Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Update to YA Gender Divide

Just a quick update on last week’s YA Gender Divide post before I return from Vacation Hiatus.

Over at Absolute Write, I polled the members with a question on what can be done to increase teenage boys’ participation in YA reading.

The premise for the question was that 1) teenage boys aren’t drawn to YA as much as teenage girls, and 2) is there anything that can be done (marketing or otherwise) that would make YA seem more appealing to teenage boys?

Well, as often happens on internet discussions, the conversation quickly devolved into a passionate argument about the sexes – not something I wanted, but perhaps should have anticipated.

What struck me as strange were the couple of YA authors that chimed in with the basic notion, to hell with the boys.  It was a sort of defensive posture that someone might take over property that was about to be removed from their possession.  I mean, these were authors basically taking the position that if boys were too stupid or emotionally shallow to appreciate their work, then that’s their problem!

So is YA destined to become owned by the fairer sex, leaving boys with sci-fi and fantasy?  Maybe YA means something different these days than simply young adult.  I don’t know.  All I want is for boys to read and be interested in literature as much as girls.

And I am open for suggestions on how to make that happen.

New posts next week!  In the meantime, check out those awesome blogs to the left of the post.


  1. Did you seen Shaun Hutchinson's post about the cover of Across the Universe? It's a subtle point, but an important one.

    And are we friends on Facebook? I would have @mentioned you when I brought it up.

    Here's the post, just in case (not that this is the answer to the question or anything):


  2. Wow. That's pretty shocking that you'd say "to hell" with half your target age range.

    I think there are plenty of books that are driven towards boys, but the post-Twilight culture created a market that allowed the female-driven books to take over the shelves. To some extent, not all the way, by any means.

    Examples of writers whose books could (and do) appeal to both genders: Carrie Ryan, Patrick Ness, Rick Yancey.