January 28, 2022

New Research: “Study Finds Boys’ Dislike for Reading Fiction is Actually Fiction!”

From Taylor & Francis:

Gender stereotypes around reading may be holding boys back in the classroom, according to a new study published in the peer-reviewed International Journal of Inclusive Education.

In what is described as an ‘unexpected’ and ‘significant’ finding, fiction is the most favoured reading genre for schoolboys compared with non-fiction, comics and magazines.

Well over half (57%) of the boys said they liked fiction or story books ‘a lot’ according to research based on more than 300 pupils aged from seven to eight in Australia.

Girls were more likely to rate enjoyment of reading non-fiction more highly than boys (55% vs 51%).

The results have important implications for parents, teachers and policy-makers. They suggest that the range of boys’ reading preferences may have been underestimated.


The aim of this study was to investigate self-reported reading enjoyment, frequency, and achievement on national reading tests for 318 Year 3 pupils in Australia.

The researchers used data on 152 boys and 166 girls attending 14 schools across South East Queensland in a range of socioeconomic communities, with the majority of students being in state schools.

All children were asked to rate their level of enjoyment for reading fiction, non-fiction, and comics and magazines from ‘like a lot’ to ‘like a little’ or ‘don’t like’. They also had to indicate how frequently they read, ranging from ‘daily’ to ‘hardly ever’.

Overall, the proportion of girls and boys who liked fiction ‘a lot’ was 63%, just over half (53%) said the same for non-fiction, and 37% for comics and magazines.

Direct to Complete Research Summary

Direct to Full Text Research Article: Year 3 Boys’ And Girls’ Enjoyment For Reading Across Economic Demographics in Australia. Implications For Boys and Students From Lower SES Communities (via IJIE)

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.