Submitted by syntaxfactory on May 19, 2012 - 6:39am
"The most basic question is: what percentage of books are by women? How did that change? (Of course, we could flip this and ask it about men--this data analysis is going to be clearer if we treat women as the exceptional group)... The takeaway: something like 5% at midcentury, up to about 15% by the 1920s."
The Ps--fiction--are far and away the most frequently female fields. There's really no question about it: particularly PZ ("fiction and juvenile belles-lettres), but also PS (American literature) are more female than almost any other field.
DD, German history, is _far_ more male_dominated than any other field in history except maybe E, one of the two for US history. Does this reflect greater constraints on access to print in the heavily university-dominated German system in the 19C? (For American or German authors--the Ph.D.s are probably all going through Berlin, anyway). Are there other places that institutional discrimination might be evident?
Genealogy and particularly biography, ("CT") are a really striking area of female authorship. Might be worth looking into.
HQ--"The Family--Marriage--Women" is about 45% female. Most of this is probably settlement-house stuff that is well covered in the historiography, but is nonetheless a little higher than I might have thought.
K, the law, has fewer women than anywhere. As with the German history, that can reflect the role of higher education in enforcing discriminatory practices.
The religion section of the B's, BL-BX, is particularly male-dominated, with the exception of practical theology. The really strikingly low bar, BM, is "Judaism."
From the number of authors I've worked with myself, I think of the Ls--education--as having a very high female percentage. (Although more in the 1930s than the 1900s). But though they're a little higher, it's not that notable.
The Ns, visual art, are a little more female than most other fields.
The low numbers in the sciences and technology are not very surprising; the spikes in the Ts are for handicrafts and home economics. The latter of those is the only field to break 50% female..