In August there was an interesting essay in the NY Times about books and boys called BOYS AND READING: IS THERE ANY HOPE?
This particluar paragraph has sorta stuck with me for the past month:
The current surge in children’s literature has been fueled by talented young female novelists fresh from M.F.A. programs who in earlier times would have been writing midlist adult fiction. Their novels are bought by female editors, stocked by female librarians and taught by female teachers. It’s a cliché but mostly true that while teenage girls will read books about boys, teenage boys will rarely read books with predominately female characters.
The implication is that the overwhelmingly “female imprint” in the world of book publishing might be one of the causes as to why boys are not reading as much as we’d like. The essay hints – actually, it’s stronger than mere hinting – that as a result of so many women in the world of book publishing, boys are missing the “boy” factor behind the scenes and as much as a woman might want to coach a fella as to how to buy a jock strap, unless you have actually been a jock strap wearer, it’s all speculative. (Note: the converse is true: guys leading the bra-shopping march would run into the same problems. Unless you actually know, you just don’t know.)
I’m a bit puzzled by this. On one hand, I am not sure I agree. On the other hand, I just might.
I wonder what others think. Perhaps I’ll dive a bit more deeply into this more over the coming week. Is there a gender bias affecting student reading habits?