It's interesting to note that there is a "boy crisis" in terms of literacy and libraries that some feel comics can help resolve, whereas in the industry, especially in the comics shop, there is a "girl crisis" regarding how to get female readers to feel comfortable in places full of comic books.
An analysis of the two arguments and their nuances would be highly intriguing and enlightening, in my opinion. That'd make one hell of a thesis or dissertation or article or book.
Partly so, I think, because there would be evidence to suggest "it really has come to this," i.e. the gender perceptions are that high-brow reading and places that support literacy have become girly and female-centric and places considered, even if wrongly, to be bastions of low brow reading have become equated with boys or an adolescent version of masculinity.
What are the ramifications for such gender-intwined notions of reading and literature and literacy?