“HANDBAGS AT DAWN”

Except it isn’t a theory, it’s mere dogma.

Sexual orientation and sex differences in socioeconomic status: A population-based investigation” by Kerith Conron and two other authors uses a pretty unusual definition of who might be gay or lesbian in its evaluation of the economics of same. In this paper, which used a separate longitudinal study of over 20,000 persons in the U.S., straight-up gays were neatly classified as such, but 528 respondents were classified as “sexual minorities” – the paper’s Orwellian catchphrase – if they had reported one sexual encounter with a member of the same sex.

(Careful with those freshman blowjobs, boys. As the saying goes: “Fix one pipe, they don’t call you a plumber.”)

In this poorly-typeset paper, which seemingly never met a subscript opening parenthesis it couldn’t leave out (one or two made it through) yet was laboriously translated into U.K. English, most results are exactly what one would expect. Gay males earn less than straight males, yet are more educated. Lesbians do not consistently earn more than straight females, except in the $10,000–$24,999 income tranche. We are more likely to “receive public assistance” or have experienced “economic hardship” in the year preceding the original survey’s questions.

I was surprised to find that black and Hispanic respondents had higher incomes and rates of home ownership than White ones, though only in some classifications. According to intersectionality dogma, you are doubly oppressed if you are “Black” or “Latinx” and “queer” (a “QTPOC”), hence you should have √2 the odds of owning your own home. Nope.

I am not conjuring this terminology out of thin air. (“SES” means socioeconomic status.)

Although an intersectional analysis that considers racial inequality as an important determinant of population patterns of SES was beyond the scope of the current paper, we did explore whether observed sexual-orientation and SES patterns differed between racial minorities (black and Latino/as [sic]) and the majority (whites) separately for females and males….

Among women, sexual-orientation inequities in home ownership were more pronounced for whites than racial minorities. Rates of home ownership were the lowest for [lesbian] racial-minority women and highest for heterosexual white women. Among men, racial-minority men were more likely to be in the highest household economic status group than were racial-minority heterosexual men, whereas white [gay] men were less likely to be in the highest household economic status group compared with white heterosexual men.

Non-White, non-black, non-Hispanic respondents were not really what this survey was about (yet represented 6.1% of respondents). To academics, liberals, and progressives, Orientals and Indics are troublesome counterexamples.

Much of the paper seemed motivated by dogma, as opposed to the actual results or informed predictions. As I wrote to Conron:

Your findings that non-White subjects have higher incomes than White subjects in some classifications was very much a surprise. It also upends your “intersectional” analysis, a fact you do not concede.

But then, as the song puts it, you go and spoil it all by editorializing.

Economic inequities were attenuated after adjusting for education – suggesting that promoting the achievement of [lesbian] girls and young women may serve to reduce economic inequalities

Do you find yourself in the cohort that believes such “promot[ion]” has not been underway for the last 40 years? Do you seriously believe girls and women do not deal with a steady stream of “promoting” their “achievement”? (I assume you also think a boy who believes he’s a girl really is one. You do, after all, change the subject to transgenderism later on.)

Proximal or “midstream” factors that may underlie this gap include sexual victimi[z]ation, unplanned pregnancy

Lesbians have unplanned pregnancies often enough to measure?

and differential discipline in secondary schools

If you (or the referenced study) are suggesting lesbians are disproportionately disciplined in school, where is your evidence they don’t disproportionately misbehave?

Aaand here’s your whopper:

However, [gay] males were more likely to report lower personal incomes, and, after accounting for higher levels of education, were more likely to report economic hardship in the previous year than their heterosexual counterparts. This pattern… suggests that [gay] males experience wage discrimination.

You have positively no evidence to support that claim, least of all in the populations you surveyed.

Since you, like me, have read the literature, you know the real reasons why gay males earn less than straight males: We go into female-dominated (lower-paying) fields; we work part-time more, and full-time for fewer hours; our higher educational levels mean fewer years in the workforce. Those are the attested reasons.

But, just as the cohort I assume you belong to believes that girls and young women do not have achievement promoted to them, you surely believe gay males are so frequently discriminated against in employment that it has lowered our incomes overall.

Of course Conron didn’t bother answering questions.


The problem here is that even studies with five figures’ worth of initial subjects end up with a few hundred gay males and lesbians (at the very most) to focus on. The marvel is that there is so little real variability in the results across 70-odd research papers.

But, as with the recent case of research showing that gay marriage in the U.S. has become a luxury good, this paper showing non-Whites’ faring better than we do in some realms could be a wild outlier. Or the underlying reality may truly be changing. Maybe the United States is a pretty good place to be a “cutiepock.”

But in any event, I don’t appreciate being lied to. Conron’s paper misidentifies straight people as gay; can’t bring itself to admit non-White gays and lesbians are better off sometimes; promotes the cherished chestnut that the United States carries out so much discrimination against gays and lesbians that our incomes are lowered; and (in a section I’ve elided) really does ask questions about transgenders as though they were relevant to our lives.

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2018.10.08 13:08. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:
https://blog.fawny.org/2018/10/08/qtpocmoney/

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