The University of New Hampshire Whittemore School of Business and Economics has released the results of a study that shows there is a great discrepancy between the way gay men and lesbian women are treated in the work place.
For instance, they show that gay men who have jobs in management as well as blue collar jobs that are the jobs where men usually dominate discriminated against in so far as they make less then straight men in the same positions.
But the same survey shows that the same discrimination is not practiced against lesbians.
The results of the study show that gay men who live together actually make 23% less than a married man and 9% less than a straight man who is unmarried but lives with a woman. The areas where the differences are the greatest are in the managerial filed and blue collar jobs such as building maintenance and grounds keeping, construction jobs and extraction and production.
They also found that lesbians are not similarly discriminated against as compared to heterosexual women. The researchers feel that a possible reason for this is that while there may still be some discriminatory attitudes toward lesbians, they are considered to be very focused on their careers and less likely to leave the job market as a heterosexual woman might to raise children, for instance. The study shows that 18.1% of lesbians have children while with the heterosexual women it is 49.4%
The authors make reference to other studies that focused on the attitudes of straight men to gay men and lesbians and they found that they show that there is a stronger prejudice against the gay men. They found in other studies that gay men are more likely than lesbians to be the victim of violence due to their sexual preference.
The authors have looked at a good many different reasons for the discrimination against gays in the work place. The first possibility is the employers may just not approve of the lifestyle and let that influence their decisions. They also mention the fact that the employer may think that having a work force made up of both heterosexual and homosexual employees would be a distraction and therefor have a negative impact on the productivity level, so they may rationalize that discrimination would lead to a greater profit.
Then there is the rational that the customers may not want to deal with gay men and that would influence the employer’s decision because he would prefer to cater to the customer’s preferences.
And the last excuse that they say may lead to discrimination is the result of the fear of AIDS and the misunderstandings that many people have in regard to AIDS in the gay community and also about the way AIDS is transmitted.
Also, there is previous studies that who that those with HIV/AIDS do have higher rates of absenteeism from work.
In order to compile their figures, they took information on labor and wages on more than 91,000 couples, both heterosexual and homosexual, from the U.S. Census March 2004 Current Population Survey.
The researchers are Bruce Elmslie, professor of economics, and his co-author Edinaldo Tebaldi, former assistant professor of economics at UNH, who is now at Bryant University.
Source: The University of New Hampshire http://www.unh.edu/news/