Lucky Lesbians Make More MoneyJanuary 3, 2011 No Comments
Lesbians make more money than straight women — about 6% more, on average.
The interesting thing is that although no one knows why this is, everyone has an opinion.
- Sure, lesbian women are better-educated on average, are more likely to be white, live predominantly in cities, have fewer children, and are significantly more likely to be a professional. But even when you control for these differences, the wage premium is still on the order of 6%… It is fascinating when the data starts looking like the majority is being discriminated against. Is it wage discrimination, though, or is there an economic argument for why lesbians are getting paid more?
The question that Marina Adshade is dancing around is whether lesbians avoid the fiscal penalty most women are stuck with for not having a penis.
Her suggestion is that heterosexual women expect to be taken care of by a man who will probably make more, so they invest less energy is upping their salary. This is similar to suggestions that they are less likely to consider family life important, and are more likely to take up professions that reward ridiculously long hours with substantially higher pay. Some wonder whether it is because lesbians are tougher because they grew up “bucking gender stereotypes,” or because they are better at negotiating raises.
The reason that lesbians make more that straight women is probably fascinating, but I doubt it lies in the stereotypical image of a ball-busting tomboy. Frankly, why not just say that lesbians work longer hours because their feet don’t hurt as much in flats?
Many gay people are very interested in a family life, whether it involves kids or simply spending time with their partner. Childhood can toughen up kids in different ways, whether or not they are homosexual. Some soft-spoken pushovers are actually lesbians.
The difference is not the imaginary homogeneity of the lesbian mind, but the way we tend to treat them as a society. The differences in pay that can be found between people of varied weights and sexes is not there because fat people are lazy and women are weak, but because we can not shake off these stereotypes when we deal with them.
It’s a stroke of luck that the culmination of these stereotypes results in a higher salary for lesbians, but don’t begrudge them this win-fall. Chances are they would readily give up their 6% for the chance to be treated as individuals.
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