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Last Updated: Friday, 28 July 2006, 14:35 GMT 15:35 UK
Lesbians 'earn bigger salaries'
woman typing
Lesbian women are more likely to be employed than straight women
Lesbians in couples earn more than heterosexual women in relationships - but for gay men the opposite is true, findings indicate.

Academic research carried out by three British universities says gay women in couples earn 35% more than their straight counterparts.

Moreover, lesbians have a better chance of being employed.

But in contrast, gay men in couples are seen to earn 1% less than men in heterosexual couples.

Hidden variation

The findings were based on comparisons between a group of homosexuals in the labour market with a set of heterosexual couples, both married and unmarried, living together from January 2001 to August 2005.

The research was carried out by the London School of Economics, the University of Wales and London University.

However, these figures ignore other factors which could affect the outcome of the findings.

When other issues, such as levels of education, are taken into account, lesbians in relationships still appear to earn more than women in heterosexual couples, but the figure falls to just 11%.

Meanwhile, in the same equivalent comparison for men, homosexual men earn 6% less than straight men.

"The average pay differentials conceal much variation across age groups, education, regions and sectors of the economy," says an article in CentrePiece, the publication of the LSE's Centre for Economic Performance.

The wide gap comes two years after anti-discrimination legislation was introduced but it is "hard to conclude that the legislation has had much effect on these outcomes", said the article.

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