1/6/11
Why Do Lesbians Earn More Than Straight Women?

photo by janet calcaterra

Research shows that lesbian women earn more than straight women — even when you control for the facts that lesbian women tend to be better-educated, more likely to be white, live in cities, have fewer children, and more likely to be professionals. So how to explain this wage gap? Economics professor Marina Adshade of Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, examines a hypothesis that it has to do with the division of labor in your typical heterosexual union. In short, the theory goes, a straight woman is raised with the assumption that she will most likely marry a man who earns more than she does for the same amount of work, and also that she will be taking on the lion’s share of at-home, unpaid labor. Which means that she is slightly less motivated that her lesbian peers to get ahead at work. Lesbian women — at least, as long as they have been gay — don’t make this assumption.

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4 Comments on "Why Do Lesbians Earn More Than Straight Women?"

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ToppHogg
ToppHogg
5 years 8 months ago

My mother earned twice what my father did – and she never let him forget it even after his mental breakdown. My sisters are also like that, and ruined their relationships by following that same line of criticism.

My wife, to my great consternation, earned an advanced degree and then decided that she didn’t like what she had trained to do. She now makes a small fraction of what she could have in a job which doesn’t require that much education – and still expects me to support her champagne tastes on my McDonald’s income.

Brittany
Brittany
5 years 8 months ago
In response to L.A.Lamb, You have 3 excellent examples of scenarios of very successful heterosexual women, but those scenarios may not be the norm which the researchers were attempting to explain. There are always going to be scenarios in which the statistical norm does not apply because statistics do not imply universal truth. I think that if lesbians tend to make higher salaries than heterosexual women, then it is interesting to hypothesize reasons for that. I wonder how much the average differ by, and how each average compares to the average amount earned by men? If it is true that… Read more »
L.A.Lamb
L.A.Lamb
5 years 8 months ago

Before the lurkers & haters step up to bat, yes, I see the typos. It’s one of the hazards of using an iPhone to respond to a blog post. Don’t hate me because I fat-fingered a few words. I’m still human.

L.A.Lamb
L.A.Lamb
5 years 8 months ago
I think the researcher’s hypothesis is a bunch of crap. A. I’m a straight, white, educates female who out earned two of the three men I’ve had serious relationships with. While I do not currently out earn my husband’s income, I’ve recently opened my own decorated apparel company and see self-employment a preferable to “working for the man”. B. I was raised in a suburban, middle-class, mostly Caucasian neighborhood by middle-class parents, BOTH of whom worked. That said, my mother significantly out-earned my father for much of their relationship. C. My mother was raised from the age of 3 to… Read more »
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