A study found that gay men worldwide receive less paid parental leave on average than lesbian or heterosexual couples, reported Reuters.

The research, conducted at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), focused on the paternity laws in 33 countries that are members of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and offer paid leave to parents.

In just 12 percent of said countries, gay male couples received the same number of weeks of as heterosexual couples. By comparison, lesbian couples received equitable time off in just under 60 percent of countries.

“A lot of the differences in leave stem from gender stereotypes where women are the primary caregivers,” said lead author Elizabeth Wong. “That not only affects heterosexual couples; it greatly disadvantages same-sex male couples.”

On average, same-sex male couples received five fewer months leave that straight couples, while lesbian couples receive three fewer months.

Only three countries allowed the same paid leave to all couples – Australia, New Zealand, Iceland, and Sweden – which ranged from 18 to 70 weeks. Turkey and Israel offered gay couples no leave at all and Switzerland offered only maternity leave, regardless of sexual orientation.

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