Sexual Orientation and Job Satisfaction: Survey–Based Evidence from Sweden

Reprint No. 2020:46

Author(s): Lina Aldén, Mats Hammarstedt and Hanna SwahnbergYear: 2020 Title: Journal of Labor Research Volume (No.): 41 (1-2) Pages: 69–101
Online article (restrictions may apply)
Preliminary version

Sexual Orientation and Job Satisfaction: Survey–Based Evidence from Sweden Lina Aldén, Mats Hammarstedt and Hanna Swahnberg

We present results from a unique nationwide survey conducted in Sweden on sexual orientation and job satisfaction. Our results show that gay men are more likely to be very satisfied with their job than heterosexual men, both in general and with different aspects of the job. In contrast, lesbians appear less satisfied with their job in general and with promotion prospects than heterosexual women. Among women, we find no differences in the probability of being very satisfied with the job by sexual orientation. However, the issue of sexual orientation and job satisfaction is complex since gay men, despite that they more often are very satisfied with the job, like lesbians find their job more mentally straining than heterosexuals. We conclude that gay men and lesbians are facing other stressers at work than heterosexuals do. We also conclude that the worker’s own expectations about the job and possibilities to fulfill career plans may be possible driving forces to our results. Previous research has documented discrimination against gay males and lesbians in hiring. Our results underline that measures to prevent discrimination in hiring is not enough to create an equal working life for homosexuals and heterosexuals. Measures within the workplace are also needed.

Aldén, Lina, Mats Hammarstedt and Hanna Swahnberg (2020), "Sexual Orientation and Job Satisfaction: Survey–Based Evidence from Sweden". Journal of Labor Research 41(1-2), 69–101.

Mats Hammarstedt


Ph: +46 772 288 000
Mob: +46 730 619 194

Interdisciplinary European Studies

The European Union and the Return of the Nation State


This book explores the complex and ever-changing relationship between the European Union and its member states. The recent surge in tension in this relationship has been prompted by the actions of some member state governments as they question fundamental EU values and principles and refuse to implement common decisions seemingly on the basis of narrowly defined national interests.

About the book


Seminars organized by IFN


To present ongoing research informal brown-bag seminars are held on Mondays at 11:30 am. This is an opportunity for IFN researchers to test ideas and results.

Academically oriented seminars are most of the time held on Wednesdays at 10 am. At these events researchers from IFN and other institutions present their research.

In addition, IFN organizes seminars open to the public. Topics for these are derived from the IFN research.

Research Institute of Industrial Economics, Grevgatan 34 - 2 fl, Box 55665, SE-102 15 Stockholm, Sweden | Phone: +46-(0)8-665 45 00 | info@ifn.se