Hiramori, Daiki. 2022. “Sexuality Stratification in Contemporary Japan: A Study in Sociology.” PhD dissertation, Department of Sociology, University of Washington.
Julie Brines (Chair), Jerald Herting (Member), Peter Catron (Member), Marieka Klawitter (Graduate School Representative; Evans School of Public Policy and Governance)
This dissertation used the Osaka City Residents’ Survey, one of the few population-based surveys that ask about sexual orientation in Japan, to explore the association between sexual orientation and educational attainment, occupational segregation, and earnings disparities in Japan. The analysis of educational attainment showed that among those assigned female at birth, sexual minorities (i.e., gay/lesbian, bisexual, and asexual people) tended to have a higher probability of college completion than heterosexual people. Among those assigned male at birth, gay/lesbian people’s probability of college completion was similar to that of heterosexual people. Bisexual people’s probability of college completion was lower than that of heterosexual people, and asexual people’s probability of college completion was higher than that of heterosexual people. The analysis of occupational segregation indicated that while the level of segregation by sexual orientation seen in the three labor market outcomes (occupation, employment status, and firm size) was low among those assigned female at birth, a non-negligible level of segregation by sexual orientation in occupation and employment status was found for those assigned male at birth. The analysis of earnings disparities revealed that among those assigned female at birth, sexual minorities earned as much as heterosexual people, suggesting that the lesbian premium found in Western societies was not applicable to Japan. When other factors that might confound or mediate the relationship between sexual orientation and earnings were accounted for, bisexual people earned less than heterosexual people. Among those assigned male at birth, sexual minorities earned less than heterosexual people. When other factors were accounted for, bisexual people earned more than heterosexual people, which is a pattern not observed in Western societies. Taken together, this dissertation calls attention to the social–institutional structures of a society—such as the family system, educational system, and labor market system—when examining what I refer to as “sexuality stratification,” or stratification by sexual orientations that are recognized as normative or non-normative. Without incorporating the social–institutional perspective in sociology, individual-level explanations, such as human capital theory in economics, would not sufficiently identify why some societies experience a greater degree of socioeconomic inequality based on sexual orientation than others.