Sexual orientation, partnership status, and work patterns among US young adults


Ueno, Koji; Grace, Jessi; & Šaras, Emily D. (2019). Sexual orientation, partnership status, and work patterns among US young adults. Research in Social Stratification and Mobility. vol. 62


Past research has shown that sexual minority women have a higher rate of labor force participation and work more hours than heterosexual women, and that men show the opposite sexual orientation differences. Little is known, however, about sexual orientation differences in work history. Further, many past studies, especially US studies, defined sexual orientation by the gender of residing partners and therefore excluded people who do not have a partner from analysis. This study sought to overcome these limitations by analyzing US data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health, Wave 4 (n = 14,707). The analysis showed that compared to women in different-sex marriage, those in same-sex partnerships had a higher rate of labor force participation, worked more hours, and had a greater number of jobs in their work histories, although these women showed very small differences from those in different-sex cohabitation. In contrast, single women did not show any sexual orientation differences in these outcomes. Although partnered men and single men also showed very little sexual orientation differences, single men with same-sex experience had more jobs in their work histories than those with different-sex experience, partly due to their greater chance of experiencing involuntary job loss.




Reference Type

Journal Article

Journal Title

Research in Social Stratification and Mobility


Ueno, Koji
Grace, Jessi
Šaras, Emily D.

Year Published


Volume Number



June 21, 2019



Reference ID