(And frankly JL, the second you stuck "My personal experience" in as a help, I tuned the statistics out. Least you didn't use Amazon! )
All I meant was that I was building a list of as many authors as I could--overall, the number of authors that came out of my head vs those that came out of other lists is very very small and I don't believe has any effect on the stats. As I said, the ones that make the final list are those with at least 25k ratings behind them, and all the averages are weighted. But yes, it's an inexact science. :p
The stats certainly seem to support a few of the anecdotal assertions made here:
1) men are read/published more in 'traditional' epic/s&s/heroic fantasy by a large factor and...
2) women are read/published more in YA/paranormal/vampires/'romance'.
However, considering the historic factors, the basic number of men vs. women in the 'traditional' and entire lists I made was not that disparate. The un-weighted average rating of men v. women is also basically the same. It's their popularity that varies wildly (and this is without Tolkien)--widely-read, highly-rated male authors dominate the stats.
(Just for completeness, Urban and New Wierd were on the 'traditional list'...unless they were overwhelmingly vampire-related. Again, that's clearly my bias but I had to draw a border somewhere.)
Beyond that, however, the stats seem to say that:
1) men write 'better'/more highly rated fantasy of the first sort
2) women write 'better'/more highly rated fantasy of the second sort
Which is, I submit, all part of the sexism inherent in the system. Whether it's something to do with differences in how men and women rate things on Goodreads, or react to books written by the opposite sex (since the data seem to support the 90% read-your-own-gender assumption and the 50/50 vs 90/10 audience factor for male authors vs women). This all contributes to the 'feedback loop' problem, a cycle even those who insist they are gender-blind are caught in. This is why I'm interested in the data, and wish I had access to more!
This is why I don't want for a minute to reinforce this status quo where women are assumed to read/write YA PNR and that epic fantasy is the realm of men. While the stats seem to show this, they exist within the already-biased system, and therefore cannot be trusted. Continuing to parrot this 'received wisdom' discriminates against the women who want to write the former (probably more than it does against the men who want to write the latter), and also against readers who want to read a wide variety of books but find the variety stifled by the mass of overrated largely male-authored clones.
As ladybritches says above: there are doubtless many wonderful women fantasy authors out there that we are missing out on!
Anyway, my two conclusions for now are:
1) When looking for recommendations on Goodreads (or anywhere else), remember than women authors are statistically underrated (or men are overrated, whatever), so don't believe the hype.
2) Keep actively pushing myself to read outside my 'comfort zone', reinforced as it is by this 'feedback loop'.
3) As a man, I could either keep writing, safe in the knowledge I'll get a nice boost, or give up because I'm probably crowding out much better writers...but no fear of that so far!