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View Poll Results: What's your gender ratio/bias?
I don't care about the author's gender, but I read much more male authors 30 33.33%
I don't care about the author's gender, but I read much more female authors 6 6.67%
I don't care about the author's gender, and I think it's not far from a 50/50 ratio 17 18.89%
I prefer male authors 5 5.56%
I prefer female authors 4 4.44%
I prefer male authors, but read more female authors 0 0%
I prefer female authors, but read more male authors 0 0%
I try to read an equal number of books from both genders 1 1.11%
I don't care about the author's gender, and I've no idea what ratio my books have. 27 30.00%
Voters: 90. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 05-11-2009, 12:21 PM   #1
Over
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Author's gender: are you biased?

A certain person told me that he made an effort to read as many male authors as female.

This is a little bit odd for me. Should we be politically correct even in our reading choices? Am I being narrow minded if about 85% of my reading material in the last 2 years are from male authors?

I don't choose a book by its author gender, but I certainly know when I'm reading a male or female author... And usually prefer their (male authors) writting style and how they construct their male characters. That's important, because I try to relate with the main characters and being male, I do that better with male characters.

I'm not saying male authors are better than female ones. Far from truth! Some of my favourite books were written by female authors. But I can't find any other reason for the simple fact that most of my reading material are from male authors. Should I fix that?

What about you? What's your male/female author ratio?

Last edited by Over; 05-11-2009 at 12:27 PM.
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Old 05-11-2009, 12:24 PM   #2
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Intriguing - Just looked at my bookshelf and there seems to be a slight bias to female authors, particularly in the thriller books............
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Old 05-11-2009, 12:38 PM   #3
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Can't say I've ever thought about it consciously, not once. I usually go for titles of books, or an interesting blurb, or someone I'm familiar with. Just looking at some of the pbooks I have left on one shelf -

Ray Bradbury, Thomas Wolfe, John Steinbeck, Shirley Jackson, Katherine Anne Porter, Anne Tyler... seems to be about equal, give or take.
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Old 05-11-2009, 01:01 PM   #4
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never consciously considered this as an issue ... a female author is less clumsy with secks ...
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Old 05-11-2009, 01:02 PM   #5
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hm, very intriguing question, over. i haven't thought about it lately, although i remember many discussions during my university litterature courses about the dominance of "dead white men" in the standard reading lists (which we tried to remedy of course).

just trying to think back (totally unscientific...) i think i read about 50 / 50 men and women authors. but i agree with you that good (plausible) characterisation is important, so i don't enjoy authors who write women characters who seem unconvincing (as women). then again, i often feel an affinity to men characters as well, depending on the book, and they also must be well-written. but, some of my favorite male characters have been written by women. perhaps they (intentionally or not) are written with a feminine aspect which appeals to me. i'm thinking particularly of Fred Vargas' books (she's a woman writing mysteries) ; she writes really fascinating, well-defined, complex characters, many of them male, but all of them very well drawn i think.

anyway, i know that i don't pay attention to the gender of the author when i choose a book. and sometimes it can be misleading ; for instance, Fred Vargas is writing under what looks like a man's name, but in fact it's a nickname for the french (women's) name "Frédérique".
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Old 05-11-2009, 01:04 PM   #6
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I don't have a bias (intentionally), but now that you ask, I think 9 out of 10 books in my (virtual) bookshelf are written by male authors...
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Old 05-11-2009, 01:06 PM   #7
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I can't vote for any of them, because "I look at title first and author second" isn't listed. Nice thoughtful poll, however.
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Old 05-11-2009, 01:07 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DixieGal View Post
I can't vote for any of them, because "I look at title first and author second" isn't listed. Nice thoughtful poll, however.
sure you can vote ; you would choose one of the "i don't care about gender but.." options, depending on what it turns out to be.
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Old 05-11-2009, 01:53 PM   #9
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For a while I liked female authors in SciFi because only the better female authors were doing well in that genre but now I usually don't check for gender, just names I know I like and it seems like about 50/50.

BTW the reason I read mostly SciFi is that when I started reading a lot, that genre was difficult to make a living in, so only the best survived. Since "Star Trek" & "Star Wars" movies, that has changed and i've been branching out into other genres.
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Old 05-11-2009, 01:56 PM   #10
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I chose "I don't care about the author's gender, and I think it's not far from a 50/50 ratio", with the emphasis very much on think, as I haven't checked and I really haven't the foggiest. But doing a quick mental check brings up about as many of both genders. It's not something that is an influence in whether I buy a book or not though.
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Old 05-11-2009, 02:07 PM   #11
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You missed an option.

"I don't care about the author's gender, and I've no idea what ratio my books have"

However, since it's not there, I've taken a quick look at my library. Most of the books I've read are by male authors, in about an 80:20 ratio.

I suppose a relevant question would be - what's the ratio of male:female authors over all published books?


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What about you? What's your male/female author ratio?
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Old 05-11-2009, 02:10 PM   #12
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I just checked the author list on my Sony Reader and over 80% of them could be either (by name.) A lot had just initials and the rest had names that are used for both male and female. Then again the last two "Sam"s I have met were female.
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Old 05-11-2009, 02:34 PM   #13
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In my later teens I think I did gravitate towards female authors a good deal... I had this crazy notion that if I spent the time to read books from a woman's perspective I might fare better with the opposite sex... Didn't work out that well, but I did get to read some good literature...

These days I don't care one bit who wrote a work... Regardless of sex, race, religion, sexual preference, etc... But when I say that, I actually mean that, unlike those that compensate and go full bore politically correct and really buy works motivated by those distinctions... (Just not in a traditional method)

Just a quick check on my reader, all works are from the male side of things except for two. Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen, and Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. Though two of the men are named Terry... (I actually thought Terry Pratchett was a woman for years, there was also a female author who I always thought was male but her name slips my mind)

-MJ
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Old 05-11-2009, 02:34 PM   #14
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I read a lot of sci fi and a lot of that is the "military" type (David Drake, John Ringo and so on), but a lot of the study of religions, women's issues are female authors. it still comes out as mostly male authors, but certainly not deliberately!
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Old 05-11-2009, 02:43 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by mjh215 View Post
....there was also a female author who I always thought was male but her name slips my mind.
George Eliot?

I've found gender doesn't matter with great authors; but it becomes more of a problem the further down the literary scale you go.
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