Date of Award

Fall 2013

Project Type


Program or Major


Degree Name

Master of Arts

First Advisor

Rebecca Glauber


The purpose of this research is to begin to describe various aspects of interactions with the labor market (e.g. employment status, individual income, household income) based on sexual orientation, using nationally representative data from the General Social Survey. Much of the previous research suggests that any observed differences can be attributed to employee choice of occupation or other voluntary aspects of employment. Furthermore, previous research has found wage premiums for gay women and penalties for gay men, with sexual orientation, not gender, as the lead cause. Based on this current data, I assert that any observed difference is an artifact of both sexual orientation and gender, impacting equal and unbiased access to the labor market. I conclude that gay men and women are more educated than their straight counterparts yet have lower predicted household incomes and individual incomes. This effect is constant for gay men more than gay women.