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Bisexual men ‘earn 30% less than gay colleagues’

It is, to put it mildly, a complex picture. Bisexual men are paid on average a third less than their heterosexual counterparts, a groundbreaking new study has revealed. But to complicate the issue, the study also shows that gay men and lesbians earn about the same as heterosexuals, as do bisexual women.

Professor Alex Bryson, of UCL’s Institute of Education, analysed the historical earnings data of 20,000 employees in almost 2,000 workplaces in Britain. The results suggest, for example, that in real life, Peep Show’s bisexual hero Jez Usborne would lose out financially to his heterosexual flatmate, Mark Corrigan.

In an article in the journal Work, Employment & Society, published by the British Sociological Association, Bryson explains that the average gross hourly earnings for bisexual men were £9.39, compared with £12.30 for heterosexual men, a gap of 31%. Conversely, average hourly earnings for gay men were £13.33, £1.03 more than for heterosexual men.

The study, which drew on the Workplace Employment Relations Survey conducted in 2011 and 2012, also showed that the average hourly earnings for lesbians were £9.87, similar to the £9.97 earned by heterosexual women. The average hourly earnings for bisexual women were £9.58.

Bryson then crunched the data further so that he could compare people of similar ages working in similar workplaces and jobs. Here again he found what he called sizeable wage gaps between the groups.

When comparing workers in similar occupations, the data showed that average hourly earnings for bisexual men were still 20% less than for heterosexual men, even if the workplace had an explicit equal opportunities policy on sexual orientation. That gap was found across all workplaces and occupations, and applied in London as well as non-metropolitan areas. In similar occupations, the average hourly earnings for gay men were 5% less than those of heterosexual men, but Bryson said that this result was not statistically significant.

While Bryson’s study confirmed that there was no wage differential between gay and heterosexual men or between bisexual women and heterosexual women, it also found that lesbians were paid nearly 30% less than heterosexual women if they were not employed in a workplace that had an equal opportunities policy that explicitly refers to sexual orientation.

The study, the first of its kind carried out in Britain since the passage of anti-discrimination legislation in 2003 and 2010, drew on survey responses from 312 gay men and lesbians, 118 bisexuals, 18,635 heterosexuals and 986 people who declined to identify their sexuality. Bryson said the finding that there was no significant wage gap between gay and heterosexual men was “in contrast to most previous research in this area”.

While the sample was small, he said the findings were still statistically significant. He pointed out that his work built on earlier qualitative evidence from other researchers that had shown that “the attitudes of both employers and employees towards bisexual employees lag behind the positive developments there have been with respect to perceptions of homosexual employees”.

But he conceded that the study, which did not determine whether employers knew the sexuality of employees and could therefore not prove whether they were actively discriminatory, “raised as many questions as it answered”.

“This is a call to get other people out there to do more research on this and see what they find,” said Bryson.

A spokesman for equality group Stonewall said there was evidence that bisexual people were treated differently. “We have seen in our own research that bi people experience specific discrimination that differs from other lesbian and gay people.

“Our Workplace Equality Index Staff Survey showed that just 11% of bi people see role models at work, compared with 53% of gay colleagues and 42% of lesbian colleagues.”

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by Anonymousreply 1510/23/2016


by Anonymousreply 110/23/2016

This article smacks of a journalist cherry-picking sound bites from a report to make headlines - because the loosey-goosey discussion around the statistics makes both the data and results sound utterly flawed and lacking any statistical rigor.

by Anonymousreply 210/23/2016

In the USA, Gay men and women earn less than Straight,Bi men.

by Anonymousreply 310/23/2016

This study seems utterly ridiculous. How do employers know someone is bi- as opposed to straight or gay? Is that on the application form, is it asked in the interview?

Maybe these people have as much trouble making decisions at work as they do in bed. I keed.

by Anonymousreply 410/23/2016

I am literally being murdered because this thread is not centering the experience of trans people!

by Anonymousreply 510/23/2016

It's time to pick a side!

by Anonymousreply 610/23/2016

They obviously did not control for geography. Gay men in London make nothing like what straight do. Sure, they make as much as straights in Leeds.

by Anonymousreply 710/23/2016

[quote]But he conceded that the study, which did not determine whether employers knew the sexuality of employees and could therefore not prove whether they were actively discriminatory

This seems ridiculous. The employer most likely doesn't know the employee is bi. In fact, as the vast majority of bisexuals are in opposite-sex relationships, it's much more likely that the employer would perceive them as straight.

by Anonymousreply 810/23/2016

What r8 said. A better study would be of employees who are out to employers.

by Anonymousreply 910/23/2016

The study is bullshit. Bisexuals need to get over their victim complex.

by Anonymousreply 1010/23/2016

R10 It'll be a cold day in hell when that happens.

by Anonymousreply 1110/23/2016

Transgenders with reality shows earn 600% more than Gay and Bi Men.

by Anonymousreply 1210/23/2016

This is actually a study of out bisexuals, not all bisexuals, and I suspect that most bisexuals are not out.

I suspect the majority of bisexual men are officially married or partnered with women, live the straight life in public, and wouldn't dream of telling some random statistician what their true sexuality is.

by Anonymousreply 1310/23/2016

It seems like they earn less but it is really they have to spend more on drugs.

by Anonymousreply 1410/23/2016

The title has it wrong. According to the numbers, bi men make 30% less than straight men, but 40% less than gay men.

Anyway, only God knows where those differences are coming from, but it's unlikely this is all due to prejudice, otherwise gay men would be earning less than straight men. Maybe there are genuine performance differences across sexual orientations. Gay men do better in school than bi and straight men. Supposing gay men are more devoted to work, like they are to school, then it makes sense they should be earning more, too.

by Anonymousreply 1510/23/2016
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