects the employer’s business. The statistics you cite key on factors that, for the most part, are irrelevant to an employee’s success in a given business. Change the stats from sexual orientation to religious affiliation and you have the same issue. The statistics seek to establish causation from something which, at best, can be seen as an interesting correlation. There may be reasons lesbians make more money than heterosexual women, but that’s not because of or in spite of their lesbianism.

  15. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    March 31st, 2015 @ 10:19 am

    That is probably true…although lesbians are certainly more “couplely” than gay men.

  16. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    March 31st, 2015 @ 10:21 am

    Did they call you a H8y H8er?

  17. Adobe_Walls
    March 31st, 2015 @ 10:21 am

    The various paper work forms reveal all those statistics, W-4s and insurance for instance. Further more it’s not illegal to ask for race or marital status on hiring forms.

  18. Art Deco
    March 31st, 2015 @ 10:36 am

    I agree. But see Gore Vidal exasperation on people who applied “the heterosexual marriage model” to durable gay male couplings. These are more corrupted man-to-man friendships than analogues to normal domestic life, and sometimes cease to have a sexual dimension at all as each party looks elsewhere for short-term pleasures. I believe some longitudinal studies have demonstrated that sexual fidelity does not exist in these couplings for more than a few years. The relationship is re-negotiated or it dissolves. Vidal was explicit about his deal with Howard Auster (who followed him all over the world for 55 years), as was Alan Ginsburg his with Peter Orlovsky.

  19. Art Deco
    March 31st, 2015 @ 10:41 am

    IIRC, Quentin Crisp disagreed in part. He offered the view that a source of the promiscuity was incorporated into the nature of sodomy between men. When all was said and done, there was something unsatisfying about the act.

    I suspect you might, if you carefully questioned those involved, find a competitive aspect to it. Boys who compete poorly in a masculine world will form alternative hierarchies where they compete with each other. One can look at various types of extreme homosexual expression as a species of this.

  20. Art Deco
    March 31st, 2015 @ 10:47 am

    Antecedently, yes. Afterwards, the deal is that I will earn for you and protect you and your children and you will build an agreeable nest for us all. People have riffs on that deal nowadays, of course, and if that is not the deal their are tolls to be paid and backing and filling to be done. The male homosexual has to make rent, but he has no one to earn for and no nest-builder.

  21. Fail Burton
    March 31st, 2015 @ 11:24 am

    What about blonde lesbians?

  22. Dana
    March 31st, 2015 @ 11:39 am

    I think that might over-complicate things. The real problem is simpler: like it or not, employees are the “fronts,” the representatives of the company, and most sensible corporations don’t want the flamers out front. The bosses might not have anything against the flamers, but they don’t want to offend customers, and no one knows what will offend the next customer who walks through the door; it’s just more practical to have people who look and behave normally in public where customers can see them.

  23. CrustyB
    March 31st, 2015 @ 11:41 am

    there was something unsatisfying about the act

    That would explain why homosexuals are so bitchy.

  24. Squid Hunt
    March 31st, 2015 @ 11:48 am

    No wonder they’re so bitter!

  25. Squid Hunt
    March 31st, 2015 @ 11:53 am

    The CDC has a study that will assure you that you are correct. Homosexual men are monstrously over the top in promiscuity.

  26. CrustyB
    March 31st, 2015 @ 11:59 am

    They called me that while they were hating on me, yes.

  27. librarygryffon
    March 31st, 2015 @ 12:18 pm

    I’ve been told many times (and read in many places) that it is illegal to ask marital status before hiring, and asking on a hiring form, at least one that’s attached to the applicants name counts. Asking race before hiring is usually on those separate EEOC forms, and is at least supposedly separated from the application before anyone at HR sees it. And after hiring marital status is a question only for listing of emergency contacts, filling out W4s, health benefits, etc.

  28. Bandito
    March 31st, 2015 @ 12:24 pm

    This study provides yet another reason to move to Australia. I gather that feminism in general and all of the privileges extended to women under “diversity & inclusion” mandates hasn’t taken hold as much Down Under than here in the US.

  29. Adobe_Walls
    March 31st, 2015 @ 1:01 pm

    Well it’s been my experience that all of the hiring paper work went to HR after I hired someone which was usually whenever they returned with the slip of paper showing that they’d taken the drug test. I seriously doubt the law is absolutely clear on this. For instance we in the field were told it could be construed as discriminatory to ask for green cards from people who ”look” Hispanic. It is required to ask for a green card from a potential employee who states that they are not a citizen on the I-9 form. In practice as soon as they’re asked for ”ID” they present their green card, drivers license and social security card. The regulatory means to the ends of non-discrimination are often quite fuzzy because we are not meant to ”know” what is required of us until we loose in court, if then. If hard and fast lists of rules are promulgated as to what exactly is proscribed, it would be more difficult to sue those who follow those rules.

  30. Dana
    March 31st, 2015 @ 1:14 pm

    It is illegal to inquire about marital status, sexuality, and a whole bunch of other things on an employment application, though if an applicant chooses to disclose such, that’s their business. That does not mean that companies don’t get that information on employment screenings, but they’re not supposed to consider such things.

  31. bullet2354
    March 31st, 2015 @ 2:56 pm

    So now there is a lesbian gap????

  32. Daniel Freeman
    March 31st, 2015 @ 5:25 pm

    That is not what I’ve heard online from Australians. It sounds just as bad, with the sole exception that male spaces are not demonized. They apparently have these things called “men’s sheds” where guys get together to just be guys together.

  33. Alert The Media! Some American Women Make Less Than…. | The Lonely Conservative
    March 31st, 2015 @ 5:48 pm

    […] Keep in mind the oft-quoted claim that women earn 77 cents on the dollar in comparison to men. As critics of that statistic point out, once you account for differences in education, occupation and other variables, the male-female “wage gap” disappears. (Read More) […]

  34. TheAmishDude
    March 31st, 2015 @ 6:47 pm

    I don’t buy the numbers on men. Prudential did a study in 2012-2013 and found “Median LGBT household income is $61,500 vs. $50,000 for the average American household. LGBT households supporting a child reported a median income of $71,100.”

  35. Carlos_Perera
    March 31st, 2015 @ 7:20 pm

    William Shirer, who was Berlin correspondent for Universal News Service from 1934-1937 (and briefly in 1937 for International News Service), then became CBS’s man in Berlin until December 1940, remarked on the prevalence of homosexuals in the Nazi Party in his magisterial _The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich_. He met many high-ranking Nazis during these years, and was in a position to know.

    Homosexuals seem drawn to political parties and movements that work to destabilize traditional social institutions and undermine Judeo-Christian sexual mores. They have also been prominent in revolutionary Communist parties around the world (though this has often backfired on them, as the alpha male types who have wound up in control of the revolutions after their triumph, e.g., Stalin, Castro, Mao, have often suppressed homosexuals virulently after attaining maximum power).

  36. Jeanette Victoria
    March 31st, 2015 @ 7:30 pm

    I remember reading The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich in the lat 60’s

  37. Carlos_Perera
    March 31st, 2015 @ 7:34 pm

    Gallup did a very large–consisting of 120,000 interviews–survey of homosexuals in 2012 that showed the opposite: Homosexuality is most prevalent in the lower socioeconomic reaches of society, and homosexuals are, on the average, significantly poorer than heterosexuals.

  38. TheAmishDude
    March 31st, 2015 @ 9:41 pm

    Interesting. Link?

  39. Carlos_Perera
    April 1st, 2015 @ 3:01 am