Best. Lesbian. Week. Ever. (January 14, 2011): Mary Portas goes undercover, “Glee” gets real

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THIS JUST IN: LESBIANS EARN MORE

According to an ABC news report, old Census data shows that lesbians earn “significantly more” money than straight women. Of course, it doesn’t take a Census to point out that we have Suze Orman on our team, so it’s not entirely a shocker, right?

The data, from the 2000 Census, shows that lesbians made about 7.5 percent more than never-married single women, 9.6 percent more than previously married single women, and 5 percent more than currently-married women.

The findings go on to state that back then, lesbians made an average hourly wage of $18.70, compared to the average straight women’s wage of $13.35.

While the reports are interesting, there’s no solid proof as to why. Of course, there’s no shortage of assumptions. BoingBoing, for example, has a theory that “lesbians are more assertive when it comes to their salaries than heterosexual women.”

Another debunked idea for how this could be was that lesbians could work longer hours as they were less likely to have children at home. Maybe that was somewhat more plausible in 2000 (I stress “maybe”), but we are living in the age of The Kids Are All Right. Lesbians have kids. And jobs.

Since the data is from more than a decade ago, we can’t say that lesbians are earning more thanks to Bette Porter’s power lesbian style, which could be inspiring more lesbians to dress for success, but I’m surprised that hasn’t been tossed around as another assumption.

The best guess, which still doesn’t tell us much, comes from economist Lee Badget, who tells ABC:

 

It adds to the weight of what a lot of us have thought: There are some differences in decisions that lesbians might make. You could also look at it to see if they’re not as constrained by heterosexual gender roles. Heterosexual women may want to make those choices, too, but, perhaps in the context in their relationships, they can’t.

Why do you think lesbians are earning more? Is it a coincidence or something else? Please discuss, while I go ask for a raise.

by Jamie Murnane

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