The Odds Of Landing A Job Are Higher If You Play It Straight, Research Shows

Young Man Nervous about Job InterviewA study conducted in Cyprus has concluded that gay men and women are at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to exploring the job market.

Two groups of applicants were created with near-identical qualifications, with one group having worked at a “gay rights organization” and the other at an “environmental charity.”

They were monitored as they looked for jobs, and the gay male applicants received interviews 39 percent less often than straight men, while lesbians received interviews 42.7 percent less often than straight women.

That’s a fairly giant discrepancy to be solely based off of one item of work experience, but as researcher Dr. Nick Drydakis put it, “Cyprus has not devoted the necessary resources to public education in the area of employment. This is apparent in the public’s general lack of awareness regarding the legal protection against unequal treatment.”

And when gay men did land a job in the study, they were offered 9.2 percent less money than straight men. Lesbians were offered 5.8 percent less than straight women.

And before you say “yes, but all this proves is that it’s harder for gay men and women to find jobs in Cyprus, a small island in the Mediterranean sea” — which, okay, you’d be right — consider this similar study that shows similar results in the US, especially in the Midwest and the South.

That study went a step further and found that when job descriptions included phrases like “assertive,” “aggressive,” or “decisive,” outwardly gay applicants saw a significant decline in callback rates. Stereotypes are still very much alive at the corporate level.

h/t Pink News




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  • barkomatic

    Sadly, this doesn’t surprise me in the least–and nearly impossible to prosecute since the employee can come up with any bs excuse.

  • avesraggiana

    Well, you have to concede, your typical nelly gay guy is going to have a hard time pulling off “assertive”, “aggressive” or “decisive”. I’m pretty nelly myself and even I have to admit a tendency on my part to be impressed by guys who can be naturally assertive, aggressive or decisive, in a work setting.

  • Black Pegasus

    @Scribe38: that’s an interesting article. I may have to read it once again. But the study does not account for how Black Gay MASCULINE Men would be received by potential employers. I already know how Masculine Gay Black Men are seen in the eyes of Blk Females , but what of employers?

    The premise that Gay Black Men are less threatening to white people only makes sense if you accept negative stereotypes about gay men in general.

  • jd2222248

    In my group of friends this is common knowledge. hmmmm

  • tdx3fan

    It completely depends on the job and on the field. As a male that has always worked in pink collar (nursing assistant, now in school to become a counselor) its easy as hell to get a job as a gay male because I bring everything they want about the male without the fear of creating issues with their mostly female staff. Of course, if you were not working pink collar it might be a problem.

  • tdx3fan

    @avesraggiana: I wonder how you think your personal experience means that its a general rule. However, I’ll use my personal experience, most of the more “nelly” gay guys I know end up running their own businesses (even if those businesses are often drag) and end up being very “assertive,” “aggressive” and “decisive.” Actually, I know quite a few women who do perform those roles much easier than straight men as well (not to say straight men can’t do it). At the end of the day, you need to have those things balanced with the ability to make people actually like you when you are in any job working with other people, and straight men normally go either dominate traits or being liked… its rarely both.

  • Queer4Life

    The consequences of legislation.

    I became a hiring manager at 22. If I knew someone was queer they were less likely to be hired by me. This is not to say I didn’t ever hire queers only that it was less likely I would even interview them. The reason was legislation. I had just witnessed the company I worked for be sued for firing someone because they were gay. The law suite was completely bs. I knew the person who was fired and they were incompetent. But because they managed to convince a jury they were fired for being gay they won a shit ton of money.

    This is the real reason why minorities have a difficult time breaking into fields. Even if the company wins they still loose by spending all that money defending themselves. Is the potential headache worth it? that is the question. And the answer is more often then not no.

  • VampDC

    I think this has less to do with “playing it straight” as it has to do with being masculine.

    Masculinity always does well in the office. From having a deep powerful authoritative voice to dressed in a sharp suit.

  • Scribe38

    @Black Pegasus: Unfortunately I personally run into this phenomenon. I don’t present as gay (worked in construction/weld/fix on cars)(well as what some think is gay). Most people are surprised when I mention I have a partner. The change in behavior is seen most in white women (my experience). Women in class with me are suddenly more friendly, touchy, willing to form study groups with me. Nurses in the hospital where I do my clinical at are the same way. One minute I am a threat and the next a harmless queer. I don’t know which should piss me off more.

  • Black Pegasus

    @Scribe38: Thanks for sharing that. I thought I was the only one who also experiences that with white women. In fact, one of my best conversationists is a white female. We talk about a gambit of issues ranging from health, travel, sociology, astronomy and other out-of -this-world things lol. And it’s genuine. I never told her I am gay but she’s very perceptive so it may be implied from her vantage point.

    White straight and I gel very well until they have doubts about my heterosexuality, then I know gossip mongering has occurred because their body language towards me suddenly changes. They like a large sum of people have a real discomfort around masculine black gay men .

    I’m no social scientist by any measure, but human beings are a particularly predictable group of people when their under close examination or studies (such as the one in this article).

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