ERIC Number: ED109610
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1975-Jun
Reference Count: 0
Effect of Interest in Material on Sex Differences in Reading Comprehension. Final Report.
Asher, Steven R.
Recent research indicates that boys read as well as girls if given high-interest material but read more poorly if given low-interest material. This study investigated possible factors contributing to the facilitating effect of interest of boys. Two experiments were performed to learn whether high-interest topics are associated with traditionally masculine themes for boys and feminine themes for girls. Another experiment examined whether the effect of interest could be due to greater familiarity with vocabulary on high-interest material. Finally, the long-term instructional benefits of a high-interest reading program were investigated. Results of the first two experiments indicated that boys' interests in topics were strongly correlated with independent ratings of masculinity, while girls' interests were only moderately correlated with femininity. Furthermore, sex-typing accounted for much of the stability of boys' interests across grade level and none of the stability of girls' interests. The third experiment tended to suggest that interest level had no facilitating effect when vocabulary content was controlled across interest level. The data suggest potential benefits of high-interest classroom instruction. (Author/TS)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (DHEW), Washington, DC. Office of Research Grants.
Authoring Institution: Illinois Univ., Urbana.