Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Employers less likely to interview openly gay men for job openings: Study

04.10.2011
A new study suggests that openly gay men face substantial job discrimination in certain parts of the U.S.

The study, which is the largest of its kind to look at job discrimination against gay men, found that employers in the South and Midwest were much less likely to offer an interview if an applicant's resume indicates that he is openly gay. Overall, the study found that gay applicants were 40 percent less likely to be granted an interview than their heterosexual counterparts.

"The results indicate that gay men encounter significant barriers in the hiring process because, at the initial point of contact, employers more readily disqualify openly gay applicants than equally qualified heterosexual applicants," writes the study's author, András Tilcsik of Harvard University.

The research will be published tomorrow (October 4) in the American Journal of Sociology.

... more about:
»Employers »Sociology »social science

For the study, Tilcsik sent two fictitious but realistic resumes to more than 1,700 entry-level, white collar job openings -- positions such as managers, business and financial analysts, sales representatives, customer service representatives, and administrative assistants. The two resumes were very similar in terms of the applicant's qualifications, but one resume for each opening mentioned that the applicant had been part of a gay organization in college.

"I chose an experience in a gay community organization that could not be easily dismissed as irrelevant to a job application," Tilcsik writes. "Thus, instead of being just a member of a gay or lesbian campus organization, the applicant served as the elected treasurer for several semesters, managing the organization's financial operations."

The second resume Tilcsik sent listed experience in the "Progressive and Socialist Alliance" in place of the gay organization. Since employers are likely to associate both groups with left-leaning political views, Tilcsik could separate any "gay penalty" from the effects of political discrimination.

The results showed that applicants without the gay signal had an 11.5 percent chance of being called for an interview. However, gay applicants had only a 7.2 percent chance. That difference amounts to a 40 percent higher chance of the heterosexual applicant getting a call.

The callback gap varied widely according to the location of the job, Tilcsik found. In fact, most of the overall gap detected in the study was driven by the Southern and Midwestern states in the sample -- Texas, Florida, and Ohio. The Western and Northeastern states in the sample (California, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and New York) had only small and statistically insignificant callback gaps.

"This doesn't necessarily mean that there is no discrimination in those states, just that the callback gaps were small in the case of the jobs to which I sent applications," Tilcsik explained. "I think it's very plausible that, even in those states, there might be a large callback gap in some other jobs, industries, or counties. What this does show is that discrimination in white-collar employment is substantially stronger for the Southern and Midwestern states in the sample."

The research also found that employers seeking stereotypically heterosexual male traits were more likely to discriminate gay men. Gay applicants had lower callback rates when the employer described the ideal candidate for the job as "assertive," "aggressive," or "decisive.

"It seems, therefore, that the discrimination documented in this study is partly rooted in specific stereotypes and cannot be completely reduced to a general antipathy against gay employees," Tilcsik writes.

The technique Tilcsik used, known as audit study, has been used in the past to expose hiring prejudice based on race and on sex. This is the first major audit study to test the receptiveness of employers to gay male job applicants.

Understanding the ways in which these biases might operate at the interview stage of the employment process, or how they might apply to lesbian job seekers in the U.S., requires additional research, Tilcsik says.

András Tilcsik, "Pride and Prejudice: Employment Discrimination against Openly Gay Men in the United States." American Journal of Sociology 117:2 (September 2011).

Established in 1895 as the first U.S. scholarly journal in its field, the American Journal of Sociology remains a leading voice for analysis and research in the social sciences.

Kevin Stacey | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.uchicago.edu

Further reports about: Employers Sociology social science

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Smart Data Transformation – Surfing the Big Wave
02.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Informationstechnik FIT

nachricht Climate change could outpace EPA Lake Champlain protections
18.11.2016 | University of Vermont

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Electron highway inside crystal

Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.

Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth

09.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Scientists produce a new roadmap for guiding development & conservation in the Amazon

09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution

09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>