Discussion Time: Why are there More Female Protagonists than Male?

Chances are if you look around at your bookshelves right now, or browse the books you have on your Kindle, you’ll discover the majority of them have one thing in common and that’s that they all have female protagonists. It seems it’s a rare thing to come across a series with a male protagonist, either that or they’re out there and I’m just looking in the wrong places.

Why are there More Female Protagonists than Male

Why are there More Female Protagonists than Male?

There are a fair few books and series out there that have male protagonists; Shades of Magic, Six of Crows, Legend, and even some contemporary books like When Dimple Met Rishi are giving the male characters more of a spotlight. It’s great to see, don’t get me wrong, but one thing these books have in common is that there are female protagonists as well. I loved all of these books but the majority of books that have male protagonists, and let us read events through their POV, also have female protagonists alongside them.

Where are the books where the male characters are the only ones in the spotlight? It can be done; Patrick Ness has done it with every book he’s released to date, Benjamin Alire Sรกenz did it with Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, and Pierce Brown did it with the Red Rising trilogy.

Patrick Ness

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

Red Rising

In case you’ve noticed the trend I did with the above books, that the stories with male protagonists have all been written by male authors, Sally Green did it with the Half Bad trilogy and Mackenzi Lee did it with The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue.


Like with diverse representation you don’t need to be a male author to write well developed male characters, like anything it comes down to the amount of research you do. Some people would argue that #OwnVoices diverse books are better, because the author has that personal experience they can draw on, and maybe they are. I haven’t read enough #OwnVoices diverse books and compared them to other diverse books to see if there’s a difference. Maybe authors like Patrick Ness and Pierce Brown can write male protagonists better than authors like Sally Green and Mackenzi Lee.

Half Bad Trilogy

The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue

I don’t think so though. Maybe male authors can add something to the characters that female authors can’t, but I think when it comes down to it the success of characters, male or female, comes down to research, writing and character development.


There are plenty more female authors than male in the YA field, and maybe that’s why there are more female protagonists. Whenever I write I lean automatically to female protagonists because it’s what I know. However every book has a handful of male characters, the majority of YA contemporary releases have a male love interest, so what’s the difference between writing a male love interest and a male protagonist.

I’m starting to see what Cale Dietrich was thinking when he came up with the idea of The Love Interest.

When it comes down to it boys need representation in the YA genre. When I’m in Waterstones I’ll see plenty of young boys looking at the Middle Grade books, picking up series like Percy Jackson or Magnus Chase, and I see plenty of older boys in the Sci-Fi section, picking up various books there. There are very little boys in the YA section, and how can there be when there are very few books that they can see themselves in?

Why are there More Female Protagonists than Male (1)


Now Onto the Discussion Part of This Post:

Have you noticed a difference between the amount of female protagonists and the amount of male ones?

Do you think we need to see more male protagonists in YA books, or are there other genres with more than enough male protagonists?

Are there any books you’ve read with a male protagonist that you’ve loved?

Do you prefer reading books with male or female protagonists?

Let me know in the comments below.

128 thoughts on “Discussion Time: Why are there More Female Protagonists than Male?

  1. Hi Beth. I love your post and have said the same thing for years. I taught high school for decades and it was always difficult to find teen-centric books that would interest the boys in my classes because the majority of teen fiction is, as you pointed out, geared toward girls. In Middle Grade, there are definitely more options for boys, but not once they reach high school. Boys will read – I know this from experience – if they are given books that engage them. Typically, teen boys aren’t interested in romance as a genre. They prefer action or adventure, horror, urban reality, sports-themed stories, and they need strong, positive male protagonists to root for and learn valuable lessons from (just like girls do). To that extent, I’ve written a five book contemporary urban fantasy series called The Lance Chronicles wherein the MC is a 14-year-old orphan named Lance who grows up during the series and is18 by the end. It’s been very well-received by teen boys who’ve read it, though most of the reviews are from adult reviewers. I also wrote a horror story called Spinner that features a 15-year-old male protagonist named Alex who’s in a wheelchair and battles evil alongside his special education friends (I taught special education classes for most of my career.) I have other unpublished books with boy protagonists that have yet to land a publisher or agent, and I feel what you say is correct. Agents and publishers seem to want female protagonists, I guess because those are more of a “sure thing” in the marketplace, and the prevailing attitude is that boys don’t read. But as you pointed out, and I have learned, even boys who aren’t avid readers will will read books that engage them and feature strong boy protagonists. Sadly, I don’t know how to even the playing field for boy protagonists, but I’m doing what I can. Thanks for your very insightful post.

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    1. Hi Michael, I’m glad you enjoyed this post. Yeah it’s a shame because there’s obviously a market for YA books which feature male protagonists, the problem is it’s kind of a vicious circle. Books with female protagonists are the ones out there the most and so they’re the ones that get brought the most. Boys aren’t finding much to interest them so they’re not reading as much and when publishers are buying books to publish they’re looking at what’s selling, which is books with female main characters because that’s all that’s written.
      At this stage I think leveling the playing field is going to be a long time in the works. There are some good YA books with male protagonists out there, I’ve read and really enjoyed them so hopefully we’ll just see publishers realise this and maybe more will get stocked on the shelves. It’ll be slow going but that’s better than nothing I suppose.
      That’s all right, again I’m really glad you enjoyed this post. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  2. Great blog, Beth. Thank you for sharing.

    I believe the demand from male readers isn’t there. Part of the problem is that we as a society are doing a very poor job helping our young boys read. Boys have fallen way behind girls in terms of reading. And thus, males are playing video games and not reading which creates the lack of demand.

    I’m male and I hated reading in school, and continued to hate reading up until 2 years ago. Now I love it. But back in my school years I was forced to read novels that were designed for a young female readers. So, I resented books.

    I believe that if we help our young boys by giving them books they will like to read, they will become motivated readers. Then the demand for books with male lead characters will grow.

    Another key is that males tend to be more interested in non-fiction rather than fiction.

    I’m actually writing a book dedicated towards helping troubled male youth that will provide motivation for them to read more.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks so much, and that’s all right. ๐Ÿ™‚
      Yeah I think as well if we get more young boys to read then we’ll start seeing more books with male MC. Unfortunately it’s a bit of a catch-22 because until there are more male readers there won’t be as many male MC but we can’t really encourage young boys to read because there aren’t enough male MC to interest them it seems like. Oh at least you’ve rediscovered your love for reading now, yeah I get what you mean because if I’d been forced to read only books that weren’t written for me or featured characters I couldn’t identify with I would have been put off too. ๐Ÿ™‚
      Ha, I’m certainly more interested in fiction than non-fiction, so I get where you’re coming from there.
      That sounds like an interesting book, I’ll wish you luck with writing it and all. ๐Ÿ™‚

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      1. Yeah But I feel what female authors can do is that they do research on how men thinks in matters or use their personal experience. It will help them and you can involve both male and female protagonist then.
        Because I feel both characters should be involve and have strong characteristics, without any one of them the thing will remain same.

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      2. Yes it’s the same with writing any character isn’t it? The way you make that character come alive and make the believable to the reader if through research. There do seem to be more and more books with mixed male and female perspectives on the shelves which I love seeing, in fact they’re some of my favourite books because they’re just full of incredibly written and developed characters! ๐Ÿ˜€

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  3. I think there are still more male protagonists but since having actually cool, complicated, and unique female characters in these numbers is new so women enjoy and buy them. It’s more popular and that’s what we see. Plus even men finally started to read and enjoy books with female protagonists.

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    1. I guess when you look at books in general there are more male protagonists but if you take the genres separately theyโ€™ll be certain genres where there are more female protagonists than male, or vice versa. Donโ€™t get me wrong itโ€™s great to see so many female protagonists in YA, and I enjoy reading books with male protagonists so I donโ€™t see why it wouldnโ€™t work the other way around, it just seems that in the YA genre thereโ€™s a massive divide you know? ๐Ÿ™‚

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      1. There is certainly a “boom” in creating more (may I add; finally) female protagonists. I think it’s more apparent to YA because of the younger readers who want something different. Younger readers both boys and girls are more ready to accept interesting female characters. Thanks to us, though. =) Plus, there are more girls reading books at that age and they mostly want to see girls doing kick-ass stuff and not boys. But I’m the same, mostly I don’t care if the protagonist is a boy or a girl. Although, I really appreciate it when I see a fierce female. It was pretty hard to find those kinds of characters when I was younger.

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      2. I think in other genres we need to see more female protagonists, and it would be great if we did see them as well because that way you could pick up an adult fantasy book and see a female MC instead of a male one like I seem to 80% of the time. Yeah it’s great seeing girls doing kick-ass things in YA books, and I’d never want to see less incredibly written female characters in YA either because it’s so important that young girls have that representation. I just think we also need some more male characters because while boys can read about female MC it would be nice if they had a little more representation in the YA genre as well you know? ๐Ÿ™‚

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      3. Well, they will just have to do more research… the way we had to do since the existence of books. They’ll live. =D But yes, hopefully, eventually everything will be sorted out equally, in books and other parts of life.

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      4. Ha yeah I agree with you there. Then again no matter what theyโ€™re writing research is always needed isnโ€™t it? ๐Ÿ™‚
        I think weโ€™re seeing more when it comes to books, more diversity and more male MCโ€™s, which is great because itโ€™s a step in the right direction in my mind.

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  4. I think over the past few years it has been a new, welcomed trend to have more female protagonists to represent the feminist and feminine side within business and everyday life to provide younger generations with strong role models, that can stand up for themselves and make the decisions without a males influence.
    With the Hunger Games franchise really kicking it off, writers knew that was a niche that sold and was gaining popularity which has now clearly over run the rest. As a new writer myself, you listen to the tips and routes you’re suggested to take and what works and what doesn’t. I’ve heard numerous times that this is where writers “should” be heading for.
    I am female but prefer creating and writing male protagonists, it allows to explore my masculine side, perhaps, or a side that I didn’t even know existed.
    Thanks for the read!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh donโ€™t get me wrong itโ€™s great to see female MC to represent the feminine side of the business and provide strong role models like you said, but Iโ€™ve been reading for ages now and it seems like especially in the YA genre there are no role models for young boys growing up, or at least very few that Iโ€™ve found. Well hopefully if this is where authors โ€œshouldโ€ be heading thereโ€™ll be more male MC in the near future. Iโ€™ll keep my fingers crossed because it would be great to see. Yeah Iโ€™m a female reader but I enjoy reading books with male protagonists, makes a nice chance from all the female ones already on the shelves. ๐Ÿ™‚
      Thatโ€™s all right. Iโ€™m glad you enjoyed this post! ๐Ÿ˜€

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  5. Hello Beth! I absolutely love this post! What a unique topic to post about! To be honest, I haven’t even noticed that there are more books with female MCs than male MCs, but now that you mention it, I realized that you are totally right!
    I agree that there are female writers than male writers, and we write what we know. I think there are also more female readers than male readers, and I think as a girl, I like to read books with female MCs (I enjoy books with male MCs as well, though I would be really angry if females weren’t adequately represented in books as MCs!)
    I wonder if the reverse is true in film? That there are more male MCs than female MCs? I would guess that that’s the case and it’s because boys like movies more than books ๐Ÿ™‚
    However I do think that there should be more male representation in books, because there are boys out there who like to read too, and they should be able to find characters that they relate to.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Sophie. ๐Ÿ™‚
      Oh thanks so much. Yeah it seemed like this was a topic not a lot of people were aware of but one that’s been in the back of people’s minds at the same time you know? Yeah when I write I write female MC over male ones, and I’m the same I read more female MC than male ones but oh I hadn’t thought about the reverse being true in the film industry. It’s an interesting thought and I feel like it’s the kind of thing that would depend on the genre you know? Like superhero films always have male MC’s over female ones (the main exception being Wonder Woman).
      Yeah it’s unfair for a whole gender to be shallowly represented in the YA genre. There’s no kind of bridge between middle grade and adult books for boys and you have to wonder how many male teens are put of reading because there are no characters they can relate to. ๐Ÿ™‚

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      1. Yes, I also write about female MCs by default because it comes much easier to me than writing about male MCs!
        Yes I also thought of Wonder Woman right away- everyone praised the movie when it came out, saying things like “wow, what an empowering movie about women!” However, when you think about it, there are so many superhero movies about men, though we don’t hear people say, “wow, Iron man was such an empowering movie for men!” I think we are used to seeing men in these roles.
        I absolutely agree. I wonder which came first- books that don’t interest guys, or guys who aren’t interested in books. The chicken or the egg, you know? ๐Ÿ™‚

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      2. We have personal experience we can draw on when it comes to female MC right? Makes it easier to develop them ourselves.
        Yep, and if you think about it when we read books like The Hunger Games no one really spoke about Katniss (that I can remember, I could be wrong in this) and said she was an empowering figure for young girls because there were so many books with characters like Katniss already out there. Maybe we just need some more switch ups when it comes to movie and book MCs.
        Ha, well personally I think the egg came first, as for the former question, well who knows? ๐Ÿ™‚

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      3. Haha yes! I completely agree! There are so many empowered women in books these days (which is an amazing thing), and I am hoping that this can extend to movies as well. Maybe as the gender divide blurs, more guys will be into reading!
        I am thinking that it might be a fun challenge to write about a male MC for once, yes? ๐Ÿ™‚

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      4. That’s awesome that you are planning ahead for Nano next year! I am looking forward to hearing more about it when the time comes ๐Ÿ™‚ That’s great to hear that there will be both a female and a male MC ๐Ÿ™‚
        My current novel will be mostly from the female MC’s point of view, though I may incorporate the male MC’s POV as well ๐Ÿ™‚

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      5. Yep, getting in there early so I can have my blog posts and everything managed well before November. ๐Ÿ™‚
        Ohh, thatโ€™ll be interesting, and I guess start out small when it comes to male MC and then gradually add more and more until youโ€™re an expert at writing them. ๐Ÿ˜€

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      6. Yes it seems like it is a good idea to gradually transition to writing male MCs. I’m thinking that reading about male MCs would be a good place to start! I mostly read about female MCs but I really enjoy books about male MCs as well (like books by Adam Silvera!) , since they give me an idea about what goes inside their head? :’)

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      7. Start off with mixed POVs and maybe one day we’ll feel ready to write a book from only a male characters’ perspective! ๐Ÿ˜€ Oh Adam Silvera is an incredible writer, I’ve loved all of his male MC, and there are so many other incredible male authors out there as well. ๐Ÿ™‚

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      8. Haha yes. Mixed POVs are also fun and interesting to write ๐Ÿ™‚
        I will have to discover more male authors, since most of the ones I read are female! (Other than Adam Silvera lol :โ€™) )

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      9. Haha I listened to a sample of the audiobook and thought it was a bit strange, which was why I didnโ€™t read it at the moment. Glad to hear that Iโ€™m not the only one who feels this way, and that it is amazing regardless ๐Ÿ™‚

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  6. The first thing that came to my mind reading this was HARRY POTTER. Ah, JK Rowling again. But seriously though, I sometimes am really fed up of reading female leads in contemporaries. Most of the classic books have male protagonists and they were PHENOMINAL. But really, from what I’ve read, even male authors don’t do a good job with male leads in their books (*eyes John Green*)

    And yeah Loved reading this post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha, yeah Harry Potter is a great series, but we need more than just Harry Potter (and the other odd few books with male protagonists). It seems like every other genre has plenty of male main characters, and it’s only really YA where they’re lacking which is strange but I think if you look really really hard there are some. It’s just finding them.
      Thanks so much, I’m really glad you enjoyed this post. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  7. Love this discussion post, Beth! This has been on my mind for some time now. I’ve been in the mood to read from a male perspective ever since the Legend trilogy and unfortunately, I haven’t been so lucky in finding that many male protagonists, especially in my favorite genre, fantasy. And it’s interesting how the YA market is so saturated with female authors that dominate nearly every genre in the category, particularly in fantasy and contemporary, while male authors seem to dominate adult fantasy and sci-fi. But I think this is due to the target market/majority audience for YA, which happens to be females between the ages of 16-45, or something along those lines. And so, male protagonists are a little harder to come by as most female writers are more comfortable writing from a female perspective due to personal experience. And as a reader, I usually search for female protagonists as I can more readily relate to a female character.

    However, I really wish I could find more male protagonists in my preferred genre. The Half Bad trilogy, Gentleman’s Guide, Now I Rise (Radu’s narrative), some of Cassie Clare’s books, Legend trilogy, Ember in the Ashes, and Six of Crows are some of my favorites that feature male voices. But there should definitely be more male protagonists in the YA segment, preferably in mainstream genres like fantasy, sci-fi, and thrillers/mysteries as it would not only add more diversity to our reading choices, but it might also inspire boys to continue reading throughout their teenage and young adult years as there would be more male characters who are their own age undergoing epic fantastical and sci-fi quests, in addition to insightful contemporary situations ๐Ÿ˜€

    Glad someone finally said something LOL. Great discussion topic Beth! โค

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    1. Thanks so much Azia. ๐Ÿ™‚ Yeah there are very few books out there that have male POV characters, and while I think there has been a rise in books like Legend where thereโ€™s a split POV between male and female main characters there hasnโ€™t really been a rise in male only POV books you know? There are a few authors who do male only POVs really well, but I canโ€™t think of too many in fantasy now you mention it (only one comes to mind!)
      Plenty of people have spoke about how female authors tend to be the majority in YA. Someone actually raised a good point that there are potentially male authors whoโ€™ve wrote books that could have been YA but that may have been shifted to an adult genre (so just fantasy without the YA in front of it) and there are books out there I could think of that could have sat well within more adult genres but that have been marketed as YA. Almost like female authors are pushed to YA while male authors are pushed out of it you know?
      Oh there are some great books with male POV characters. All the ones youโ€™ve mentioned are favourites of mine, and then thereโ€™s the Shades of Magic books, in fact anything V.E. Schwan has written, and The City of Brass which Iโ€™ve said are pretty much ultimate faves of mine now. Oh I definitely agree there, there are definitely more female readers of YA than male, but the only way to fix that would be to have more male POV books and until there are more male readers thereโ€™s not really a market for it. Kind of a vicious cycle but publishers are going to publish the books they know will sell.
      Thanks so much Azia, Iโ€™m really glad you enjoyed this discussion! ๐Ÿ™‚ โค๏ธ

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      1. Very good point. There really aren’t that many exclusively male POV books out there, but they’re definitely needed, especially in fantasy and other common genres in YA.
        And wow, yeah, I never thought of that. That’s a very good argument and pretty on the nose. I think there definitely is a sort of unspoken agreement among publishers that female authors are more suited to the YA genre, as the majority of readers are female, while male authors are more suited for adult fantasy and sci-fi genres, as the audience is (I’d guess) plurality male but a bit more varied than the YA audience. And I’m not entirely sure why. I’d agree that there are quite a few books written by male authors that were pushed out of YA for marketing purposes, and unfortunately they took their male protagonists with them ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Let’s hope that the industry realizes that we want a more diverse cast of main characters. If we keep making noise about it, then one day they’ll listen and we’ll get those male POVs as well as more POCs and other characters from various communities.
        Until then, I guess we’ll have to settle for those split POVs, but at least there are many more of those than there were before! We’re getting there ๐Ÿ˜€

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Donโ€™t get me wrong itโ€™s great to see split POV stories with male and female characters. I kind of hope it will act as a stepping stone to more male only POV stories.
        I hope we do see a chance someday, but I feel like unless there are more male YA readers the male authors writing make protagonists are always going to be pushed to other genres. Itโ€™s a shame because it almost feels like YA is kind of a stereotyped-against genre at times and there a lot more than what people associate with it. But we are seeing more overall diversity so maybe our voices are being heard and one day weโ€™ll see more male POV characters on the bookshelves in book stores. I can hope anyways.
        Like I said split POVs are a great start, and for now Iโ€™m more than happy to see those books on the shelves more and more! ๐Ÿ˜€

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  8. I actually wonder how much of this phenomenon is due to the publishing industry as a whole. YA fiction is typically considered more lowbrow, making it an easier market for writers to enter and try something different from the norm. You see it in romance, too, which is a genre that’s widely looked down upon, but is typically written by women for women. That’s not to say that women can’t succeed in other genres, but I think YA has definitely become a welcoming place for female authors, which draws them to the genre and in turn can make it subtly (and likely unconsciously) less attractive to male authors. Plus I think publishers might have a stronger tendency to market a book written by a female author as YA than some other genre.

    Sorry, this comment is only scratching the surface of this topic, and I’m really not the most educated person to speak to this or even sure I’m articulating myself the best. Plus this doesn’t fully address your question in terms of why female authors don’t write many books from male POVs. But I was just reading a book with the subtitle “The Bad Reputation of Romance Novels Explained” and I saw some parallels with the YA genre. Though interestingly, a lot of romance novels have split POVs between the hero and heroine, so…

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    1. I loved reading your comment Dani, and I completely agree with everything you said as well. Granted I haven’t read much romance but I bet if I browse the romance shelves at my local bookstore I’d see more female authors than male, and I know for a fact that the YA genre tends to be stereotyped against. People seem to see it as full of Twilight-esque, tween stories more than anything else and that’s not what the genre is at all. I’m not sure if that means female authors are being pushed into the YA genre, but I do feel like there are probably male authors who are pushed into other genres when there books could be YA as well you know?
      I’m seeing more split POVs in YA books actually, it does seem like a more recent thing but I could be wrong there. It’s not like I’ve read every YA book that’s ever been written. It would be great to see even more split POVs in the YA genre, and I guess more female authors writing male characters.
      Thanks for your comment, like I said I really enjoyed reading your thoughts on this subject. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  9. Ooooh this is a really interesting post! I’ve had this thought in the back of my mind for quite a while now, but your discussion post brought it out to the surface ๐Ÿ˜Š I do find that I lean towards reading books about female protagonists because they’re more abundant in YA books, and I find that I relate to them more. I think why I don’t read more novels with sole male protagonists is that 1) I can’t find many easily, or 2) some of ones I’ve read recently didn’t depict female characters like well in the story, like in Ernest Cline’s Armada.

    I think this separation starts when kids are young though — in bookstores, some sections are very similar to toy stores in the sense that they are colored in accordance to appealing to certain genders. Maybe it’s more common for boys to go the comic/sci-fi section because that’s where most male protagonists are, and girls to the YA sections for protagonists they can relate to.

    However, it’s not like I don’t enjoy reading about male protagonists — I guess it’s just that I haven’t found a book with a sole male protagonist that has really stuck with me over the years. Thank you for this insightful post! ๐Ÿ˜„๐Ÿ“š

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    1. Thanks so much Zoie. ๐Ÿ™‚
      Yeah this does seem to be something most people are aware of, even if it isnโ€™t something they thought in too much detail about before (it was the same for me before I posted this.) The main reason I donโ€™t read more solely male POV books, asides from the fact that there just arenโ€™t that many, is because I relate more to the female characters so Iโ€™m always going to be more drawn to them. That being said I have read and LOVED some series with male protagonists so maybe I need to change my way of thinking a little when it comes to the books I pick up. ๐Ÿ™‚
      Oh I definitely agree with you there. It seems like when it comes to how we see boys and girls when theyโ€™re young they donโ€™t have overlapping interests, like you said for boys itโ€™s comic books and for girls itโ€™s YA books. Granted that isnโ€™t always the case but something like that does tend to have its adverse effects when it comes to marketing and, as a result, what boys and girls choose to spend their money on.
      Well maybe one day youโ€™ll find a male protagonist that does stick with you. Guess itโ€™s just a matter of searching for that one book/one series.
      Thatโ€™s all right, Iโ€™m really glad you enjoyed this post. ๐Ÿ™‚ โค๏ธ

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  10. *Great* discussion!!! I couldn’t agree more that there should be more representation of boys in YA! I’d happily read a story from a guy’s perspective and I think that when it comes to diversity, there should be a whole range of people ๐Ÿ˜€

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    1. Thanks so much! ๐Ÿ˜€ I’d happily read a story with a male main character too, in fact I have read some incredible stories with male main characters and they’ve become favourites of mine.
      Exactly, like books focusing on LGBT characters and mental health issues it would be great to see books focusing on male characters. Teen boys can need representation as much as teen girls do. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  11. Someone said it! People keep talking to me about the lack of female authors and I am like – what do you mean? All the books are written by females and have female main characters! We wonder why guys supposedly read less than girls do. Maybe this is because, as they become teenagers and learn about themselves/their passions, they are alienated from this age/genre which seems to be the place where many female readers are dragged in.

    I personally prefer male protagonists and I really struggle in the YA genre to find work that has good male protagonists. John Green does a good job in any of his books with male characters (An Abundance of Katherines, Looking for Alaska), then there is the Maze Runner series by James Dashner (he has other series too but they aren’t as good), DJ MacHale is excellent. I have read his Pendragon series and also SYLO series (Pendragon is better and I highly recommend). Codex Alera might work here, but for mature teens.

    Thinking about this now, I have quite a few series with male protagonists – but they are for middle grade audiences, not YA. The Ranger’s Apprentice, The Last Apprentice, Cirque du Freak, Percy Jackson, Kane Chronicles, The Giver, Michael Vey and so many more…

    There needs to be something done about this. I can’t imagine how many possible readers are being turned away by lack of reading material (in more ways than just with guys).

    Thanks for this post.

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    1. I feel like all the books by female authors are in the YA genre. Maybe when you go into adult books or more middle grade stories you find male writers and, as a result, male protagonists, but it leaves a gap where for a whole genre there are very few male protagonists for people who prefer that or for male readers. If guys do read less as teenagers this is likely the reason. There are just no books for them after they want to move on from middle grade stories.
      I did enjoy The Maze Runner series, except for the last book because of how it ended, and I have most of John Green’s releases on my to-read list too. I’ll have to check out DJ MacHale if you say his work is good. May find another series to add to my to-read list.
      Yeah there are plenty of male authors and protagonists in the middle grade genre. I’m a massive fan of Rick Riordan’s books, and I loved Darren Shan’s books when I was younger too.
      Definitely, hopefully we’ll see some changes soon, even if they’re just small ones that start off with.
      That’s all right, I’m glad you enjoyed reading this post! ๐Ÿ˜€ โค

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  12. This was such a great post! Iโ€™ve never thought about it before, but youโ€™re totally right in this! Iโ€™ve read tons of books with female protagonists, but only a few that had a male main character. I barely see books with male MC, and itโ€™s true there are more female writers in the YA community, so maybe thatโ€™s why, though I have to say there are a few female authors whoโ€™ve written from a male POV (i.e. Becky Albertalli).

    Nonetheless, it was a great post!๐Ÿ˜Š

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    1. Thanks so much Nia. ๐Ÿ˜€ Yeah this doesn’t seem to be something that’s on most people’s radar, I guess it’s just become something we’ve all accepted as business as usual you know? In the YA genre there are so many books that have female protagonists but so few that have males taking the centre stage, a lot of people agree it’s possibly because we have more female authors. But like you said in the case of Becky Albertalli there’s no reason it can’t be done. ๐Ÿ™‚
      Thanks so much. ๐Ÿ˜€

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  13. As always, wonderfully written post my friend! I personally do not have a preference however it is something that I’ve noticed. Especially because my husband also reads YA & he often gets recommendations from me & I find myself questioning the books I think he’d enjoy.He enjoys the female protagonists but I saw how much more he enjoyed reading the Red Rising trilogy which then led me to recommend him some adult Fantasy since there were no male MC’s in YA Fantasy. I def think we could use a healthy balance in the genre. The few male authors that are writing male MC’s are AMAZING! we need more Adam Silveras & Jeff Zetners.

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    1. Thanks so much Lilly. ๐Ÿ˜€ I don’t think I have a preference to be honest. I mean, I’ve read more books with female protagonists but that could just be because of the books I read there are more female protagonists to choose from. It’s great your husband reads YA, and that you can recommend books to him. The Red Rising trilogy is amazing, I think it was the first book I read with a male protagonist (in the YA genre, and other than Harry Potter) and it was kind of a game changer for me as well. Yes we definitely need more male protagonists, and more books by Adam Silvera and the like as well. ๐Ÿ˜€ โค

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  14. For YA specifically, I think there’s a bit of a cycle. The books tend to have mostly female protagonists because the market for YA seems to be predominantly female, but the market becomes that way because males don’t see themselves reflected in the books. There are YA contemporary stories from a male perspective but females definitely seem to be more common. As mentioned above, there aren’t many boys in the YA section of the bookstore, but what incentive is for them to be there when so many of the books seem geared toward girls?

    The majority of YA books with male protagonists that I’ve read are either LGBT stories, or fantasy/sci-fi. It’s a bit weird that there aren’t more books available for boys focusing in other genres.

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    1. Yes that is exactly it, I’ve said it a few times in comments and it really is a vicious cycle because unless we get more male readers we’re never going to see more male protagonists, but unless we see more male protagonists we’re never going to get more male readers. I wonder if I’d have been male would I be reading as much as I am now and I think the answer would be no. When I think of the books, asides from Harry Potter, that got me into reading they’re books marketed to females and not ones a male would actually pick up. I don’t know many boys who read Twilight let’s put it that way. ๐Ÿ™‚
      I think, and I’m just basing this off my cousin who is the only teenage boy I actually know, that boys are more likely to pick up fantasy/sci-fi releases than they would be contemporary. As other people have said in comments it’s about what sells.

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  15. I actually have noticed this, and I did also notice that the majority are the same gender as the author. I have written a few books, and only two of them have male protagonists. This is because I, as a human being and as a woman, have so many experiences to draw inspiration from, be it in situations of joy, sadness or despair. I just feel like it is also a matter of how well I can relate to my protagonist. If my protagonist is male, I can’t relate to him as well, and I often wonder if what I am writing is even realistic and if male readers would even be able to identify with him. But I do my best. When I first started writing again, I was still in the process of taking some huge steps healing mentally, and I think that influenced a lot of my writing as well.

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    1. I think based on the other comments I’ve gotten on this post to date female authors writing what they know seems to be the main reason people agree on that we see more female protagonists than male in the YA genre. You’re completely right because I’m taking part in NaNo this month and although the story I’m writing had dual POVs the one I’m writing the most for is female because I have that inspiration like you said, it’s so much easier to write what you know than write what you don’t, no matter how much research you do. I think like with writing diverse characters writing male characters when you’re female all comes down to the research, and hopefully you know enough to make a realistic character (at least that’s what I’m hoping with mine. :D)

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  16. Oh HELL YESS!! I noticed it recently when I talked about the lack of male protagonist in my Nyxia review and you answered some of my questions! I guess its the same problem with diversity we may be afraid to illustrate something we dont know about. But then again Iโ€™d love to see a lot more male protagonists ! Love the post ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜โค๏ธ

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    1. Yes I completely agree with you there Trang. I think the thing is like we need to see diverse characters in books we also need to see more male protagonists as well. Teenage boys need representation just as much as teenage girls do, and at the moment they just don’t have it.
      Thanks so much! ๐Ÿ˜€

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  17. Wow this was a great topic Beth! I’ve never really thought about it until now. YA has a lot of female protagonists, and not that many male. I’m now only thinking how hard it must be for a YA boy to find a good book to read and relate to. This was a great thinker topic! ๐Ÿ™‚

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    1. Thanks so much Meghan. ๐Ÿ™‚ Yeah it seems to be something that we’ve just accepted as the norm, and you don’t really realise it until it’s made clear and actually pointed out to you. I keep thinking if I had been male instead of female would I have continued reading after finishing Harry Potter if there were no books targeted to me? I can’t say for sure but I feel like the answer would probably have been no. ๐Ÿ™‚

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      1. You’re welcome! And right?! My brother was a reader for a long time, but when he became a teen he kinda dropped off of reading 1) he was lazy and 2) he “didn’t have time” to read. He does have quite the collection of books between Lord of the Rings and all of J.R.R. Tolkien books and he has quite a bit of Star Wars books. I still regret to this day not buying him this book he wanted because it had a ship on it and it looked cool- I have no idea what book it was, but he saw it in the YA section, but I feel like then maybe he would have read more.

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      2. I guess there are some people who feel like that when they’re teenagers and never get back into reading. We must be the exceptions on here where we just carried on and became almost obsessed by whatever books we could get our hands on! ๐Ÿ˜€
        Oh that is a shame, but I guess maybe you can still hope there’ll be another book that will catch his eye that will get him back into reading again. I’m sure you’ve read enough you could recommend to him right? ๐Ÿ˜€

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      3. I guess if you keep trying one of them will stick. Canโ€™t hurt to keep recommending can it?
        Oh my god really?! I canโ€™t imagine not reading Harry Potter, I even managed to get my sister to read the series and sheโ€™s not a big reader at all.

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      4. Haha, nope!
        Haha, we likes Harry Potter don’t get me wrong, as he owns the Elder Wand & a Hufflepuff scarf, he just doesn’t want to read it. He read the second book for a school project, but that was it. He’s seen all the movies and likes those, but reading about it he’d rather not.

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  18. Now that you pointed this one… yes I agree with you. I think the main reason is more female writers in YA than male ones. When man writes YA it’s usually with a male main MC (Percy Jackson, Red Rising, Number Four ….). Each time I have to look for a book aimed at my son I need to dig deeper than for my daughter.

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    1. I feel like it’s been that for most people. Something they’ve only been made really aware of once it’s been pointed out to them. ๐Ÿ™‚
      Female writers does seem to be what most people agree with on this topic, and I agree as well because I’m writing for NaNo and I’m writing a female protagonists. It’s just a case of writing what you know and that means male authors will write male characters and female authors will write female ones nine times out of ten. ๐Ÿ™‚

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      1. Yes I know only one female writer who writes mainly from male perspective: Suanne Laqueur. She is fantastic and I wonder how she does it!!!

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      2. I know a few writers who’ve written from male perspective as well. I think they also have books from a female perspective but that doesn’t mean their male main characters are less developed than the female ones which is definitely a good thing. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  19. Oh yes, I’ve definitely noticed that there are more female protags than male?? I think a lot of it comes from the fact that there are more female authors, who write female protags. But like you said, it wouldn’t be that much of a problem to write male protags??? Personally, I lean towards female protags because that’s who I can relate to more, but I’m open to male characters (or protags) as well!! I also feel like there are more female readers than male?? It doesn’t mean that we can’t relate to boys, but maybe authors want to appeal to their audience, I don’t know.

    Great post!

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    1. It does seem to be something plenty of people have noticed, and I’m sure there are so many reasons why that’s the case as well. Female authors writing what they know is probably a big one, especially if you’re a debut author just starting out.
      I’m the same, as much as I agree with the points I raised in this discussion when it comes to the books I pick up, and even the story I’m writing for NaNo, I read what I can identify with and I write what I know and that is female protagonists.
      I feel like YA is a largely female genre, but it’s kind of a cycle because maybe the reason YA is a female dominated genre is because there are only female protagonists.
      Thanks May. ๐Ÿ™‚ โค

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  20. I have noticed that there are a LOT more female protagonists in YA, and idk but I feel that the genre is stereotyped for girls. WHICH IS NOT OKAY. I think that both boys AND girls should enjoy YA but . . . that is a whoooolllllleee other discussion!!
    I think that we most DEFINITELY need more boy protagonists!! I think that the split should be equal, 50/50!! Iโ€™ve loved Patrick Nessโ€™s books that youโ€™ve mentioned here, and Iโ€™ve read some of the Percy Jackson books too. Apart from that, the males have all been side characters and not THE MAIN focus.
    I actually quite like having a male perspective, as they are SO rare. For example, TSS and ODD: Augustโ€™s narrative is beautiful!! Then again, I do like a female perspective. I like both!!

    Great post & discussion topic!

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    1. Yes that is exactly what I think. For some reason people have this image in mind as YA being all about Twilight style books, written for tween girls with romance and love triangles by not much substance, not that there’s anything wrong with but there is so much more to YA that gets overlooked and it really is a shame. Like you said though, whole other discussion there. ๐Ÿ™‚
      Patrick Ness is one of my favourite authors too, and I’ve loved reading the Percy Jackson books. Even books where the male characters haven’t been the main focus have been incredible, Six of Crows and TSS and ODD like you said. Maybe that’s the way we’ll see more male protagonists, it’ll start with a dual male and female POV stories and maybe one day that’ll lead to more singular male POVs. ๐Ÿ™‚
      Thanks so much Lu. ๐Ÿ˜€ โค

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      1. Yes! Itโ€™s portrayed as something really BASIC and CLICHE when itโ€™s NOT and actually a really WIDE developed genre.

        Yes!! I canโ€™t wait to have more sole Male perspectives, because THEYโ€™RE SO RARE AT THE MOMENT. BUT I WILL ALWAYS ADORE Dual PoV because I love hearing from both main characters(??) and I think it adds a lot to the story โค

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      2. Exactly, but because people have that stereotyped impression in their heads of YA they never really delve down into what it really is and see what the genre really is.
        Dual POV feel like, to me, it could be a stepping stone that will eventually lead to more singular male POV stories. I hope so anyways because as much as I love dual POVs as well it would be great to see more singular male POV stories. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  21. Oh, yes, I have noticed this, and I’m so glad you made a post about it. Personally, I’m just more drawn to female protagonists (maybe because I can identify with them more?). But, I usually find male protagonists in the historical fiction (non-romance related) or literary fiction. Other than that, most male protagonists I’ve came across are side characters from a series, or the writer has decided to write from the hero’s perspective. For sure, I think it’s a matter of who’s the writer (not that a female writer would automatically write from a female’s voice). But I think it also has to do with the political dynamic in the publishing industry and what we usually think of as “Art” with the capital A.

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    1. Yes I said the same thing in the comment I made just before this one; when it comes to the books I pick up I’m always going to be more drawn to those with female main characters because it’s easier for me to relate to them. I think as well there are plenty of genres that largely have male protagonists over female ones, but YA is just such a female dominated market it seems and I think it’s a shame that teen boys who are maybe looking for something to read after finishing Percy Jackson or Harry Potter but are being excluded from this market simply because there are no characters they can relate to.
      There are plenty of reasons it seems, and I’m not sure if this is the kind of thing that can change but I hope in the future we see some kind of change for the better, even if it’s just a small one. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  22. I just thought about it, and I think that while I don’t read a lot of YA, most of the YA books I’ve loved feature male protagonists; The Universe versus Alex Woods, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, The Perks of being a Wallflower, The Shock of the Fall, etc. In the adult section I tend to love male characters as well; The Name of the Wind, The Secret History, The Goldfinch, The Song of Achilles, etc. A lot of my favourite books feature female characters as well, but I think it’s fairly balanced. I believe that the characters that are popular depend a lot on the genre, so YA contemporaries tend toward female protagonists while thrillers usually have the average white guy. I think if you look for books that aren’t super well known, you can find lots of different characters tho!

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    1. Oh that is interesting. I mean some of my favourite books have had male protagonists as well. I haven’t read any of the ones you mentioned but Pierce Brown’s Red Rising trilogy is one of my all-time favourite sci-fi series, and Adam Silvera and Patrick Ness are two of my favourite authors and they all have male protagonists in their books. I think it’s about searching like you said, and yeah I guess maybe if you’re looking for male protagonists YA isn’t really the genre to pick up. It’s just a shame in a way that there are genres which maybe aren’t as accessible to a gender simply because there are no protagonists they can relate to. As much as I did enjoy the books by the authors I mentioned in my post with male protagonists I’m always more drawn to stories with female main characters simply because it’s easier for me to relate to them. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  23. I really think it has to do with the readers. Do women spend more on books than men? I donโ€™t think it has anything to do with literacy since that seems to be equally widespread between men and women. Just as a trend in fashion creates a buying frenzy, there are trends in fiction and usually it is women or girls that pay attention and spend their money. Iโ€™m sure there are other reasons too, more female writers, so more female lead characters… however, the bottom line is who will purchase it? Girls, thats who..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well I can only speak for myself and I do spend so much money on books. But taking that point you could say one of the reasons girls spend more money on books than boys is because there are more books for them to spend money on. When every YA book has a female protagonist and only one or two have a male one there’s more choice for female readers. Female writers is something a lot of people have mentioned in comments on this post and yeah that’s probably a main reason, a case of writers writing what they know and that being female characters.

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      1. Everyone has made really good points. My day job is advertising so I always think about target demographics. If girls are buying then more books with female protagonists will be published. Once something becomes hot for boys, like comic book heroes for instance, then boys soend more money and you see more Avengers and comic book films coming put. I hate to be cynical but our world is driven by who makes the purchase. All of these comments contribute to it though! Its a Catch 22.

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      2. I did a term on advertising when I was in uni so I completely get what you’re saying. At the end of the day writers write to get published and publishers publish books that they know will sell. In the end that just means a female audience more than anything for YA. Maybe that will change one day, I live in the hopes that maybe we’ll see a small change at some point in the future. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  24. Oh this is such an interesting discussion, Beth. I think that, looking at my shelves, I do have more female protagonists in the books I read, than males. I don’t know why, maybe it’s because there are tons of female authors, but you’re right: we should and could use more male protagonists sometimes. I’m sure they exist somewhere, maybe we just pick up the wrong books or aren’t aware of these little hidden gems somewhere, let’s hope so? ๐Ÿ™‚

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    1. Thanks so much Marie. ๐Ÿ™‚ โค Yeah that's definitely the case looking at my bookshelves. I have maybe two or three series with male protagonists and the rest are female, and the rest counts for a lot of books! ๐Ÿ˜€ I have a feeling female authors is the main reason why we see more female protagonists, it's a case of writing what you know. Male protagonists definitely exists, it's just harder to find them when you could go to any bookstore, pick up the first book in the YA area you see, and chances are it'll have a female protagonist. Ha, hidden gems is a good way to describe them I think, they exist you just have to search a little harder for them. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  25. I noticed that too. The high amount of female protagonists is one reason why I don’t like to read YA novels. I simply miss well-developed male characters. I have the feeling that often male characters are either the “I’m-broody-and-sexy-type” or “I’m-gay-but-not-sure-yet-type” which isn’t reprehensible, just a bit boring. I just enjoy male characters who are all different and interesting and have various strengths and weaknesses more and I’d really love to read more about them in YA novels. So thanks for pointing this out.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly. A lot of the time when we see male characters in YA books they’re the love interest, and that’s the main role they play, a secondary character to the female protagonist. There are male characters in YA books that are more than the love interest, even when there are female protagonists as well. I mentioned some in my post but the main one is Six of Crows which has incredibly developed characters; all with different strengths and weaknesses and motives driving them forwards.
      Basically male protagonists is something I hope we see more of in the YA market as well.
      That’s all right, I’m glad you enjoyed this post Lo. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Like

  26. Great post! I was just thinking about this a few days ago and then you posted this! I remember when I first got into the book community, many people were complaining that there are very few female authors and they would like to have more of them. But as I come to focus on the YA genre, I realized that most of the most well-loved authors are female and that is probably why I so seldom read a YA book from a male character’s perspective.

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    1. Thanks so much. Ha, guess it was good timing me posting this when I did then. ๐Ÿ™‚
      There does seem to be more female authors in the YA genre than male ones, I can’t say much for outside of YA given that’s what I primarily read. You’re right the amount of female authors is likely why we don’t have many male protagonists, but it’s a shame because it’s just created what I see as a hole in the market and means teen boys are without the same representation teen girls have to guide them growing up. It would be nice to see more male characters in YA, maybe one day it’ll actually happen as well. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  27. I have never thought about this. I read mostly adult fiction and some YA and presume this is especially true for YA. There do seem to be an awful lot of female YA authors out there, which as you say probably results in a female bias. I do like books in which both female and male characters get a say and there is no reason why a woman cannot write a credible male protagonist. I love writing male characters myself. ๐Ÿ™‚

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    1. It’s something I only thought about recently, but now it’s something I can’t really un-see. I mean I am female so I never had a problem finding books to read growing up, and yes there are certainly more female authors in the YA genre than male which likely has something to do with it, but you’re right there’s no reason females can’t write male protagonists. Not all the diverse books being released are #OwnVoices, it just takes research which is the same as anything else when it comes to writing a book. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  28. This is an interesting discussion, Beth! I liked your take on this. Young Adult books is an industry dominated by women, to be honest and I think one of the reasons that many of these books are written with female protagonists is not only because of that but also the need for women to have strong literary role models, you know? I do wish there were more books with male protagonists, though, because it would really help younger boys get into reading especially for those in middle grade. I’d also suggest looking into indie books where you’ll find YA books with male protagonists. It does take some searching though!

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    1. Thanks so much Camillea. ๐Ÿ™‚ Oh I definitely agree. It’s great that females have that representation because growing up it’s something they need, books shaped my life because there were so many characters that I could relate to and look up to, but that’s not to say boys growing up don’t need that same representation.
      You probably have young boys who finish reading Harry Potter and Percy Jackson who can’t find anything to move onto next because they’re too young to pick up books from the adult genre but there’s nothing in the YA genre for them to pick up. How many potential readers are we losing because of that? Yeah if you search you can find plenty of books, it just takes time to search which not a lot of people are interested in doing.

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  29. I think it’s really that YA is dominated by women in general. That includes authors, agents, and editors. Also, most importantly, there are far more female readers. Personally, I wish publishers would try to do more to increase male literacy/reading rates, including publishing more YA books with male leads, but since publishing is largely a business, my suspicion is that they focus on female-oriented stories largely because they think they will sell better to the audience they currently have.

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    1. Oh there are definitely more female writers in the YA genre than male. A point someone else raised is that there are potentially male writers publishing books with male protagonists that are getting moved to the adult genre for whatever reason, which is something else to think about. But I agree publishing is a business so they’re going to sell what they know will sell. It’s become a cycle though, boys aren’t reading because there are no books for them to read with male protagonists, so authors and publishers are seeing this and not writing books for them to try and fix that. Maybe one day we’ll see a change though, we’re certainly seeing more diversity in YA books so maybe the next step will be more male protagonists. ๐Ÿ™‚

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      1. Yeah, there are a lot of male writers and characters in middle grade, and I think it’s partially because there’s more of an educational market there. Teachers and librarians buy the books to try to get male students to read. But it’s like in YA, suddenly no one cares.

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      2. Hmm, that’s a good point actually. I haven’t read much from the MG market to be honest. I kind of lost interest in reading around that time after I’d finished Harry Potter, and when I got interested in reading again I jumped straight into the YA genre. I feel like YA is one of those genres not a lot of people take seriously in general, and that’s a shame because there are some incredible books within it.

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  30. This is such a great post. I never really noticed it before but you are right. Though I think I prefer female protagonists especially when they break social norms because I can relate to them or strive to them. Strong females are more inspiring to me, and maybe that is because the real world is dominated by strong males.

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    1. Thanks so much, and yeah it’s something I only recently thought of as well but now I have noticed it it’s become strikingly obvious. I mean don’t get me wrong I love books with female protagonists, love being able to relate to these characters and have them inspire. I just think we need boys to have that same representation because it’s just as important for them growing up as it is teen girls.

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  31. Great post!
    It’s interesting, because it always seemed to be an interesting difference between YA and adult fiction. Where YA is predominantly female, adult tends to have a lot more male characters as the protagonist. Perhaps the female authors go for the Ya (or get shifted into YA?) and the males tend to go for adult? I don’t know.
    I do think we could use some more male protagonists in YA. I know a friend of mine mentioned that he went from children’s lit to adult, because there wasn’t really anything in between for him. Maybe if we make enough of a stink about it, someone will start writing some male protagonist YA books.

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    1. Thanks so much Hilary. ๐Ÿ™‚
      Yeah that’s definitely something to think about. Granted I don’t read a lot of adult fiction but I am aware there are more male protagonists when you move away from the YA market. It’s possible that’s what’s happening; authors who could be writing male protagonists in YA are being moved into adult for some reason, but it still leaves a gap in the YA market for more male characters.
      There are a few male protagonists in YA books, but compared to the female ones they are few and far between. It’s a shame for people like your friend that they’re missing out on a whole genre because there’s no representation for them.
      Here’s hoping. We’re seeing more diversity in books now so maybe the next step will be us seeing more male protagonists in books as well. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  32. I think this is such a true and important post. I have a younger brother , and because of my crazy love for reading, I want him to read some of the books Iโ€™ve read so he can see why I love reading. But the problem is that all these books have female protagonists, and so theyโ€™re something my brother probably wonโ€™t be able to connect to.

    Iโ€™ve head so many people say that โ€œboys donโ€™t read as much as girls.โ€ And that they should read more, but how can you blame them for not wanting to pick up a book when they canโ€™t see themselves in it anywhere?

    This is a great post, and itโ€™s so true, we need more male protagonists!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, and oh that is a shame. It would be great if your brother did share your love of reading, but at the same time I guess it’ll be hard if there are no protagonists he can connect with the way we have with some of the many books we’ve read.
      It’s kind of a vicious cycle. People say that boys don’t read so authors won’t write for them and publishers won’t publish for them, but the reason they don’t read is because there aren’t any characters they can connect with because the writers and publishers are essentially ignoring half the market. There are a few authors out there; Patrick Ness, Adam Silvera and Pierce Brown, who’ve wrote incredible books with male protagonists, and there are probably others but it’s finding them that’s the challenge.
      Thanks so much, and yeah boys really need more representation in the YA market. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  33. This is suuuuuuuuchhhhhhhhhh a great post/topic! I happen to think that we could certainly use more male POVs in YA fiction. As a librarian, it is around that age (just after Percy Jackson era) where male readers drop off. Collection Development is very female centered, because they tend to be the only ones checking the YA shelf.
    Some male protagonists that I have loved include (the obvious) Harry Potter series, and Ready Player One ( by Ernest Cline)- but they might not be considered YA (if that is what you were asking for).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Samantha, and yeah it’s definitely important. ๐Ÿ™‚ Teen boys need representation in YA as well and it’s a shame to think male readers are dropping off after the Percy Jackson era, like you said, because they can’t find that representation. I mean, there are male protagonists in YA, but they are few and far between and I guess you have to search for them, which may not be what most people do when the majority are female protagonists and because of that stories that aren’t interested in.
      Oh Harry Potter is definitely one I love, that was the series that started me reading in the first place, and I haven’t read ready Player One but it’s on my to-read list. Thanks for the recommendations. ๐Ÿ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  34. Fantastic discussion post, Beth. You raise so many points that deserve so much attention and could stir up a hurricane if heard by the wrong people too hahah I like that you realized the lack of boys as the focus in YA stories. I do admit that I barely hear about books with boys as MC too and that a lot of the YA stories are written by women. I guess a big part of it is due to the insanely low number of men as writers out there, compared to women, and also due to the similar ratio of men and women as readers. I guess we’re just going to have to dig harder to find them, but at least we know that they exist though! And if it’s not in YA, at least we can be comforted by abundance of them in adult literature! ๐Ÿ˜€ Again, great post, Beth!!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thanks so much Lashaan. ๐Ÿ™‚ Yeah I think just like representation in terms of LGBT characters and minorities and different religions is important it’s also important that boys sees more representation in the YA genre as well. It feels like at the moment there’s a massive gap in the market and it’s a shame because I always see teen girls browsing the YA section in bookstores but never teen boys. So where do they go when they want new books to read?
      There are definitely plenty more women writers than men I agree, but I suppose they could write about male protagonists. I mean the diverse books we have aren’t all #OwnVoices so it can be done. Just takes research. There are a few out there if you dig deep enough, and hopefully there’ll keep being more being released as well. ๐Ÿ™‚
      Thanks Lashaan. ๐Ÿ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

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