“We found that men do not regard books as a constant companion to their life’s journey, as consolers or guides, as women do,” said Prof Jardine. “They read novels a bit like they read photography manuals.” Women readers used much-loved books to support them through difficult times and emotional turbulence, and tended to employ them as metaphorical guides to behaviour, or as support and inspiration.
“The men’s list was all angst and Orwell. Sort of puberty reading,” she said. Ideas touching on isolation and “aloneness” were strong among the men’s “milestone” books.
The researchers also found that women preferred old, well-thumbed paperbacks, whereas men had a slight fixation with the stiff covers of hardback books.
“We were completely taken aback by the results,” said Prof Jardine, who admitted that they revealed a pattern verging on a gender cliche, with women citing emotional, more domestic works, and men novels about social dislocation and solitary struggle. –Charlotte Higgins –A tale of two genders: men choose novels of alienation, while women go for passion (Guardian)
Not exactly a scientific study, but still interesting.
This list of Best Geek Novels Written in English certainly fits the stereotype of male literature, though I wonder how that list would change if you separated it into male geeks and female geeks.