Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Novel Attraction

What is it that attracts us to the books we love? Is there a difference between what stories males find attractive and what stories females do?

Over the past week, I've seen many questions raised over the issue of gender and novels. We all know women are more likely to pick up a romance book than men are, but what about a generic piece of fiction-are women more likely to read a book with a strong female protagonist or a hansom masculine hero? Are men likely to choose an action-packed plot heavy piece, or one that really delves into the characters?

From a psychological standpoint, it would make sense that females are drawn to more character-centric pieces, while men are drawn to more plot-centric works. Why? Because females, in general, tend to be relationship based (not exclusively in a romantic sense, but we focus more on emotions and interpersonal relations (think connection, friendships, gossip, etc)) while men, in general, focus more on activities and achievement. Whether these are innate or culturally infused, it would make sense that we carry these natural interests into the books we read or the movies we watch for entertainment.

This could, perhaps, also play a role in the characters we're attracted to. Men tend to want to read about the characters who show strength or accomplishment, while women look more towards the characters with emotional insight or turmoil? That's just my guess, but I've found it to be the case more often than not with my own acquaintances.

It would be an interesting topic to research, but I'm curious as to what you think: Are there differences between the types of books and/or characters males and females want to read about?

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