First survey on lesbian women paves the way for understanding the sociodemographic profile

Posted in: 08/29/2023

Until a few years ago, it was not easy to have information about the number of lesbian, bisexual and gay men in Brazil. But in 2022, the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) released the first survey with information on homosexuals and bisexuals , the National Health Survey (PNS) : Self-identified sexual orientation of the adult population. 

In general numbers, the survey shows that Brazil has 2.9 million people aged 18 or over who declare themselves to be bisexual, gay and lesbian, with 0.9% of them being lesbian women . However, the Institute makes it clear that there is a possibility of underreporting in the number of bisexual and homosexual people due to prejudice or fear , which means that men and women do not identify themselves for security reasons. 

Lesbian women with people around. Photo: Adobe Stock
IBGE points out that only 0.9% of the homosexual population in Brazil is lesbian. Photo: Adobe Stock

Furthermore, the survey was not enough to understand the profile of homosexual and bisexual people. 

To meet this demand, the Lesbocenso , a survey carried out by the Brazilian Lesbian League in 2021 and 2022, mapped the sociodemographic profile of lesbian women , recording information such as ethnicity, religion, education, income, among other data.  

Studies show participation of lesbian women in the labor market 

In its first stage, the Lesbocenso showed that 85.23% of the interviewees answered that they identify as cisgender, 6.31% are non-binary , 3% were unable to answer, 1.17% are agender, 1.07% are trans , 1.87% identified themselves as other and 1.27% declined to answer. 

When asked about ethnicity, 61.94% of the interviewees identified themselves as white, 33.55% as black and brown , 1.68% as yellow and less than 1% as indigenous. 

In addition to the social aspect, the Lesbocenso analyzed areas such as work , health, family. By deepening the data on work, the survey showed that 73% of the lesbian women who responded to the survey were working, compared to 26% who were out of work. 

Couple of lesbian women with child on their lap. Photo: Adobe Stock
Lesbocenso is the first survey that analyzes family, professional and religious issues. Photo: Adobe Stock

But, when analyzing the population as a whole, the space occupied by lesbian women in the labor market is still low. This is what the study “ Representativeness, Diversity and Perception – Multisectoral Census of Kairós Management 2022 ” shows, carried out between 2019 and 2021, which identified that lesbian women represent only 1.5% of the workforce . 

When we narrow down the analysis, the percentage of lesbian women in leadership positions is even lower, reaching only 0.8% , according to the Kairós Management report. 

This type of survey highlights the impact of prejudice when minority groups seek to place themselves in the job market and leverage their careers, allowing public authorities and private entities to develop inclusion and career development initiatives. 

SDG10 – Reduced inequalities
SDG5 – Gender equality

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