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How Big is the Wage Gap for Bisexual Americans?

By Dan Atkerson on November 28, 2016

Same Sex Couple (m)When most Americans hear about the wage gap, they think about the gender gap. It’s that notorious number that shows the pay difference between men and women. There are several other wage gaps in the workplace, however. Attributes such as race, country of origin and sexual orientation can also affect pay. Studies have now proven that there is a wage gap for bisexual employees as well.

How Big is the Wage Gap for Bisexual Americans?

According to the American Sociological Review, there is evidence of a pay gap between bisexual professionals and their heterosexual colleagues. The study pulled from two national samples of more than 10,000 professionals. It found that the wage gap for bisexual women was between 7 and 28 percent, and that for men it was between 11 and 19 percent.

One of the largest factors in the pay difference is of course workplace discrimination. Whether consciously or not, organizations may neglect to hire or promote employees because of prejudices against their sexual orientation.

That does not mean, however, that discrimination is the only factor. For example, the average gay woman earns slightly more than the average straight woman, while the average gay man earns slightly less than the average heterosexual man. Some attribute this to the tendency of gay workers to pursue careers that are not stereotypically associated with their gender. Since female-dominated fields tend to pay lower wages, this might partially explain the pay discrepancy in both cases.

Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation is Unacceptable

Like all forms of discrimination, sexual orientation discrimination is unacceptable. Everyone should have the right to go to work and pursue their dreams without facing prejudice and unfair treatment. Studies like these are important, because they highlight workplace injustices with hard evidence. Recognizing unfairness and building awareness is a crucial step in the journey towards equality.

Dan A. Atkerson is a Dallas employment lawyer who fights passionately on behalf of victims of LGBT discrimination, gender discrimination, sexual harassment and other workplace injustices

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