It is hard enough being a Black man in the United States, and ordinarily, one would expect being a gay Black man to make things even more difficult. But being a Black man and gay at the same time actually brings some benefits in the corporate world, according to a Princeton University study.
Researchers from the study led by sociologist David Pedulla set out to explore what effects race and seχuality have on the chances of being considered for jobs and on starting salaries. In the end, they made the controversial observation that a gay African-American man stands a better chance of landing jobs and getting better pay than his heterosexual counterpart
The finding is rather contrary to what some people would have expected to be the outcome. Being Black and gay is commonly considered a double disadvantage in society based on the fact that you are essentially a member of minority groups on two fronts. Several studies have shown the disadvantages that a man can face when he is Black and gay. It was observed in a popular study published in 2003 that African-American men of any seχuality with a clean slate face more difficulty getting jobs than White men with records of crimes. Another study also found that Black teens who are gay are more likely to become homeless than their gay peers from other races.
These previous findings make one wonder how the Princeton researchers came to their conclusion.
To arrive at the result, a resúmé test was conducted involving hundreds of employers across the country. Pedulla sent resumes to 231 White employers asking them to suggest a starting salary for a fictional position for the applicants. The resúmés used either a typical White male name, Brad Miller, or a Black male name, Darnell Jackson. Half of the resúmés listed the applicant as the president of a “Student Advisory Council,” while the remaining half described the applicant as president of the “Gay Student Advisory Council.”
From the responses generated, Pedulla and his team observed that gay Black men were more likely to receive the same starting salaries as heterosexual White men. Gay White men and straight Black men were considered for lesser salaries.
While explaining the surprising result, Pedulla said gay Black men were considered less threatening than their heterosexual counterparts. The Root’s Keli Goff wasn’t quite surprised by this statement.
Goff writes that “Fear of the seχual power and prowess of black men has been at the root of the most horrifying acts of racial violence against black Americans, from the lynching epidemic of the early 20th century to the torture of young Emmett Till for supposedly flirting with a white woman in 1955.”
Source: Ashley Naples