Study: Bisexual employees earn less than heterosexuals in similar jobs
- A research study published in the American Sociological Review by Trenton Mize, an Indiana University doctoral student, found that bisexual men and women earn less than their heterosexual counterparts, reports Politico.
- The study found that bisexual women earn 7% to 28% less than heterosexual women after education, age and occupation are factored in. The pay gap between bisexual men and heterosexual men is 11% to 19% after accounting for the same factors.
- Mize attributes this pay disparity to the perception that people are bisexual by choice rather than natural orientation. He adds that it’s a negative perception, made even more discriminatory when others outside the group think negatively of bisexuals’ personal responsibility. Mize says discrimination against bisexuals is harsher than that of homosexuals.
Mize's research found that bisexuals haven’t been studied as a distinct group, which has made their pay disparity less apparent than others.’ He noted that gay men earn less than straight men, but that lesbians earn, on average, more than straight women. His conclusion is that bisexuals experience more pay-based discrimination than all other groups.
Standard pay rates are based on geography, occupation, education, performance and other tangible factors, not on race, gender or sexual orientation. While sexual preference can be difficult to determine unless employees are candid about it, employers have a legal responsibility to see that employees are neither targets of unconscious bias nor unfairly compensated to avoid violating civil rights laws. State and federal governments can also work to close such gaps through legislation, as Massachusetts did in August.