[eDebate] some numbers--debaters this time

NEIL BERCH berchnorto
Tue Mar 25 14:44:31 CDT 2008

No, not about judges in outrounds this time.  That discussion hasn't gone 
anywhere.  Let's talk debaters this time.  Thanks to the amazing Gary 
Larson, who provided virtually real-time updates to those of us watching 
from afar, you can look at all sorts of things with respect to CEDA 
Nationals (or you can just salute an amazing team of Tigers, who give hope 
to all of us "small" programs).  Since I had two senior women debating 
together for the last time, I looked at gender and success at CEDA 
Nationals.  No, not just speaker awards, but take a look there, too.

Bearing in mind that there are probably about 10% of names where I'm not 
sure of gender, I broke the teams into 3 categories:  1)  pretty sure it's 
two women; 2) pretty sure it's two men; 3) either not very sure or pretty 
sure that it's one woman and one man.

Here's what I got:
Category 1:  pretty sure it's two women; about 33 teams, of which about 4 
cleared (12%).
Category 2:  pretty sure it's two men; about 85 teams, of which 46 cleared 
Category 3:  either one woman and one man, or not very sure; 65 teams, of 
which 20 cleared (31%).

1.  The analysis is only as good as my guesses on gender, but the relatively 
small number of "unknown" cases means that the general trend would hold.
2.  These data are only from one year.
3.  Clearly, there are multiple explanations for the relationship I seem to 
have found.
4.  Clearly, one of those explanations is a variation in debate experience 
between women and men competing at CEDA Nationals.

Still, discussion???

--Neil Berch
West Virginia University

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