There’s an interesting (if sometimes depressing) conversation going on about who reads science fiction and whether the trappings of the genre itself discourages girls from reading it over in the comments of the Aetiology post I linked to about hot girls supposedly not reading SF. Several women have said they felt that reading SF growing up was something they had to keep quiet.
The stigma from other kids I noticed growing up was just associated with being a reader, period. Being a reader was odd. I never cared, so I read what I wanted, and honestly never felt like a title from a certain genre was any less okay than another in social terms. Was I just oblivious?
At any rate, I’d think that, along with a thousand other things, Harry Potter finally put the nail in this stigma’s coffin. (Not to mention the LOTR movies.) Am I still being oblivious?