Sexual Orientation Inequality
“In this paper, I will explore discrimination in the workplace amongst lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender men and woman working in public education as well as in other industries. The article I chose to include in my writings as a source of reference is Jude Irwin (2002) Discrimination Against Gay Men, Lesbians, and Transgender People Working in Education, Journal of Gay & Lesbian Social Services, 14:2, 65-77. I will also include materials learned throughout the course and will examine reports of harassment in the workplace from other sources, including from my own personal experiences. I will then research federal and state laws to determine if employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity is against the law and if the LGBTQ community is a protected class.
In the article Discrimination Against Gay Men, Lesbians, and Transgender People Working in Education, the author Irwin illustrates the experiences of over 120 gay, lesbian, and transgendered people employed as teachers, academics, and educators. The data analyzed was drawn from a larger research project that detailed the workplace experiences of over 900 gay, lesbian, and transgender workers. The target groups surveyed were comprised of teachers and educators (120 or 13%) and administrative workers (124 or 14%). Of which 60% of individuals interviewed experienced harassment, homophobia, and or prejudicial behavior. The anecdotal and qualitative evidence collected was utilized to explore and document issues that gay, lesbian and transgender individuals go through working in the education system.
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The chosen study aimed to addressed three questions. First, the goal was to identify the extent of discrimination in the workplace against the L.G.T individuals working in education. Secondly, determine the effects that discrimination has on and individuals career, and the impact these experiences had on health and overall well-being.
Thirdly, does prejudicial treatment, behavior or practices cause gay, lesbian, and transgender individuals to be overlooked from promotions and are they not offered the same opportunities as heterosexual staff?
The chosen study used both qualitative and quantitative methods. The data collected was from a self-survey completed by 900 individuals, five focus groups, and 52 interviews. The survey was marketed in the gay, lesbian, and transgender community through various sources such as community newsletters and other media publications. The purpose of the survey was to explore the experiences of gay men, lesbians, and transgender people in their current or most recent job and identify if they ever experienced homophobia, discrimination, and harassment in the workplace. The survey allowed for participants to elaborate on their responses and gave them the opportunity to leave qualitative comments. It also allowed participants the opportunity to be included in either an individual interview or a focus group. The purpose of the 5 focus groups and the fifty-two individual interviews was to obtain a more thorough and in-depth understanding of the experiences of the participants. The five groups were conducted with lesbians who were living in a nonmetropolitan area; gay men and lesbians who were openly gay who had never experienced discrimination; gay men and lesbians who were out and who had experienced discrimination in a previous job; older gay men; and lesbians and transgender people who had taken action against their employers due to workplace discrimination. Individual interviews were undertaken with twenty-seven lesbians, twenty gay men, and five transgender people. Individuals who had experienced workplace harassment or discrimination were given the opportunity to discuss what occurred and the effects it had on their life. If the participants had not experienced workplace discrimination, the goal of the focus group was to identify the positive aspects of the workplace. With the information electronically recorded and gathered from participants and the use of software, the quantitative data surveyed was used to be analyzed thematically.”