Fiction reading in America

Explaining the gender gap

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

50 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The gender gap in fiction reading has been largely ignored by sociologists and scholars in the field of reading research. This paper investigates three primary explanations for why more women read fiction than men, including: the influence of childhood socialization and genderrole stereotypes, differences in cognition and prose literacy and differences in work status and available free time. Data analysis using two. large-scale national surveys reveals that notions of gender-appropriate leisure and their influence on childhood socialization explain much of the gap in fiction reading. On the other hand, differences in reading skills and free time, as measured by work-status, seem to contribute very little to our understanding of the gap. The paper concludes by suggesting that better measures of socialization, additional information about what types of books men and women read, and more detailed time-use studies would give us additional leverage on this puzzle.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)255-275
Number of pages21
JournalPoetics
Volume27
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

socialization
gender
childhood
sociologist
stereotype
cognition
data analysis
literacy
Socialization
Fiction
time
Free Time
Childhood
Stereotypes
Reading Skills
Leisure
Sociologists
Cognition
Gender Roles
Literacy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Sociology and Political Science

Cite this

Fiction reading in America : Explaining the gender gap. / Tepper, Steven.

In: Poetics, Vol. 27, No. 4, 2000, p. 255-275.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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