Best American anthologies aim to publish the past-year’s best work from U.S. and Canadian magazines, journals, and newspapers. This study collected data on characteristics of pieces of writing (N = 4374) from Best American anthologies of short stories, poetry, essays, and nonfiction (on travel, science/nature and sports) published between 1978 and 2012 to see if selection of women’s pieces correlated with type of writing (genre), gender of the annual-issue editor, or original publication in 1 of the 6 most common (top-six) media sources in each genre. The study also asked if representation of women’s writing changed in 2011 after a women’s literary group reported women’s underrepresentation in the series. Findings showed better representation of women’s short stories and poetry than essays and especially nonfiction in the anthologies. Male editors—the majority of editors—tended to select more writing from men (especially essays and nonfiction) than from women, consistent with studies showing male scientists cite men’s work more than women’s. Men were also especially likely to have essays and science-writing selected from top-media. In 2011, 5 of 6 issue-editors chosen were women, and selected more women’s work than before. A multiple regression showed that selection of women’s writing correlated significantly and positively with (short-story) genre and publication in 2011 compared to before. Editor’s female gender was a marginally significant positive predictor. Publication in a top-science or essay journal correlated positively with selection of men’s work. The way genre and editor’s gender may compound bias towards publishing men’s writing is discussed
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 7, 2014
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