Alan Connor Lesley-Anne Brewis
caption Girls e often brought up not to be show-offs, says Lesley-Anne Brewis

University Chenge is to focus on posing “ neutral” questions, says the BBC Two show’s executive producer.

Speaking to the s Peter Gwyn sd: “Questions should never as if they e directed more at men than ”.

But what is a neutral question?

“It is not about a feminist drive,” says Lesley-Anne Brewis – a professional quizmaster and director of QuizQuizQuiz – but simply a way of avoiding giving pticipants clues by using the terms “he” or “she”.

Ms Brewis gues that the term neutral is “unful” and that what University Chenge is uy trying to achieve in its questions is “ bce” – and this, she says, is to be welcomed.

“They e trying very hd to strike a better bce between questions that refer to men and questions that refer to ,” she says.

She acs this is hd because men have traditiony had the to achieve more, and their achievements e more well kn.

Connor – on ’s – agrees.

“When write a question turn to the reference and they to privilege the stuff that men have done,” he says.

“We’re living with a legacy of being taught about men.”

The problem is pticully a on rounds, he says, adding: “It’s quite noticeable when ’re just seeing a lot of beds.”

He adds that he makes a conscious effort to write more questions about .

‘A self-perpetuating prophecy’

Ms Brewis says such efforts to increase the number of -based questions could have a ramifications.

If it is kn that University Chenge and shows e likely to more questions about , potential pticipants e more likely to and revise fe achievements, she says.

Furthermore, she suggests that questions ed by one quiz show to ree in programmes and in that way about previously unkn enter “the cannon of acceptable quiz material”.

“It is a self-perpetuating prophecy,” Ms Brewis says, adding: “Sm efforts can have big imps”.

House of Games University Chenge / I Stud
caption University Chenge has been criticised for having too many pticipants

But would more questions about My cole or Nellie Bly, uy encour more to go on quiz shows?

Perhaps men e simply more interested in than ?

Ms Brewis says a common gument is that e just less competitive and fore less keen to quiz.

is some truth in that, but it could be more down to complicated societal s, not necessily about fe biology,” she says.

“Girls e often brought up not to be ‘show-offs’ or ‘bossy boots’.

“We won’t rey k until we give girls the confidence and the ncy to enjoy and revel in their own .

“Until somebody does a peer-re scientific study, I’m not certn is a cle eplanation – just lots of anecdotes.”

As a professional quizmaster, Ms Brewis has her own anecdotes of ist treatment. She says some have objected to hiring a fe quizmaster on the grounds that “ just en’t authoritative” and “my boss would be horrified at taking orders from a woman”.

“I usuy get them to change their s,” she adds.

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