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20 February 2016

Reevaluating My Reading: Battle of the Sexes

A little while ago I did some quick number-crunching to figure out where the authors of the books I've read over the past 5 years have come from.

Here's my intro from that post:
I've been seeing more and more buzz about diversity in the book world lately, and I got curious:

How diverse are my reading habits?

There are lots of ways to measure this. Author or character gender, LGBT orientation, ethnicity or culture, disability or mental illness, and on and on and on. Today, though, I just want to focus on gender.
Just a quick note: Yes, I am aware that there is a difference between gender and biological sex. Read the section below if you want more info about my methods. Otherwise, just trust that I did my best to make sure each author was represented as accurately as possible.

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This section is all blahblahblah about how I gathered the stats, so skip to the bottom if you just want to see some pretty pie charts mkay?

First, I decided to stick with author gender/sex instead of that of the characters because I frankly didn't want to struggle with the problems of nonfiction, multiple MCs/POVs, or other weirdness.

As with my last stats-gathering post, I had to figure out what to do about series, because if I read 10 books in a series by one author in a year that could really skew the results! So like last time, I decided that each author would only count once per series within one year. If I continued reading the series the next year, or if I read another non-series book by the same author, I could count them again.

Now let's talk about gender and sex. For the purposes of this post, I assumed that whatever gender the author presents as is what they actually identify as. If for some reason gender wasn't obvious but they claimed a particular biological sex, I decided to go with that (though I ended up not needing to rely on this). Genderqueer and intersex (in other words, non-binary) authors were counted separately (... except it turns out that none of the books I read had genderqueer or intersex authors), though I decided to count any transgender people as whichever gender/sex they present as.

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So, here's the breakdown of the authors of books I've read over the past 5 years (2011-2015):

Interesting! I suspected I may have read more books by women than men, for a couple of reasons. First, I've simply been drawn to them and their work, especially when it comes to the YA genre. Second, there seems to be a higher proportion (relatively) of female to male authors writing on many of the subjects I like to read about in the nonfiction category.

It's interesting to compare this unconscious habit to my planned reading for the Classics Club, which has almost the exact opposite percentage (2/3 men, 1/3 women).

Do you know what your ratio of male to female to nonbinary, etc. authors is? Do you make a special effort to read authors of one gender or sex in preference over another?

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