I doubt it will surprise any Nerds that a recent study offered definitive proof that readers of fiction tend to score higher on tests measuring empathy and interpersonal sensitivity, and are better equipped to interpret emotional cues. In short, fiction readers are superior at “human-ing.”
These findings make so much sense to me, because when we read a book about someone who’s “other” from the way we self-identify, and have the opportunity to live in that character’s head for a bit, it turns “other’ into “same everywhere it counts” for us, pretty darn quickly.
This certainly makes the (already clear) case for offering more diverse books to kids, and I know we’re all working hard to make that happen. But—in the same spirit of fostering empathy, respect, and understanding—how many of us do the same with “girl books”?Because included among our society’s issues is a gender problem. A big…
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