Recently, a study has shown that potential employees who have a “gay-sounding” voice are being discriminated against in the workplace and in heterosexual social circles. The University of Surrey conducted the study, which asked 40 heterosexual men in Italy to determine the salary and stability of job candidates for a fictional position based on vocal recordings and photographs, as reported by the Daily Mail.
While the sexual orientation of the candidates was unknown, participants in the survey stated that male applicants who had “gay-sounding voices” were not as suitable for the position and should not be paid as much as the candidates who were “heterosexual-sounding.” Women who had huskier voices and “lacked femininity” were also given lower evaluations.
Lead researcher of the study, Dr. Fabio Fasoli, has said, “It is revealing, that despite all the work to lessen discrimination against the LGBT community, people subconsciously typecast an individual before getting to know them. This study highlights that it can be a real problem in the workplace and for people’s career prospects.”
Participants in the study also said that they would be less likely to socialize with the speakers who had “gay-sounding” voices. Fasoli added, “This study demonstrates that unacceptable levels of discrimination, be they subconscious or conscious, still exists in our society, and we need to do more to tackle the discrimination faced by the LGBT community.”
This study does indeed illuminate that we as a society still have a long way to go. While we continue to make progress in legal ways and laws that grant equality to LGBTQ citizens, we still have a lot of work to do when it comes to discrimination and subconscious stereotypes.