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scullars
06-02-2005, 05:25 PM
An article in The Guardian, a UK online publication, divulges what I've long suspected: by and large, men do not read fiction authored by women. The one line in the article that particularly struck a nerve with me is:

'Consequently, fiction by women remains "special interest", while fiction by men still sets the standard for quality, narrative and style.'

In a survey, the male respondents were asked to name the "most important" work written by a woman, and many were unable to answer. The stock answer for those who did respond was Monica Ali's Brick Lane, although at least one respondent who offered this answer admitted he hadn't even read the book.

The rest of the article is here: http://books.guardian.co.uk/news/articles/0,6109,1495060,00.html

Now, my question: Why oh why is there this gender bias by male readers? I read works by both men and women, and appreciate the varied styles of both. Is it that men anticipate sentimentalization? Trite plots? A female-skewered view? What is it? And what is this belief that men's fiction "sets the standard for quality, narrative and style?" This almost harps back to the Oprah/Jonathan Franzen fiasco. I suspect that Franzen believed that by his book being labeled a book for women to read, his validity as a writer would somehow be dimishished.

OK, poll for the men on this board: What recent work have you read by a woman that you truly appreciated by way of plot, style, characterization?

Just curious.

MarkEsq
06-02-2005, 06:09 PM
A fascinating subject, I've never even (consciously) made a distinction between male and female authors. I know I enjoy mysteries as a genre, and like the work of PD James, Agatha Christie.. but also AC Doyle.
Now, it could be that women only write about love stories and sappy stuff that have no real value or meaning, and maybe it's because men are just more gifted and intelligent and therefore in today's busy world, when we have a small amount of time to read for pleasure your odds are better if you pick up a book by a male author.
Seriously, I have no idea. I concede that the two books I am reading now are by men (John Mortimer's Rumpole and Maximum City by Suketu Mehta) but there was no intentional discrimination. I'll be interested to hear other people's theories.

veinglory
06-02-2005, 06:58 PM
The Guardian says a lot of things and has a gender bias of its own going on (very few women reporters, less even than can be seen on staff at the tabloids).

I see approximately equal numbers of male and female names on the local bookstore shelves and publishers are not know for charity. What may be true is that men read more books by men and women read more books by women. But given that women buy more books than men that doesn't make the female authors 'niche' rather the reverse. 1 of every three books sold world wide is a romance and men don't write very many of these.

As for, oh, can't remember reading anything by a women, JK anyone?

maestrowork
06-02-2005, 07:05 PM
I don't really think it's true. I read plenty of female authors, regardless of genres. Granted, I read literary/mainstream stuff as well as some genres.

Men do, however, tend to read for entertainment (I'm generalizing here, of course! Sorry): mystery, thriller/suspense, horror, sci-fi. There are many great female writers in these genres -- but males do dominate some (such as thriller/suspense). Men generally don't like to touch romance, chick lit, literary fiction which could be dominated by female writers. Again, there are exceptions.

Women do, by and large, buy more books than men.

How about female readers? Do you have gender bias? Do you prefer female writers over male?

veinglory
06-02-2005, 07:12 PM
The research is based on self report. Thus it measures the last author a person remembers reading and is willing to admit to. I imagine people said they were reading old white dead men because they are memorable and prestige (despite having JK and Jackie Collins on the bedside table).

I wish reporting of research actually bothered to report how the data was collected and from whom. For a start they seem literary-centric when the vaste majority of books are bought and read for entertainment.

I lean (but by no means exclusively) towards female writers Octavia Butler, Ursula le Guin and a whole lot or erotic romance. I also read a lot of writers identifued by initials who many (esp. men) might assume are men? -- but I am pretty sure they aren't, Bujold, Cherryh?

Liam Jackson
06-02-2005, 07:17 PM
Everything by Katherine Kurtz- stylistic but not to the point it overwhlems the story. She's got the knack. (Maybe I'm just a sucker for Templars)

Assorted works by: (in no particular order)
Andre Norton- so much talent it's spooky
Barbara Hambly- has moments of brilliance
J V Jones- great story teller
Margret Weiss- another prolific author with moments of pop and sizzle
Victoria Strauss- The Burning Lands ...hell of a book with timeless themes, made fresh

I have prejudices when it comes to shelling out $24.95 for a hardcover, or $7.95 for a paperback, but gender isn't one of them.

JoeEkaitis
06-02-2005, 07:25 PM
Can't hear you! The "Oh, Puh-Leeze!" alarm is too loud!

Liam Jackson
06-02-2005, 07:29 PM
Joe, I've always consider you the astute type :) I see my opinion has been validated.

CACTUSWENDY
06-02-2005, 07:31 PM
:popcorn: ...and the other side of that coin is...I've read both male and female written books that I have not liked. :popcorn: I tend to write like a guy...with very little fluff...and will use more of a male name when and if I ever get it published. :popcorn: When I read a female written book I think I expect a certain 'flow' that I don't find in male written books. It's real hard to explain. :popcorn: I don't read much romance...(hum...maybe I should check that out), but do like thrillers/crime/scifi/fan. (all this said...IMO)

robeiae
06-02-2005, 07:33 PM
Guys can't write romance because they're not sensitive enough. It's easy for chicks to write it 'cause they're born knowing that stuff...it's as natural to them as shopping and crying.

Rob :)

Gehanna
06-02-2005, 07:34 PM
I don't read romance or write it. In fact, I don't read fiction at all. Everything I read falls into the non-fiction category. I have approx. 74 non-fiction books in this room with me now. Some I have purchased and others are from the Public Library. I looked at them and all but 5 were written by men.

JoeEkaitis
06-02-2005, 07:42 PM
Joe, I've always consider you the astute type :) I see my opinion has been validated.
Why, thank 'e kindly and you have a nice day. :Sun:

jackie106
06-02-2005, 07:47 PM
How about female readers? Do you have gender bias? Do you prefer female writers over male?

My grandmother almost exclusively reads female writers (Margaret Atwood, Katherine Anne Porter, etc.), but I don't know any other women who share this prejudice.

There are handful of men (http://www.writer-on-line.com/content/view/309/66/~Articles/Romance/Write-from-the-Heart:-The-Men-of-Romance.html) who write romance novels. Some use their own names, some don't. I could see why an editor might not want a man to write under his own name, but it sure didn't hurt the sales of The Bridges of Madison County.

Then again, I don't read much romance, so I can't speak for the typical reader.

Jackie

BradyH1861
06-02-2005, 08:38 PM
I don't read much romance either, but boy do I like to look at the cover art.

Brady H.

Brainerd T.
06-02-2005, 08:55 PM
Everything by Katehrine Kurtz- stylistic but not to the point it overwhlems the story. She's got the knack. (And maybe, I'm a sucker for Templars)

My absolute favorite author is Kathryn Kurtz, followed closely by Stephen R. Donaldson. A very close third is Mary Stewart. Her telling of the Merlin Quadrilogy is superbly unsurpassable.

Wait. There is also Tolkien as well. Don't judge me too harshly, however, when I say: I'm an Edgar Rice Burroughs fan. He's not in the "Great" league, but he tell a good story. I've got almost all of his 96 books. The Mars ones are the best, not Tarzan.

However, there are a number of women through the years who made their "nom de plume" or alias, to that of a man so the publisher would publish them. Seems as if it may have been true at one time - or was it just the experience of a few select women authors? (One in a row does not set a precedent.)

PattiTheWicked
06-02-2005, 09:25 PM
I occasionally see articles like this one, and mostly I think it's impossible to give them much credence at all. For it to be accurate, you'd really have to have an enormous control group, equally divided among both male and female readers of many socioeconomic and educational backgrounds.

For my part, I'm a 36-year-old suburban mom with an SUV and a college education, and while a lot of my peers enjoy "chick lit" and the stuff that ends up on Oprah's book club, I'm perfectly happy to putter along reading a healthy combination of Patrick O'Brien, John Grisham and PC Doherty mixed in with Nora Roberts, Anya Seton, Patricia Cornwell, and Jennifer Roberson. Throw in some classics, like Jane Austen, Alexandre Dumas, and William Shakespeare, and I'm perfectly happy.

Bottom line for me: a good book is a good book. A crappy book will not suddenly appeal to me merely because the author has one set of genitalia or the other.

eldragon
06-02-2005, 09:26 PM
I don't read fiction by male or female.


No matter how interesting the book sounds, I cannot read fiction.

But - if I were to read fiction - I'd try a female writer first.

In fact, I prefer female writers to male writers.

Vanessa
06-02-2005, 09:53 PM
I don't read romance or write it. In fact, I don't read fiction at all. Everything I read falls into the non-fiction category. I have approx. 74 non-fiction books in this room with me now.

It is a known fact that authors do change their names concealing their gender when they have published certain material. Being an avid reader, and still not knowing all of "who is who', it's hard to determine what gender actually wrote the piece. And with that in mind, everyone has a right to choose what they want to read, but it is not fair to an author when certain genders are selected solely because of gender. And perhaps this is why names are changed, to keep the author well fed. Maybe we can consider it all as a form of art. We take whatever creative means in pleasing the reader.

I also don't read romance novels, regardless of who wrote them. I read a lot of non-fiction/reference materials such as computing, and writing books. And honestly, and maybe sadly, I don't search the book stores for the authors of these materials, I look for the content.

That's my lil two cents....

sunandshadow
06-02-2005, 09:56 PM
I think the gender divide is most blatant in the genre of mystery, where many bookstores divide the books by whether the authors are male or female. I don't read much mystery, but a fan of the genre told me that 'male mystery' and 'female mystery' have different plot types.

Me, I've found that most of my favorite authors are female, because female authors are more likely to focus on the sociology and psychology I'm interested in. But I've read more male authors overall because in the body of published science fiction novels, and of course classics, there just plain are more male authors than female authors.

maestrowork
06-02-2005, 10:34 PM
I think the gender divide is most blatant in the genre of mystery, where many bookstores divide the books by whether the authors are male or female. Huh? Which bookstores do you go to?

arrowqueen
06-03-2005, 01:36 AM
Since I'm going to read the book, not sleep with it, the gender of the author is irrelevant.

Richard
06-03-2005, 02:16 AM
Can I just point out that I probably wouldn't be able to think of a 'most important' book by a male author either if suddenly approached by a VoxPeep on the street. I've read and enjoyed books by representatives of both genres this week alone, but none of them would really earn that badge. I may or may not have read books that have been deemed important by other people, but I'm not going to namecheck them on spec.

And the writer's gender really doesn't make any difference to my buying (although I'll admit, it does occasionally raise my eyebrows while reading - especially when you glance at the book jacket and realise that a prim looking languages teacher has just segued seamlessly from intergalactic strife to latex clad bondage lesbians...)

scullars
06-03-2005, 02:28 AM
Regarding pseudonyms, I wonder would J. K. Rowling have been as popular if she had published under her full given name? Sometimes, it is smart to initialize your name and keep the readers guessing.

As for the male authors I like, I gravitate toward horror or fantasy - Preston/Childs; Gary Braunbeck; Guy Gavriel Kay; Terry Goodkind; Tom Piccilli. The one mystery writer I particularly like is Caleb Carr. My fav female authors tend to be either horror or sci-fi/fantasy: Tananarive Due, Octavia Butler, Tess Gerritsen.

I'm just a sucker for excellent writing, whether from the pen of a man or woman. Although this might be a non-issue for some, there are those within the industry who have shown sexism in some of their comments. Case in point, Otto Penzler, known as the "dean of mystery-writing in America," who stated:

“The women who write [cozies] stop the action to go shopping, create a recipe, or take care of cats,” he says. “Cozies are not serious literature. They don’t deserve to win. Men take [writing] more seriously as art. Men labor over a book to make it literature. There are wonderful exceptions, of course—P.D. James, Ruth Rendell.”

He really generalizes and diminishes women when he says that men take writing more seriously as art.

I came across author Nichelle Tramble's blog which cites the same article. She relates her experience with male readers:

"A REPORT (http://observer.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,6903,1494932,00.html) states that while women read books by male and female authors, men tend to read books written only by men. Are you surprised by that? I'm not. I can't tell you how many times men approached me on tour to say, "I don't usually read books by women. . ." I never had a response to that even though I heard it on every single leg of my tour. I knew what I wanted to say but in the spirit of being nice, and selling books, I couldn't let go with blue language and hollering in the middle of a bookstore."

It's this type of thinking in the industry and among some (not all) male readers that in some instances curtails women writers being taken seriously.

Richard
06-03-2005, 02:30 AM
Note that he writes off the idea of taking care of cats, which in my mind, suggests he may not be a writer, but rather a plant from the Planet of the Pod People.

sunandshadow
06-03-2005, 02:42 AM
Huh? Which bookstores do you go to?

This would be used bookstores, not new bookstores. (which separate men's and women's mystery novels) Websters in State College PA did this, last I knew. A Book Rack in Virginia used to do so. There's a lot of variation in the way used bookstores shelve things - some separate out sff romances into their own category, while some lump them into historical, or don't separate romances at all. Some separate science fiction and fantasy from each other, while some lump the two together. Some give graphic novels their own shelf, or combine them with roleplaying materials, or file them in the humor section, or won't carry them at all.

Pthom
06-03-2005, 05:58 AM
... A female-skewered view? I think that stories about skewered females would attract LOTS of male readers . . . and maybe some female readers, too.

;)


OK, poll for the men on this board: What recent work have you read by a woman that you truly appreciated by way of plot, style, characterization?I am a devotee of science fiction. I have in my collection, the bulk of Heinlein, Asimov, Bradbury, Niven, Pournelle, Brin, Bear, Card, Robinson, etc. All of these authors are male, as are most others in the genre . . . but not all. Perhaps the foremost female author in the genre is Ursala K. LeGuinn (feel free to contradict me in this.) But as a young denizen of the public library, I devoured most of her stories. And, although I haven't read them all, I enjoyed Andre Norton's works as well. (I will admit that then, I thought Ms. Norton was male. Is that evidence that the sex of an author matters little if at all?)

Recently, I discovered Octavia Butler's Wild Seed and finishing it, ran out and bought up every Butler's stories I could find. Currently, I'm reading the second in the Kushiel series by Jacqueline Carey, almost without pause from reading the first.

JoniBGoode
06-03-2005, 07:00 AM
Since I'm going to read the book, not sleep with it, the gender of the author is irrelevant.
Wait. . . you don't sleep with your books? Doesn't all that whining and crying and scratching at the bedroom door keep you awake at night?

arrowqueen
06-04-2005, 03:12 AM
Nah. But they'll probably get their own back when the pile that's sneaked in beside the bed topples and kills me.

Diana Hignutt
06-05-2005, 05:31 PM
You want to see gender bias? Try being a transsexual author of fiction.

For the record, I have no gender bias in my reading (that I'm aware of). My favs: Tolkein, Anne Rice, Ayn Rand, Michael Crichton (and I do love ERB-read virtually everything he wrote when I was a teen--nothing to be ashamed of).

Diana

astonwest
06-06-2005, 12:43 AM
Funny...I usually pick out books based on whether I think I'll like the book or not...and then if I do, I buy more by the same author...

Never knew I was supposed to be restricting myself to male authors...
I'd better get that corrected ASAP.

Sarita
06-06-2005, 12:53 AM
This would be used bookstores, not new bookstores. (which separate men's and women's mystery novels) Websters in State College PA did this, last I knew.

I don't think they do it anymore. Did they really do this? (I must not have been paying that much attention...)

sunandshadow
06-06-2005, 05:23 AM
I don't know whether they do it now, haven't been in there recently, but as of 2003 they definitely had the mystery books divided up by gender.

astonwest
06-06-2005, 05:46 AM
Strange, I've always seen books sorted by genre, then last name of author...

tammay
06-11-2005, 05:48 AM
It's this type of thinking in the industry and among some (not all) male readers that in some instances curtails women writers being taken seriously.

Sad, but true. And this has been going on since women writers have been publishing books (around the 18th century). Certain types of fiction (such as the "domestic" novels of the 19th century) were thought to be purely fiction written by women and for women and was considered "non-serious" fiction by critics and consumers. Nonetheless, publishers recongized that there was a demand for them in the marketplace and begrudgingly let them in.

It makes me grit my teeth to see that prejudice continuing to be reinacted. And it goes both ways - who says a male writer can't write a damn good romance novel?

Interesting discussion (and a sobering one at that!)

I'm in a slightly different position regarding reading material since I'm in a Master's English program and my interest is women writers (mostly 19th century and early 20th century) so I naturally read many more women writers than men. But I've begun reading more male authors (mainly classic ones like Sinclair Lewis, Henry James, Dickens, etc) and have enjoyed them as much as the women.

Tam

brokenfingers
06-11-2005, 05:58 AM
To me, getting upset because some guys don't like female written books is like getting upset because some people don't like science fiction.

It's really a matter of style. I have no preference whatsoever when picking a book as to the gender of the author.

But I do have a preference as to what type of story, the type of protagonist, the writing style etc.

Many women write to a different audience than male authors do. They often write sentimental and emotional stories about life, relationships etc - which are fine and dandy - but I just don't get into those types of stories. I'm not big on literary works or books deemed socially responsible or morally uplifting. I like exciting, action-packed, conflict laden escapist fiction. The stuff that literary awards people sniff at. Definitely not Oprah-approved.

The female authors I read are the ones who write the types of stories I like to read - period. Since statistically not as many write the type of stuff I like to read, it makes sense that I read more male authors than female.

And as far as those women who write in the genres I like - I see many female bestselling authors in those genres.

BlueTexas
06-11-2005, 09:13 AM
How about female readers? Do you have gender bias? Do you prefer female writers over male?

I just did a quick scan of my bookshelves, and I came up with more books written by women than by men, but the author distribution seemed about equal. I have as much Steinbeck as Anne Rice, as much Margaret Atwood as I do Stephen King.

I don't read romance at all, so maybe I'm not a good case study. I read Maeve Binchy once, and Nora Roberts once, and gave both the books away. They just seemed vapid to me.

I have found that when I go to a bookstore in search of something, it's usually male-authored. When I'm browsing and pick a new author, it's usually a female. So, perhaps I am female biased.

Lyra Jean
06-11-2005, 09:46 AM
I liked Meave Binchy but I've seem to have outgrown her. Right now focusing on science fiction since that is what I want to write...I would have to say male authors only because of the genre

Liam Jackson
06-11-2005, 10:13 AM
Then, we're all in agreement that gender bias isn't the issue it's cracked up to be? Good.

The topic was lively, though, wasn't it? In keeping with the spirit, I propose we exercise a new bias based on species. From this moment on, I will read no book written by pot-bellied pigs. Who's with me?

aadams73
06-11-2005, 03:15 PM
I liked Meave Binchy but I've seem to have outgrown her.

She managed to unravel years of my loving her books with her last book. It was obvious she hadn't done her research and it stuck out like a very sore thumb.

aadams73
06-11-2005, 03:16 PM
From this moment on, I will read no book written by pot-bellied pigs. Who's with me?

You pigot!

Wait, that sounded funnier in my head. Some things should remain unwritten.:)

Liam Jackson
06-11-2005, 05:57 PM
You pigot!

Wait, that sounded funnier in my head. Some things should remain unwritten.:)

Actually, it was pretty funny. :)

Lyra Jean
06-13-2005, 09:09 AM
She managed to unravel years of my loving her books with her last book. It was obvious she hadn't done her research and it stuck out like a very sore thumb.

Are you talking about "Nights of Rain and Stars" ? I haven't read that one yet and as far as I know it's her latest book.

aadams73
06-13-2005, 01:24 PM
Are you talking about "Nights of Rain and Stars" ? I haven't read that one yet and as far as I know it's her latest book.


Yes. Either she has never been to Greece or she didn't pay too much attention while she was there. There were a number of glaring mistakes.

aadams73
06-13-2005, 01:25 PM
Actually, it was pretty funny. :)


:) Thanks.

Fractured_Chaos
06-13-2005, 11:52 PM
Guys can't write romance because they're not sensitive enough. It's easy for chicks to write it 'cause they're born knowing that stuff...it's as natural to them as shopping and crying.

Rob :)

Yanking chains again? :ROFL:

Especially since there are several well-recieved -male- romance writers (can't recall the names off-hand, since I don't read romance. I just recall reading articles about the subject).

Fractured_Chaos
06-13-2005, 11:54 PM
My grandmother almost exclusively reads female writers (Margaret Atwood, Katherine Anne Porter, etc.), but I don't know any other women who share this prejudice.

There are handful of men (http://www.writer-on-line.com/content/view/309/66/%7EArticles/Romance/Write-from-the-Heart:-The-Men-of-Romance.html) who write romance novels. Some use their own names, some don't. I could see why an editor might not want a man to write under his own name, but it sure didn't hurt the sales of The Bridges of Madison County.

Then again, I don't read much romance, so I can't speak for the typical reader.

Jackie

:Smack: Shoulda read further down. :o

Thank you, Jackie, for the research.

Fractured_Chaos
06-14-2005, 12:17 AM
This is not all that scientific, but it's interesting.

Gender Genie (http://bookblog.net/gender/genie.html)

It uses an algorythm to determine if the writer is male, or female.

It thinks I'm male, but it was a pretty close call as far as word usage went.

PattiTheWicked
06-14-2005, 01:31 AM
In keeping with the spirit, I propose we exercise a new bias based on species. From this moment on, I will read no book written by pot-bellied pigs. Who's with me?

How can you oppress those poor potbellied pigs like that, Liam? Don't you see you're stifling their creativity, denying them their freedom of expression?

Don't be a hater, yo.

:)

BlueTexas
06-14-2005, 02:25 AM
This is not all that scientific, but it's interesting.

Gender Genie (http://bookblog.net/gender/genie.html)

It uses an algorythm to determine if the writer is male, or female.

It thinks I'm male, but it was a pretty close call as far as word usage went.

The Gender Genie thinks I'm male. I even gave it three shots, one piece decidely more feminine in language than the other. It said male all three times.

D.J.
06-14-2005, 02:33 AM
You pigot!

Wait, that sounded funnier in my head. Some things should remain unwritten.:)

I don't know... I liked it! LOL!

Sarita
06-14-2005, 03:30 AM
I don't know whether they do it now, haven't been in there recently, but as of 2003 they definitely had the mystery books divided up by gender.
Just went back this weekend to check it out and they're all mixed together now.

Gender Genie (http://bookblog.net/gender/genie.html)
It pegged me for a girl, but... haha. I have a writing partner on one of my projects, a guy. It called him a girl, too. No wonder we write so welll together.

maestrowork
06-14-2005, 03:35 AM
You write like a girl.

That's a compliment. Honest.

;)

Edit:
my non-fic score (movie reviews) -- male (953 to 915)
my fiction (WIP first chapter) -- male (1129 to 775)

Yay, I am not confused anymore.

rhymegirl
06-14-2005, 04:01 AM
Well, I don't know what to make of this little test. It guessed that I am a male writer. I did try to fool it by using a short story with a male narrator.

SRHowen
06-14-2005, 06:11 AM
that gender genie always says I am male, and anyone who doesn't know me and reads my work thinks I am male--even if all they ever see is the S.R.Howen.

I write strong male characters, and equally strong female characters, and no my male characters aren't "butch" women and my female characters aren't women pretending to be men. I hava a knack for writing them.

Ha, I'm sitting here in my underware and a t-shirt right now--think that's suposed to be a male trait that drives wives bonkers? I even have a beer--

As to who I buy books from--I have a hard time remembering authors when i go to browse for books--most likely because I don't browse for male or female I browse by genre or subject matter.

Only exception I think I have made is the Growing up Female book I got my pre teen--please, a man just would not get that, same as the one I got my son at one time, no woman would understand growing up male.

Others, gee--womens issues books--doubt I would buy a book about surviving rape by a guy--evcen if he was a PHD.

Fractured_Chaos
06-14-2005, 07:10 AM
I've used that gender genie several times (in the past as well), and it always thinks I'm male. I suppose since I'm writing horror, and the traditionally "male" words tend to have more impact in horror, that maybe this is a good thing? ;)

robeiae
06-14-2005, 07:23 AM
Hmmm...the Gender Genie thinks I'm female when I submit shorter pieces, but male when I submit longer ones. Did you guys look at the words that indicate male/female? It doen't make any sense to me.

One thing that might cause the dichotomy is the kind of education one receives. I wonder how majors in colleges break down...if there are more males in, say, parks and recreation and the writing styles used in that field use more of these words, might the overall pattern be along these lines? (notice how I didn't use something like "hard sciences" as a male-dominated field, so as not to appear sexist, I don't want to get the chicks mad at me)

Rob :)

Fractured_Chaos
06-14-2005, 07:51 AM
Hmmm...the Gender Genie thinks I'm female when I submit shorter pieces, but male when I submit longer ones. Did you guys look at the words that indicate male/female? It doen't make any sense to me.

One thing that might cause the dichotomy is the kind of education one receives. I wonder how majors in colleges break down...if there are more males in, say, parks and recreation and the writing styles used in that field use more of these words, might the overall pattern be along these lines? (notice how I didn't use something like "hard sciences" as a male-dominated field, so as not to appear sexist, I don't want to get the chicks mad at me)

Rob :)

"Chicks"?! :whip:








(You had to know that was coming!) :wag:

robeiae
06-14-2005, 08:06 AM
"Chicks"?!
Chicklets?

Rob :)

scullars
06-14-2005, 08:20 AM
Speaking of men writing romance, here's an interesting site:

http://www.romentics.com/non_flash/romentics.html

Warning: Not for the homophobic.

scullars
06-14-2005, 08:41 AM
This is not all that scientific, but it's interesting.

Gender Genie (http://bookblog.net/gender/genie.html)

It uses an algorythm to determine if the writer is male, or female.

It thinks I'm male, but it was a pretty close call as far as word usage went.

1808 to 808 that I'm a male. I always suspected as much. Ah well, my identity crisis begins....

Fractured_Chaos
06-14-2005, 09:52 AM
1808 to 808 that I'm a male. I always suspected as much. Ah well, my identity crisis begins....

*snerk* I think it's the gender genie that's confused! :ROFL:

BlueTexas
06-14-2005, 10:15 AM
Well, that's three of us the gender genie has gender-bending. I tested it five times, and the margin between masculine and feminine was about 400 points each time. Does this mean I'm androgynous?

Fractured_Chaos
06-14-2005, 10:37 AM
Well, that's three of us the gender genie has gender-bending. I tested it five times, and the margin between masculine and feminine was about 400 points each time. Does this mean I'm androgynous?

Blue, you write horror, as well as I do. Scullars, what do you write again (I know you told me once).

I wonder if the genre we write in has something to do with it?

aadams73
06-14-2005, 01:44 PM
Male: 1305 Female: 1105

I'm actually female and I write mystery/crime novels.

Excuse me while I go scratch my phantom balls.

BlueTexas
06-14-2005, 08:04 PM
Blue, you write horror, as well as I do. Scullars, what do you write again (I know you told me once).

I wonder if the genre we write in has something to do with it?

No, it says below your results what the alogorhythm's keywords are...they're all words like the, it, said, and, she, around, a, as, etc....

The word "the" happens to be a masculine indicative word. That might explain it.

Jamesaritchie
06-14-2005, 08:31 PM
I think the gender divide is most blatant in the genre of mystery, where many bookstores divide the books by whether the authors are male or female. I don't read much mystery, but a fan of the genre told me that 'male mystery' and 'female mystery' have different plot types.

Me, I've found that most of my favorite authors are female, because female authors are more likely to focus on the sociology and psychology I'm interested in. But I've read more male authors overall because in the body of published science fiction novels, and of course classics, there just plain are more male authors than female authors.

Interesting, I've never yet been in a bookstore anywhere that divides mysteries by gender, and I've been in a LOT of bookstores all over the country. Doesn't mean there aren't any, but the mystery section is the first place I find in any bookstores, and I haven't seen this done.

Male mysteries do tend to be hardboiled, and female mysteries do tend to be closer to the cozy type, but there are many exceptions.

Jamesaritchie
06-14-2005, 08:43 PM
It is not gender bias when a male doesn't read books by females writers. It's type of story bias. We all read what we most like to read, and who writes it is coincidental.

And these days, more men use female pseudonyms than the other way around.

And if there is a bias in reading books by males writers, women are just as guilty of it as men. Outside of the romance genre, women also prefer to read books by male writers. Funny how this usually gets left out of much reporting.

But someone is sure as heck reading a lot of books by female writers. I checked the paperback bestseller list yesterday, and twenty out of the top thirty-five novels were written by women. This is not at all uncommon. Seems like the men should be complaining about bias. And the two best-selling writers in the world, J.K. Rowling and Daniele Steel, are women.

But in the end, if women want men to read their bokks, they need to write books men would like to read. I don't avoid novels because the writer is a woman, I love several women writers, but I'm sure not going to read a book just because the writer is a woman, either.

JoeEkaitis
06-14-2005, 08:43 PM
I'll try the Gender Genie as soon as my biorhythms harmonize with the Feng Shui of the bathroom.

Lyra Jean
06-14-2005, 09:20 PM
The Gender Genie thinks I'm male. I even gave it three shots, one piece decidely more feminine in language than the other. It said male all three times.

Female Score: 3094
Male Score: 3307
It said I was a guy too. And I'm not but my main character in the text I used is male so maybe that's it.

I didn't write the algorithm. Blame the scientists.

According to Koppel and Argamon, the algorithm should predict the gender of the author approximately 80% of the time.

Accuracy ResultsAm I right?yes161608 (59.26%)http://bookblog.net/gender/graph.php?votes1=161608&votes2=111093no111093 (40.74%)272701 total responses since September 13, 2003

scullars
06-14-2005, 09:46 PM
Blue, you write horror, as well as I do. Scullars, what do you write again (I know you told me once).

I wonder if the genre we write in has something to do with it?

I've written in several genres, but the excerpt I cut-and-pasted was from a romance. Oddly enough, the prologue involves a man in wait to exact revenge on an enemy.

Diana Hignutt
06-18-2005, 02:51 PM
Despite my fears that using the gender genie would throw me into yet another gender identity crisis, I braved it.

Female Score: 2381
Male Score: 2151

The Gender Genie thinks the author of this passage is: female!

Cool! Me too!

diana

Richard
06-18-2005, 03:21 PM
Well, I ran a couple of passages in - one from a male character's point of view, and another from a female character's flashback. It pegged both of them as right for the character, which I guess is quite neat.