Gay recent college grad Danny Rosa had a question for the Freakonomics Radio Podcast hosts: why is it that when he walks around the typical gayborhoods like West Hollywood and Boystown in Chicago that everyone seems so…rich?
The podcast hosts pored over data from multiple published academic studies and books that asked the same questions (with names like “New Patterns Of Poverty in the LGBT Community” and “Money, Myths, and Change: The Economic Lives Of Lesbians and Gay Men”) and some of their conclusions are surprising.
Some ideas supporting the “Rich Gay” stereotype are:
- A heterosexual couple is more than 4X as likely as a gay male couple to be raising a kid. Since the estimated expenditure for a child is roughly $175,000 from birth until age 18, we all know what that means: More Andrew Christian undies, Gucci wallets, Tom Ford suits, and Atlantis cruises for EVERYONE!
- Based on Census data, the median gay male household income is $105,000, more than 20% higher than that of their straight counterparts, who top out at around $84,000.
- Studies suggest that gay men have higher than average education levels. Education levels of course lead to more $$ in the long run, possibly adding 8% more income per year for each extra year of education attained.
Now, for the bad news. Here are some facts which suggest that the “Rich Gay” stereotype may be just that…a stereotype:
- Since it is “extremely hard” to get good data on gays in general, the studies available actually speak to a very small segment of the population.
- There is also evidence that supports the idea that gay men may take on more professions that are “female-like” that actually pay a bit less on average.
- Gay men face very real job discrimination when seeking employment. In one study straight men had to apply to 8 jobs to get an interview whereas gay men had to apply to 11.
Is there true wealth in the gay community, or is it all just smoke, mirrors, and marketing? At only 21 minutes, the Freakonomics podcast is a fascinating listen, and may cause you to rethink some of your ideas about wealth in the gay community.
A transcript is available here.
Not this again!???
Here’s a blogger that rigorously went through loads of “research” that professed to show gay men were significantly wealthier than average, and found them to be JUNK!
Queerty is now commenting on podcasts? Please.
@Dixie Rect: It’s either that or yet another post involving boys in their underwear. Gay journalism!
Hasn’t this always been debunked a hundred times already? Like the reality of discrimination and high homelessness rates weren’t already evidence enough that we’re poorer than average, not richer.
And why the stereotype? Well beyond the usual suspects trying to make us look powerful to justify discrimination it’s a simple case of visibility:
Wealth = security
The more secure you are, generally, the easier it is to be Out – or the more insulated you are from the consequences of being Out. Not in every profession, certainly, but in many.
The poorer you are, the less insulated you are from risk, the more you may have to rely on others for support – the more you may have to closet yourself
I can’t believe you guys. Queerty with all it’s faults is still the best game in town. Try your shit on any other blog and you will get kicked in the balls, or what ever else you have down there…Get over it and be happy… You bitches piss me off…This is supposed to be fun, if you need to kvetch, find a good shrink.
You need only spend a moderate amount of time on gay sites to know that the level of education is no higher than average.
For every Me, Cam, Dako and others there’s Jim, Auntie, Dixie, Fagburn, Sohobod, Avenger and a host of others who the brain train didn’t just abandon but actually ran over.
@Sparkyu1: I am not sure what you are trying to say. I have lived from one end of the spectrum to the other and while having no worries to wondering where the next meal is coming from makes a difference in comfort. It does not change being out or in. Not for me.
At least this isn’t another “Tom Daley may be bi, pan, queer, fluid, etc. but absolutely NOT GAY” posts…
PS – Freakonomics jumped the shark years ago – hell, they were always Neoliberal quacks.
PPS – One of those economists, Levitt I believe, once claimed that economic theory demonstrated that sexual orientation could be changed by certain environmental factors. He used some pseudo scientific econometric model incorporating HIV/AIDS as a “natural experiment” and through some dodgy statistical regressions “proved” that fear of AIDS actually turned some gay men straight! Of course, the study he used only measured same sex acts with no control for identity and he used some bizarre instrumental variable (whether a family member had died of AIDS) to “prove” that a certain percentage of men “chose” to be heterosexual. Pure garbage but par for the course for the Gary becker/Chicago school types who base their models on rational actor theory and then apply them to non-market human behavior
This propaghanda has been circulating for decades…Actually 40- 60 percent of gays are on social assistance…or less….
Most gays live on 10 stolen credit cards and then dissapear to another town….
Your shit’s been circulating for decades itself. Do you get hard coming on gay sites?
@2eo: That is so sweet. Thank you. How could I ever live without guys like you putting me in my place… It makes no difference that I have a B.A. in Anthropology and at 53 I am already retired… Not rich but comfortable… I do not flaunt myself like some pompous little ass judging everyone by my own standards…We all see things from one point of view or another… I just want to relax and enjoy what little time I have left in this world… I’m so glad that you live in England…The U.S. is already rife with annoying judgmental twits…I shall die a happy man safe in the knowledge that the world is well in hand with you and your ilk…We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools so get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please…A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new…Have a nice day.
@2eo: I doubt that you will read this or even care one wit if you do…But while in South America I got malaria, that in conjunction with my HIV has had an impact on my health, so in the future if you want to continue to put me in the same class as Jim, Dixie, Fagburn, Sohobod, Avenger and a host of others who the brain train didn’t just abandon but actually ran over…Do a bit more research so that your rapier wit can cut all the more deeper…There is nothing I enjoy more than being the ant under your magnifying glass, after all tormenting those that you consider to be lesser beings is your shtick, is it not?
“Donald Trump money”…?
Strange ‘level’ to cite considering Trump comes from a rich+connected family – plus his actual liquid personal wealth is dubious at best and certainly not even close to what he says or implies.
Sure he’s rich – but I’d bet lots of gay people who were supported by their rich+connected families easily have ‘Donald Trump money’.
@2eo: “For every Me, Cam and Dako”? Do you mean Yacko, Whacko and Dot? Conservatives insult the intelligence of those who see the world differently from themselves, I guess that’s just human nature….
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