Battle of the Sexes

I'm curious if you have any information, even an educated guess, as to how many (non-General Authority) LDS authors are male vs. female. I'd also be interested in your take as to why you think there are more men than women, or vice versa (depending on what your answer to the first question is).

Uhmmm, I have no idea...

But a quick check of my 2011 published fiction list (published thus far this year, including both LDS and national publishers) turns up 90 female authors and 36 male authors.

My guess is non-fiction would be opposite this, but I don't know for sure.

As to why there are more women writing fiction then men?
  • Women need something to do when the kids and housework make them crazy?

  • Women are better multi-taskers?

  • Men are busy working themselves silly at their day job?

  • Men are less willing to accept the usually paltry financial payoff of writing?
Readers? What think ye?


JaredNGarrett said...

I think your first option is a pretty good one. Writing is a deeply intellectual exercise-- and so is child-rearing, but they're quite different. The cognitive demands of writing likely provide a deeply satisfying interaction for LDS women who tend to spend the majority of their time working with kids.

I'd be interested to know what percentage of published female LDS writers are married with kids, in which they are the primary child caregiver.

Traci Hunter Abramson said...

I think your assumptions are pretty accurate. I loved to write when I was still working full time, but it wasn't until after I decided to stay home with my kids that I found the time to improve my skills sufficiently enough to pursue publication.

Jennifer Ricks said...

I think a lot more women read fiction, especially the type of fiction that most LDS fiction is. (There's a lot more romance than edgy thrillers.) I know in my family growing up my dad hardly read fiction because he was reading business reports all day but my mom was a veracious reader. In my own family, but husband is reading academic research all day and I read fiction at home as a break. So from my experience more women read fiction than men, so the market is more geared to them. More female authors just follows that.

Charlie Moore said...

I am a pretty good multi-tasker. Does this mean my feminine side overpowers my masculine side?

There are more published women than men because women are so sweet that publishers can't turn them down. This is just my personal opinion. Actually, I have enjoyed reading both male and female LDS authors. So, whomever you are, keep writing.


Annette Lyon said...

I personally get a bit tired of the cliche of "bored housewife turns writer."

If you look at any market, women tend to be seen there more than men. Same at writing conferences, workshops, etc.

I have no explanation for why it's a somewhat female-dominated industry, but I don't think it's because we're sick of cleaning toilets.

Th. said...


I'm pretty satisfied with the "More women buy books, ergo...." explanation.

TheOneTrueSue said...

I tend to agree with your las option. I think that most LDS men (who tend to be the providers) can't justify spending the time writing something for the LDS market because of the relatively low financial payoff at the end. A SAHM who is already financially provided for can write what she loves without having to consider whether or not it is going to be exceptionally lucrative. Most (not ALL but most) of the LDS writers I know are SAHMs.

Mark Hansen, LDS Rock Music said...

I think it's pretty clear when you see who shops in DB. Most of the books put out in the LDS world (And this is also true of music and other arts) is targeted to the women who buy it.

Even much of the LDS art created by men is targeted and marketed at women (Michael Mclean and Richard Evans)

No surprises.

I'm not saying that's wrong or right. I'm just making an observation.