Debate Mode: A New Exploration of Gender in British Parliamentary Debating

Clara Spera, Niamh Ní Mhaoileoin and Muireann O’Dwyer
Share this article

Through the use of qualitative interviews and feminist theory and research, this article sheds light on the gender dynamics of British Parliamentary debate circuits.

Introduction

In discussions of sexism in debating, the broader realities of gender inequality are often neglected. The debating circuit seems to view itself as an island, physically, culturally and socially adrift from the patriarchal mainland. While waves of sexism may brush the shore, surely they don’t threaten to engulf the island itself? Therefore, proponents of change are too often expected to prove sexism in a vacuum, with the support of statistical data.

The figures show that women participate in British Parliamentary debating competitions in significantly smaller numbers than men and also suggest that, even adjusting for participation rates, women enjoy less success than men in competition.1 However, as a debating community we have failed to identify the structures and norms that preclude women from full participation in national and international circuits and this has prevented us from seriously addressing the imbalance.

Our approach is grounded on the qualitative and subjective experience of female speakers operating within a patriarchal world and, by clear extension, a patriarchal debating circuit. We accept Fraser’s argument that “Every arena and level of social life is shot through with gender hierarchy and gender struggle. Each therefore requires feminist theorization.”2

Anecdotal evidence strongly suggests that the debating circuit is an uncomfortable and unwelcoming space for many women. Existing investigations indicate that the debating community is characterised by subtle, and occasionally extreme and overt, sexism.3 Rather than assessing the performance of women on the circuit, this paper is concerned with the poor performance of the debating circuit itself. We believe that, both competitively and non-competitively, the debating circuit does not fully empower (and perhaps even disempowers) women. This applies “in the room”, but also encompasses socials, training environments, internal society events, online platforms and any other situation in which debaters qua debaters interact with one another.

The goal of this paper is to instigate the feminist theorisation of the BP debating circuit. It will be grounded in existing theories of gender, with particular reference to constructionism and performativity, and in the experiences and perceptions of women on the circuit, drawn from a series of semi-structured interviews. This study will complement existing quantitative research and provide deeper understanding of the systems and circumstances that make the debating circuit unwelcoming to female speakers. Furthermore, we hope to create a space for broader and richer examination of women’s experience on the circuit and to provide a feminist framework for future studies. Of course, we also hope to illuminate potential corrective measures and to contribute to the debating community’s efforts to become more equitable and inclusive of female participants.

Beyond the prima facie benefits to present and future female speakers, BP debating as a whole will benefit from greater gender equality. In a previous edition of this journal, Doug Cochran regretted the predominance of liberal discourse on the debate circuit, arguing that “if all teams readily agree (implicitly or explicitly) to adopt a liberal perspective, debates risk some of their potential richness and complexity.”4 The same holds true when debating is dominated by male or masculine perspectives (or indeed white, cis, straight, or middle class perspectives).

A Feminist Approach to Evaluating the Debating Circuit

This section will outline the feminist grounding of our study, though it is not an exhaustive overview of the extensive feminist literature. We aim to construct a feminist framework which is essential to understanding the data presented in this article and in others which discuss inequality in debating. It is important for us to set out the philosophical positions that inform this paper. Through clear elaboration we can honestly acknowledge potential bias. We hope that by being forthright about our stance, we can encourage productive and equally honest discussion about our research. This section will examine some of the basic ideas of feminist theory, before offering some examples of how this oppression has been shown to play out in other fields.

Gender as a Powerful Construct

We understand gender as a social construction. That is to say that gender, and particularly concepts of “man” and “women” are created by society. They do not hold any meaning outside their usage in social contexts – their meaning can change across culture and time. However, their fundamental aspect as created (and consistently recreated) by society is universal. These gender roles are both created and learned through a social process. This is a generally accepted view of gender, used throughout feminist theory5 and by governments and international organisations.6 A second characteristic, which is universally applicable to constructions of gender, is that they are socially enforced. The construction of gender controls how people see themselves and the opportunities available to them, and influences their interactions with others. As a result, these constructions are inherently limiting. Society creates a hierarchy between the two created genders, valuing “man” over “woman”, and this hierarchy permeates every facet of a society.7 Other constructs interact with gender, and are often categorised along the same scheme – Male/Strong is better than Female/Weak or Male/Rational is better than Female/Emotional, for example – in a way that further entrenches the power which gender roles hold. We follow Butler in understanding gender as performative – it is created by acts that make up a supposed gender identity. This performativity is “not a singular act, but a repetition and a ritual which achieves its effects through its naturalisation in the context of a body…”.8 This ritual of performativity is culturally sustained in our colloquial society.

To Butler, everything we do plays into this idea of performativity. Gender is a practice; there is no innate gender identity. Through this performance, one is “made a woman” (to use de Beauvoir’s terms) by certain practices. This performativity is a constantly reinforced phenomenon, it is a compulsory repetition of behaviour. This behaviour is far-reaching, from the stylisation of the body through speech to informal practices such as pressure, or even bullying, to keep us in our ‘gendered’ place.

Importantly, we cannot cast off gender in one instant, precisely because our gendered identity is a product of multiple and repeating acts. Butler contends that the only way to realise a positive, transformative politics – casting off the callous and erroneous binaries of gender – is by exposing failed attempts to “become” one’s gender. We must constantly challenge, mock and subvert gender identities.

Gender is not the only factor which has such a power over people’s lives. It interacts with other identities, such as race, sexuality, class, disability and/or age. Feminist theory cannot simply speak to the experiences of a select group of women, as these interactions create many different contexts and experience of oppression.9 In understanding that, we aim to be intersectional in our feminism. We endeavour to appreciate how these multiple variables interact with each other, and to be cognisant of the heterogeneity of women. Intersectionality calls for the focus of research to be on the structures which create the categories of gender, class, etc.10 This is present in our research, as we seek to scrutinise the debating community itself and the various power structures that are replicated within it. This also informs our belief that it is not possible to articulate an objective account of women’s experience in debating.

Other studies in analogous fields

Many researchers have investigated the role that gender plays in social interactions in different fields. This paper considers research on the evaluation of performances, in the areas of student evaluation of teachers and in the evaluation of management. We chose these two areas because they involve an element of public speaking, authority and persuasion. The wider literature has found a wide ranging and enduring pattern of gender-based discrimination across many different organisation types.11

Johnson et al examine the differences in evaluation of male and female leaders in management.12 They found that expected gender roles play a key role in determining whether or not a manager is judged to have performed well or not. What is most interesting is their discussion of role congruity theory. This highlights that it is not simply a case of women being likely to perform differently to men, and therefore being judged differently. It is not a case of a simple bias against all women managers. Rather the expectation of gender roles creates the framework through which people evaluate managers. Roughly described, women are expected to be sensitive and caring, while men are expected to be domineering and strong. Performance is judged negatively when people do not fulfil their expected role. However, the constructs of gender also infiltrate the accepted understanding of a good manager, entwining it with male characteristics. A women will be judged negatively if she does not also fulfil some of those characteristics. This study highlights how our understanding of gender infiltrates our understanding of good performance, and it is clear that a similar dynamic may be at play in debate judging.

In examining how gender and age impact on student evaluations of university teaching,13 Arbuckle and Williams presented students with a stick figure with a neutral voice presenting a lecture. When asked to evaluate they were given a form indicating the age and gender of the lecturer. Students rated the young male lecturer highest. In the discussion of the impact of gender, the authors highlight the wide literature in education studies which states that dynamism and enthusiasm in presentation of lecturing materials is closely associated with the male stereotype. Due to this interaction between the socially understood male role and certain positive attributes, students are less likely to reward female lecturers for qualities like dynamism. This effect is likely to be present even when dealing with issues typically associated with the female stereotype. However, other factors of evaluation did not show such a gendered split in evaluation – structure of the presentation, and use of appropriate terminology. This study highlights that the effects of gender stereotypes on the evaluation of spoken presentations can be subtle, and while it does not influence evaluation of every factor of the presentation, gender stereotypes have a clear impact on certain aspects, and thus on the overall evaluation. Arbuckle and Williams draw on studies performed with different methods, group sizes and so on by other researchers, and may offer insight into how debate judging is influenced by gender.

While we do not aim to extrapolate entire findings from either of these studies, we hope that they point to the significant potential for gender to become a factor in evaluations. Such findings should inform discussions of research conducted within debating, including the interviews presented here, as well as more quantitative evaluations of the relative performance of men and women.

Methodology

Much of the evidence presented in discussion of the question of sexism in debate is quantitative in nature.14 While there is clearly substantial merit in such evidence, it does have two key deficiencies. Firstly, it is often presented without reference to wider studies of gender inequality and gender discrimination. This leads to questions of causation that are simply unanswerable in such a vacuum. Secondly, it is generally limited to the examination of the relative performance of women and men in debating competitions, neglecting important social and psychological factors. Both of these problems can be addressed by bringing qualitative work into the centre of these debates. While we have focused in this paper on the BP debating circuit, we feel that our approach could be adapted for use in other circuits.

This paper will present and discuss the results from a series of semi-structured interviews.15 The semi-structured interview is a highly useful methodology for feminist analysis in general and for this paper in particular. Firstly, it offers a deeper and more “fine grained” data set for us to work with, by allowing the interviewees to respond to questions in their own words. Secondly, it permits the discussion of issues beyond those selected by us as authors. We strongly defend an intersectional approach to feminist theory; the semi-structured interview allows interviewees to talk freely about their experiences of gender in relation to other aspects of their lives.

The flexibility of the methodology helps to reduce the influence that we, as researchers have over data collection. Mindful of bias, in particular due to our own experiences of debating, we wished to allow the interviewees to express themselves on their own terms, and did not wish to limit the scope of our exploration prior to the data gathering process, which would clearly have been required to some extent with most other methodological approaches.

Although we have chosen a method of data collection that limits the risk of bias, analysis of action research and similar methods has illustrated that, with adequate awareness and care, involvement and engagement by the researchers in the subject does not necessarily create bias.16

We conducted five interviews, each lasting between 30 and 50 minutes. We also carried out a pilot interview with an experienced female debater to test our questions and get an external opinion on their usefulness. Our interviews were conducted over Skype; two of the authors were always present for interviews. One author led the interview, while the other was primarily an observer, but did occasionally interject with questions or comments. If we believed that one author had a close friendship with an interviewee, that author opted-out of acting as the primary interviewer to ameliorate bias. All of our interviews were recorded (with articulated permission of the interviewees), transcribed and reviewed by all three authors before analysis commenced.

Our selection of interviewees was done with a careful consideration of another type of bias. We specifically selected interviewees from across the spectrum of experience levels, nationality and language in debating. This was done in order to improve the variety of experience that was captured by the study, and to allow for the discussion to be highly relevant to more than one group and circuit. Initially, we intended to interview only female speakers but having completed those interviews we felt that it would be valuable to interview a male debater for comparative purposes. We recognise that generalisations cannot be made with a sample size of one, and the comments of the male participant will primarily be used as a point of reference.

We have designed a methodology that is appropriate to the question we are exploring, suited to our epistemological approach and of a high scientific standard. Although we are aware of its limitations, we think this paper makes a significant contribution to an important debate.

Presentation of Results

Our semi-structured interviews relied on three anchor questions:

  • Do women enjoy debating, and what motivates them to debate?
  • What do women perceive to be a good speech, or good speaker?
  • How and why do women moderate their behaviour on the debating circuit?

We focused on these three anchor questions in our semi-structured interviews, each question carefully selected to highlight different aspects of the holistic debating experience.

Q. 1 Why do you debate?

Identifying why someone engages with an activity can help to explain patterns of behaviours that are formed over time.

1.1 Why did you start debating?

Four of the five participants began debating at schools level, with just one beginning in university. Three participants mentioned their argumentative nature as a motivation for getting involved. Two cited an early interest in politics as motivation. Two welcomed the opportunity for engagement with issues outside of a classroom setting.

1.2 Why did you continue debating after your initial experiences?

Four of the five participants stated that improving at the activity and/or garnering more competitive success was a key factor in continuing to debate. Just one interviewee – the only male participant – stated that he continued because he fundamentally “enjoyed the activity itself”. Three respondents pointed to the social nature of the debating circuit as a primary motivator for continuing to debate.

1.3 Do you enjoy debating competitions?

Only two interviewees unequivocally stated that they enjoyed debating competitions, two others were ambivalent and one interviewee explained that she used to enjoy debating competitions but that she “enjoyed them much less the longer [she] stayed on the circuit at university.”

Every interviewee finds debating competitions stressful and exhausting. While one interviewee focused on the social stress of competitions (the demanding nature of “building up your persona”), our four other interviewees discussed the stress that debating itself induces. Two of those interviewees pointed to their self-perceived lack of knowledge as a cause of intense stress and worry, while another interviewee discussed the stress that comes with varied levels of competitive success.

Three interviewees said that, despite the high levels of stress, they enjoyed the social side of competitions. One interviewee said: “The [competitions] I enjoyed most basically were the ones where I had good friends that were attending or I made good friends at them. Especially when I didn’t know many people there, I tended not to enjoy them that much.”

Q2. Could you describe a “good speech”?

This question aimed to determine whether consensus exists on what patterns of behaviour or specific debate skills comprise successful debate speeches. We also pushed our interviewees to highlight aspects of style that contributed to what they perceived as high-quality speeches.

All five interviewees first identified sophistication of content – analysis in particular – as an important factor, or the most important factor, of a good speech. This kind of analysis leaves “no stone unturned in the logical chain” and does not make “logical or conceptual errors”. Three interviewees explicitly recognised style as an important factor, but their perceptions of good style varied.

2.1 What are the qualities of good speakers?

Not every interviewee was asked this question. Of the three that were asked, the responses varied substantially. One respondent answered very specifically that she thinks a good speaker is able to confidently employ a large vocabulary, “manages to make people laugh”, and gives strong and compelling introductions and conclusions. Another interviewee was more abstract in her descriptions: she sees a strong grasp of general knowledge (which she feels she lacks) as a prerequisite for being a strong speaker. She perceives top debaters to be “quite good at a lot of things,” observing that they often seem successful outside the debating world – professionally/academically and socially. Another participant echoed this view, suggesting that a good speaker is “independently of debating, quite superior”.

2.2 What differentiates a good speech from a really excellent speech?

We asked four of our five interviewees this question. Two interviewees were very clear: content and the quality of argumentation are the defining factors. The two other interviewees focused more on style and emotiveness. One interviewee mentioned a speaker’s “charisma” and felt that excellent speeches are often “fun to watch”. That same interviewee also mentioned the quality of content as important, but suggested that the “strength and panache” of the speaker is more important. Our fourth interviewee finds that an excellent speech “can sometimes be quite personal”, in that it dramatically changes the perspective of judges and audience, by tapping into their emotions and perceptions of the world.

Q3: Since you began debating have you learned particular behaviours that you rely on at debating competitions?

This anchor question directly relates to individual behaviour and gender performance. It serves as a logical synthesis of the preceding two: do the interviewee’s own behaviours reflect those that she or he has observed? Does he/she moderate his/her behaviour based on the motivations described in his/her earlier responses? We were particularly interested in identifying whether there were differences between individuals’ behaviour at debating competitions and outside the debating context and, if so, the reasons for this behavioural shift. We understand this behaviour as inextricably linked to ideas of gender performance. We wanted to explore the possibility that certain adopted or developed behaviours were a direct result of expectations of gender performance or, alternatively, a casting off of conventional gender norms in the hopes of becoming more successful, more popular, or realising any number of other goals.

All five interviewees identified a shift in their respective behaviours when at debating competitions. Some identified this different presentation of the self as their “debate mode”, as distinct from a more natural mode of behaviour. All interviewees, albeit in slightly different ways, believe that this shift in behaviour is governed by a subconscious influence.

Three of the female respondents identified their ‘debater selves’ as more aggressive, louder and/or more “shouty” than their usual selves. All female participants described performing more confidently in debating than in normal interactions. That said, two of the four female participants displayed serious lack of confidence overall, especially in terms of their general knowledge.

Three participants suggested that social agreeability has a positive impact on competitive success and that they might act differently in a debate-related social context than in another social context, particularly given that speakers and judges socialise at competitions. One participant focussed on the tendency of judges to favour “who’s popular at a certain time”.  An individual could plausibly moderate his/her behaviour in order to fit in with the wider debating circle, become more popular and achieve greater success.

3.1 Were these behaviours learned by example or through formal feedback/training?

Imitation and learning by example were identified as the predominant methods of developing these behaviours. Some of that learning is subconscious. One participant said: “…it’s not entirely sort of your choice, it’s just like this alter ego that’s created by virtue of being in that space.”

Some of the learning is more active and deliberate.  One respondent talked about her overt efforts to change her speaking style, after multiple judges told her to “calm down”. Another speaker made the same effort, partially prompted by an older teammate’s observation that she was “skittish”. Another respondent spoke of the lack of women to learn directly from because of the limited participation of women in her debating society.

3.2 Are you happy with your debate persona? Would you do the same again?

Two of the participants took a strategic approach to this question. The first expressed disappointment that coercive dynamics in her society had caused her to restrict her social and sexual behaviour in order to achieve success. However, she believed she had made the correct strategic choice. The second was much more positive about her debate persona, identifying that she was more confident in debates than elsewhere and expressing a wish to integrate her two modes to become more confident overall. One participant said she believed her debate persona gave other debaters the wrong impression of her true character – she is worried about being too aggressive in debates. She noted that she tries to “talk to people afterwards to make sure that [they know she is] very, very different to the person that they see in the debate.”

Discussion

Confidence

Several female participants demonstrated a severe lack of confidence in their debating ability, general knowledge, likeability and/or intelligence relative to other debaters, as well as describing themselves as “terrified”, “skittish”, and “constantly insecure” in debating contexts. All four female participants highlighted that when in debate mode they present themselves more confidently.

This discovery is significant as several interviewees described confidence as an important quality of good speakers and speeches, suggesting that those who “are confident about their ability to improve in fact improve a lot faster.” The combination of women’s insecurity and the perceived value of a confident manner may have significant implications for women’s participation in debate.

Modelling/Learning by Example

Four of our participants specified that many of their debate behaviours were modelled on the behaviour of other, usually older and more successful speakers, and this was broadly seen as being a more important to one’s development as a speaker than formal training or feedback. One participant explicitly stated that she was more likely to look up to and try to imitate other female speakers. The male participant spoke about his “absorption” of the mannerisms and phrases of more successful debaters on the circuit. Assuming that men can more easily absorb the stylistic habits of other men, and vice versa, these observations suggest that the underrepresentation of women at the highest levels of debating may be a barrier to development for young female speakers.

Interestingly, in four interviews specific speakers were named either as influences or as illustrations of positive qualities. One female participant mentioned exclusively women, another mentioned three women and one man and another mentioned just one man. The male participant mentioned exclusively male speakers. The question of role modelling may warrant further exploration in future studies.

Performance

The term “debater mode” came up organically, and was openly suggested by our first interviewee. When delving into this identified stratification of the self, we find that social influence is the main reason for this behavioural shift. Some participants were more explicit in acknowledging this as the case, but all alluded to social pressure as a moderator of behaviour.

One participant pointed to the “hierarchal” nature of the debating world. We observed iterations of this idea across the interviews. Some of the participants acknowledged that there are some people within debating who have more influence than others, and importantly, that influence may often be garnered from popularity, rather than intellect or even respect. Moreover, this kind of influence often translates into debating success, though that success might not always be deserved. One participant wondered if some friendships were “purely instrumental.”

This link between popularity and success is inherently built into an activity in which your peers act as your judges. But there are more factors at play: popularity is an amorphous concept and no single behaviour can ensure popularity. Our interviews consistently revealed that considerations of gender do come into play in the social circles of the debating circuit. While our male participant did not feel particularly compelled or drawn into the social spheres, our female participants struggled much more with how to socially engage with debate.

One participant discussed sexual behaviour in debating. She determined early on that it was not a good idea to “sleep around on the circuit” when she noticed that her female counterparts who did do so were often socially excluded and ignored by their peers. If social capital does indeed affect competitive success, surely the female debater who is ignored or shunned by her peers for her sexual activity is less likely to come out ahead competitively.

One participant described her “debate mode” as being especially divorced from her usual persona. She explained that she felt a need to behave more aggressively in debates in order to be more convincing, but also felt she needed to compensate for her aggression afterwards. If this debater did not feel the need to have other debaters think highly of her personality, she might not make as much as effort to self-correct after a debate. Her “debate mode” is then two-pronged: on the one hand, she must become increasingly aggressive in a debate round in order to win, on the other, she must convey a different, more welcoming personality when socialising so as to become more socially prominent.

The expectations of gender performance in the debating world are complex. There appear to be incongruent expectations and performances within a debating round and outside the round (in the social context) – the behaviours identified in our interviews are at times completely oppositional to one another. In a debate a female debater is meant to become “more aggressive”; in a social setting she should be warmer and more accepting. In a debate she is meant to be confident and assertive; in a social setting she should be confident, but not confident enough to assert her sexuality. One participant spoke of the confidence she felt while making a speech, followed by the almost immediate sense of insecurity that followed the round.

The paradoxical behaviours identified are consistent with the literature identified earlier.12

Women are expected – and expect themselves – to adopt typically “masculine” characteristics in debates. But once the round is over, women are meant to re-adopt those “feminine” characteristics with which they are commonly associated: sensitive, caring, sexually passive, etc. It is perhaps because of these continuously shifting and contradictory expectations that the debaters we spoke to relied heavily on public perceptions of their character and popularity. When expectations are subtle and confusing, it might be necessary to lean on others to assert or to confirm your place within a community. This especially applies when the same individuals contribute to those behavioural expectations, and could be your judges.

Conclusion

Perhaps there is something more to “debate mode”. If the debate self, who often engages in otherwise unjustifiable behaviours in the name of success, can be shut down when the final round ends, we might argue that it is more of a deliberate choice than our participants were willing to acknowledge. “Debate mode” may be something we construct to avoid deep engagement with the things we say or the ways we behave at debating tournaments, in or out of rounds. This would limit our capacity to conduct honest discussions of gender performance and expectations.

In general, our participants expressed a lingering sense of disappointment with their moderated debate behaviours. However, their justification was that the disappointing behaviours are only actualised in a debating context. If we see our debate selves as extraneous selves, who only exist in and for the game, it becomes much easier to deny oppressive gendered expectations as important or as carrying any real world implications.

This paper is intended to begin a fresh process of reflection and discussion on gender in debating, newly grounded in wider feminist literature. We look forward to the continuing debate.

*Our sincere thanks to our five interviewees for their time, candour, and insight. Additionally, thanks to Susan Connolly, who participated in our pilot interview and provided valuable feedback.

  1. http://idebate.org/news-articles/female-participation-within-uk-debating-circuit
  2. Fraser, Nancy. “Pragmatism, feminism, and the linguistic turn.” Feminist contentions: A philosophical exchange (1995): 157-71.
  3. For example, see the two reports: https://www.dropbox.com/s/gj19ntt4uxaju1p/Experiences%20of%20Irish%20Debating.pdf (Experiences of Irish Debating) and https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B1GLZ3-8G4gTdUU2S1lQaEM5OXc/view?sle=true (Survey on Experiences of Misogyny and Sexism within Debating)
  4. Douglas Cochran,” Liberal Argument and its Discontents,” Monash Debating Review, 2008, Vol 8
  5. See for example: Charlesworth, Hilary, Christine Chinkin, and Shelley Wright. “Feminist approaches to international law.” Am. J. int’l l. 85 (1991): 613 and West, Candace, and Don H. Zimmerman. “Doing gender.” Gender & society 1.2 (1987): 125-151.
  6. See for example: http://www.un.org/womenwatch/osagi/pdf/factsheet2.pdf; and http://www.who.int/gender/whatisgender/en/.
  7. MacKinnon, Catherine A. Toward a feminist theory of the state. Harvard University Press, 1989.
  8. Butler, Judith. Gender Trouble. Routledge, 1999.
  9. Crenshaw, Kimberle. “Mapping the margins: Intersectionality, identity politics, and violence against women of color.” Stanford Law Review (1991): 1241-1299.
  10. MacKinnon, Catharine A. “Intersectionality as Method: A Note.” Signs 38.4 (2013): 1019-1030.
  11. Halford, Susan, and Pauline Leonard. Gender, power and organisations. Palgrave Macmillan, 2001.
  12. Johnson, Stefanie K., et al. “The strong, sensitive type: Effects of gender stereotypes and leadership prototypes on the evaluation of male and female leaders.” Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes 106.1 (2008): 39-60.
  13. Arbuckle, Julianne, and Benne D. Williams. “Students’ perceptions of expressiveness: Age and gender effects on teacher evaluations.” Sex Roles 49.9-10 (2003): 507-516.
  14. For example, see Emma’s article in this edition: Emma Pierson, “Men Outspeak Women: AnalySing the Gender Gap in Competitive Debate Men Outspeak Women: Analysing the Gender Gap in Competitive Debate” Monash Debating Review, 2013, Vol 11, p8 or http://idebate.org/news-articles/female-participation-within-uk-debating-circuit.
  15. Wengraf, Tom. Qualitative research interviewing: Biographic narrative and semi-structured methods. Sage, 2001.
  16. King, Gary, Robert O. Keohane, and Sidney Verba. Designing social inquiry: Scientific inference in qualitative research. Princeton University Press, 1994.
  17. Johnson, Stefanie K., et al. “The strong, sensitive type: Effects of gender stereotypes and leadership prototypes on the evaluation of male and female leaders.” Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes 106.1 (2008): 39-60.