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Men's sexual orientation and job satisfaction

Nick Drydakis (Lord Ashcroft International Business School, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, UK and Institute for the Study of Labour (IZA), Bonn, Germany)

International Journal of Manpower

ISSN: 0143-7720

Article publication date: 9 November 2012




This study seeks to investigate the differences in three aspects of job satisfaction – total pay, promotion prospects, and respect received from one's supervisor – between male heterosexual and gay employees in Athens, Greece.


To determine whether a job satisfaction gap exists, the job satisfaction of gay employees is compared to the job satisfaction of heterosexual employees after accounting for various asymmetries. The data were gathered as part of the Athens Area Study conducted by the University of Piraeus, University of Central Greece, and Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences.


Gay employees are found to be less satisfied according to all job satisfaction measures. Affect theory proposes that the extent to which one values a given facet of work moderates how dissatisfied one becomes when one's expectations are not met. Furthermore, the data enable us to estimate that gay employees’ job satisfaction is not associated more (as compared with heterosexuals’ job satisfaction) with adverse mental health symptoms. This finding is crucial given the rising interest between job satisfaction and life satisfaction. Finally, wage gaps against gay employees are found after accounting for basic asymmetries. Interestingly, however, the wage gaps grow for very dissatisfied employees and shrink for very satisfied employees.

Practical implications

As long as, the general patterns in Greece suggest that homosexual employees face labor market discrimination, gay employees will report being less satisfied at work. Actually, in this study, job satisfaction is associated with wage inequality.


This research initiates efforts to compare job satisfaction based on sexual orientation.



Drydakis, N. (2012), "Men's sexual orientation and job satisfaction", International Journal of Manpower, Vol. 33 No. 8, pp. 901-917.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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