Studies have shown lesbian women make around 9% more than straight women. And in the U.S. the disparity is even larger at 20%. This phenomenon was broken down in a viral TikTok from creator Aria Velz who analyzed multiple studies to try and find the answer.
Velz points out that lesbians are oftentimes more educated than straight women, but they are also less likely to “have children, live more predominantly in cities, and have more professional jobs.” However, Velz goes on to explain that even when those factors are controlled, lesbians are still earning more than straight women. Her explanation? Straight women are more often expected to bear the brunt of emotional and domestic labor when in relationships or family dynamics with men, and are also more likely to “sacrifice career advancement for domestic responsibilities.” Lesbians often share these responsibilities equally in their households.
Velz continues to say “Interestingly, when you look at the wages of lesbians who have lived with a previous male spouse and lesbians who have never lived with a male spouse, the lesbian wage premium is significantly more present for the lesbians who have never lived with a male spouse.” So is it safe to say that straight men are holding back their female partners in the career world?
Despite this, lesbians on the whole are still more likely to be poor than straight couples due to the continued wage gap between women and men. In fact, many heterosexual households in which only the man works are still higher earning than lesbian coupled households combined salaries.