We tend to think of women as more interested in other people and the inner world, and men as more interested in things and the outer world. This might then help explain why women do more literary reading.
The findings of Öden Ozag, of Jacobs University in Bremen, however, indicate that some adjustments are needed to this scheme. Odag (2013) reports an experiment in which 44 women and 44 men were randomly assigned to read either a text about experience that focused on characters and their inner worlds, or a text that focused on actions in the outer world. (A brief account of the study was reported in OnFiction from a 2009 conference, click here.)