Boy books vs. girl books

Jacob Proffitt Jacob at
Thu Jun 20 15:18:11 EDT 2002

---Original Message From: Melissa Proffitt
> I would like your opinions, especially those of you who are
> boys, or used to be boys, about what kinds of books boys are
> interested in reading.
> 1. Is there any truth to the above notion?  If so, why?

Not to me.  But I'm not a normal boy.  Never have been.  Probably comes
from being raised around so many girls. I read (and enjoyed) Trixie
Beldon books when I was young and didn't much care for the Hardy Boys .
. .

> 2. If not, *are* there any literary elements that
> specifically and universally turn boys off a book?

Again, dunno.  It seems to me that boys will be less interested in
stories where relationships are the main focus, but I don't think they
care if it is character driven.

> 3. If you began reading science fiction and/or fantasy as a
> young teen, what interested you in such books?  (Boys or girls)

Wonder and escapism.

> 4. Boys: If you know why you like to read F&SF, do you think
> those elements of your personality, those interests, are
> markedly different from those of other boys?  In other words,
> do boys not like to read because of who they are, or because
> of outside pressure: being seen as a sissy, perhaps.

Well, I don't think peer pressure really plays much role in it.  If
anything peer pressure will push boys away from reading at all rather
than away from certain books.  You'd be seen as a sissy if you preferred
to read a book (any book) instead of playing basketball etc.

> 5. Girls: I've noticed that female protagonists in fantasy
> are frequently described as being different physically or
> intellectually from their families or immediate social group.
>  Did you feel similarly unique, and was that an element of
> your interest in fantasy or science fiction?  (This has
> nothing to do with the issue at hand, but I've got this book
> upstairs I've been trying to read and the whole "she was dark
> and tall compared to all the petite blondes in her adopted
> family" is sticking in my craw.)

Not a girl, but I personally think that is so that it is easier for her
to have adventures.  I think that girls tend not to seek adventure as
much as boys do (as a very general rule) and so it's easier to throw a
girl into adventure if she is already somewhat separated from those
around her.  Just an idea.  Not sure how accurate it might be.

Jacob Proffitt

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