Why Lesbians Often Earn More Than Heterosexual Women

Most people know that a well-educated white man earns more than a well-educated white or Hispanic woman. For every dollar the white man makes, the white woman will get 78 cents. The Hispanic woman will receive a mere 56 cents in comparison.

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It is common knowledge that college-educated white men have been making the most money for a very long time. Not everyone agrees with the reasons, but they know the gap exists.


One thing that people don’t look, at very often, however, is the pay gap between straight women and lesbian women. You can even look at it more in-depth and break down wages for Asian, Hispanic, and ebony lesbians. No matter how detailed you get, however, one thing is for certain: Lesbians of all races tend to earn more than their straight counterparts.


Marieka Klawitter from the University of Washington compiled lesbian data from 29 studies. She published her surprising findings in January 2015. Marieka found that lesbians earn nine percent more than heterosexual women, on average.

She also found that gay men made 11 percent less than heterosexual men. That figure was even more dismal in Canada and the US, at 16 percent less. In Britain and France, gay men earned five percent less.

So, why are lesbians earning more than heterosexual women? On average, heterosexual women spend four and a half hours every day in unpaid work. Unpaid work is anything from changing diapers through to cleaning and running errands. Men contribute less than half that, which just goes to show that society still hasn’t caught up with the fact that men and women are currently doing equal amounts of work in the office. Unfortunately, due to dated societal conventions, men still haven’t taken on the appropriate amount of work at home. The old saying is that time is money, right? Imagine having two hours less time in your day. It’s ridiculous.


Even female breadwinners – of which make up 40 percent of couples – take on the most chores. They spend over two hours on housework, whereas men spend under one and a half hours. No one blinks an eye either, for it’s the “cultural norm.”


Lesbians don’t tend to face those same barriers or responsibilities. Studies showed that women who hadn’t lived with a male partner made more money than those who did.

In those same studies, lesbians had more education and work experience than their straight equivalents.

The reason for the disparity is not clear. You could determine that gender dynamics are the driving force. A woman who takes on most of the domestic chores may have less time for her career. She may also expect motherhood, sacrificing her need to upskill or further her career.


A heterosexual woman may also forgo her career for family. If she breastfeeds her children, she may find that too challenging to do in the workplace.


There are always going to be variances. Some lesbians will earn less than heterosexual women. Some men will also do the majority of cooking and cleaning. But data doesn’t lie. On average, a lesbian earns more than a heterosexual woman.