It’s a ridiculous question, right? When you love a book, who cares if a man or woman wrote it? Although to be fair, I reviewed the list I keep of my all-time favorite books, the ones I read over and over and over, and 80% of them were written by men. I certainly don’t consider the gender of the author when I’m deciding what to read, but it’s entirely possible that I have an unconscious bias.
Grammarly commissioned a study to see if there’s a bias among readers at large, and the results are interesting. Fifty-nine percent of the respondents believe that women are better writers than men, a result I find both surprising and encouraging. Surprising because books written by men get far more coverage in literary journals. Encouraging because, hey, maybe the public at large doesn’t share the literary world’s apparent bias, or is actually biased toward female writers. The survey appears to be reasonably scientific, with a sample size of 3,000, 54% of whom were men. It was conducted by Google Consumer Surveys. Here’s the infographic:
Many thanks to the folks at Grammarly for doing the study, providing the infographic, and donating $50 to Reading is Fundamental in my name in return for this post. Somebody over there knows exactly how to offer me an appealing bribe. Grammarly is an automated grammar checker. I’ve never used it, but I probably should.