Judging a Book by Its Author's Gender
Ivanski, Chantelle Marie Michelle
MetadataShow full item record
Romance novels are the second-most popular genre of fiction but are viewed almost universally negatively. It is possible that these negative evaluations stem from their association with women. To explore this, we examined how people evaluate books attributed to male and female authors, and whether people negatively evaluate romance novels based on their association with women. In Study 1, participants read and evaluated identical passages attributed to male or female authors. Study 2 extended this by adding attributions of genre: romance or literary fiction. Linear mixed-effects modeling was used to analyze all results. Study 1 demonstrated a slight preference for books attributed to males over females. In Study 2 there were no strong differences in evaluations based on genre or author gender. Study 1 results suggest a slight bias towards male authors. Study 2 suggests it is not the label of Romance driving the negative evaluations of romance novels.