Gender in Young Adult Fiction

My fellow blogger, Kristen, posted an amazing article about gender distribution in YA fiction. She did a lot of research!

She also talks about the lack of male characters in YA fiction, and how characters of different genders are stereotyped.

I recently read a post from Like An Anchor that talks about the lack of feeling-type men in fiction. Head on over if you want to read more:

I love toying with stereotypes and turning them around when I write. I do tend to write female characters because I can identify with them better. I want to write female characters that are a little more realistic and less cliche. Girls don’t have to fall in love to be interesting!

In my current draft of my sci-fi novel I’m writing, I have a side character who is an empath (and a guy). It’s always the girls who are empaths. (Counselor Troi, anyone?) I’m hoping to show that guys can have gentle feelings too and be manly at the same time.

Anyway, check out Kristen’s blog

Beyond Secret Pages

Gender is a topic always in the back of my mind when I read a book; I believe, ever since I read some statistics about the gender of authors, the protagonists of novels, and the audience. This is a matter I really hope to challenge in my own writing—and yes, I do indeed see it in my own writing. But, I should be specific as to what I am talking about.

According to research from Book Horn, analyzing some books from 2014:

Out of the young adult books (aimed for 12-18-year-olds), 65% of the novels had a female protagonist, 22% was male, and in 13%, females and males both functioned as main characters. Surprisingly, middle-grade novels (targeted for 9-12-year-olds) had 48% for males, 36% for females, and 16% for both.

Although this research may not be accurate today, I do think it depicts the topic of gender in books…

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5 thoughts on “Gender in Young Adult Fiction”

  1. EXACTLY!!! Yes, that’s what I hate about YA female cliches. Girls can be feminine and strong! So many of my relatives are strong but feminine. Like my mom, who’s my greatest role model on earth. I’m trying to make my current protag like that.

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  2. It’s interesting how we have different things that are easier to write than others. Evelyn tends to write male characters as well. I used to write a lot of male characters (especially in my Star Wars Clone Wars fanfiction) but I gravitate to writing girls more often because it’s what I want to read.

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