Exploring gender and reading for pleasure

Hempel-Jorgensen, Amelia; Brassington, Tom and Dixon, Megan (2023). Exploring gender and reading for pleasure. In: Cremin, Teresa; Hendry, Helen; Rodriguez Leon, Lucy and Kucirkova, Natalia eds. Reading Teachers: Nurturing Reading for Pleasure. London: Routledge, pp. 45–55.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003215615-6


Gender inequality affects many classrooms in contemporary primary schools. These inequalities take many forms and can affect the text types boys and girls read (or do not read) and the extent to which children engage with reading. Girls are typically understood as having a ‘natural’ inclination towards reading, however, as this chapter will show, they can be disengaged in unexpected ways. One of our case studies focuses on girls who have become very disengaged from non-fiction and become re-engaged again through the teacher’s interaction. Boys, on the other hand, are often considered in relation to inequalities, however less attention is paid to the relationship between the ‘will and the skill’ which underpin reading proficiency and the motivation to read for pleasure. The inequalities identified in this chapter and the teaching methods used to change the gendered patterns invite new ways of viewing your own class and making RfP more equal.

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