Series G, Episode 6 - Girls And Boys
- Friday 8th January 2010
- BBC One
- 30 minutes
- 5.2 million viewers (18.20% audience share)
- The set is decorated with the male and female gender symbols.
- Bonus points are awarded if the panel spot any sexist remarks.
- The people who were traditionally dressed in pink and called girls were boys. Pink was considered the traditional colour for boys and blue for girls in the 19th century. In 1927, there was a report about Princess Astrid of Belgium who had decorated her son's room pink, only for her to give birth to a daughter. Part of the reason why blue may be seen as the traditional colour for girls is because the Virgin Mary is dressed in blue. Right until the mid-15th century, all children were referred to as girls, boys were called "knave girls" and girls were called "gay girls". The word "boy" originally meant "servant".
- There are many theories and beliefs on the best way to get a girl when you are pregnant. The current theory is to do with diet. One theory is that if you had a higher calorie intake before you were impregnated, out of 100 mothers 56 had boys. Another showed that women who eat a bowl of breakfast cereal every day were 87% more likely to have boys than those who had more than one bowl a week. Women who had boys had 400 calories more daily on average than those who had girls. Another theory states that women being infected with hepatitis B are 1.5 times more likely to give birth to a boy. However, in America and Thailand you can select an embryo so you know in advance what the gender of the baby is going to be, but it costs $18,000. Aristotle believed that the mother's diet and the sexual position used at conception made a difference towards the gender. Anaxagoras believed that men had male and female testicles, so you should tie of the testicle that you did not want. The Talmud recommends lining the bed north-south before sex to get a boy. The French believed that wearing boots to bed made it more likely you would have a boy.
- The reason why there are fewer women as guests on QI is because women laugh more, but they laugh less at other women. According to an American study women laugh more at men. Audiences in general laugh more at men, but the women laugh more. Therefore, the panel would laugh more, but the audience would laugh less.
- XL: You will find the most violent women in history in Benin. The Dahomey in the 19th century protected the king. They had to be nominal wives to the king, although they were celibate. Chosen for their aggression, a husband could nominate his wife if he thought she was a nag. Their weapons included a switchblade which could cut a man in two. Some see them as tragic figures, who had to surrender their womanhood turn into men and despise women. Others claim they were venerated, walked down streets accompanied by slave girls ringing a bell, and all men had to avert their eyes. In myth, there were also the Amazons, a race of warrior women.
- In China, "Nushu" (pronounced "New Shoe") is a form of writing created and learned by women, developed in Jiangyong County in the Hunan Province. It was a phonetic system of writing developed because women were not educated in China. When a woman married, they would be taught the language and would write in a secret book to record all their private thoughts. The book was shared by lots of women in the area. However, they would send the books rather than take them because Chinese women had bound feet. At the age of five, all of the bones in their feet were broken and then the foot was bent underneath. Three inches was the ideal length. Many of the feet rotted and thus women died of gangrene. This practice went on for almost 1,000 years. Women also wrote in tapestry to each other.
- XL: The connection between grandmothers and killer whales is that they get over the menopause. Female humans and female killer whales are the only mammals which experience a large gap between the menopause and death.
- The panel are shown a picture of a chicken and are asked what is going on. The answer is that it is half-male and half-female - right down the middle of its body. This phenomenon is called "bilateral gynandromorphic hermaphroditism".
- XL: If you met a nun with hairy hands, they might be a Nazi. During the Second World War, there was an urban myth that Nazi soldiers were being parachuteded into Britain disguised as nuns. It was said that when they reached out, it would be shown that they had hairy hands and thus would give themselves away. Some people believed the nuns might have had Hitler's face tattooed on their arms.
- If you were in a dark bar and whated to check if the person you were chatting to was a woman and not a man, there is no sure fire way of known what gender they are except for looking at their genitals. Some people think that men have bigger Adam's apples, but women can have big ones too. The correct term for an Adam's apple is "prominentia larynega".
- The reason why men are better at women at reading maps is because their brains work differently. Men use 6.5 times more grey matter than women and women use 9 times more white matter than men according to tests. Grey matter helps with mathematics, map reading and intellectual thought. White matter helps with emotional thinking, use of language and multitasking. So quite a lot of the supposed stereotypes about the differences between men and women are true. (Forfeit: They're not)
- The unfair thing about the prize money at Wimbledon is that it is the same for both men and women, but the men's matches are longer. Therefore the men do more work for less money. Also, because the women's matches a shorter, the women can enter more doubles matches, and thus earn even more money. In 2005, the final eight women earned on average £1,432 per game, while the final eight men earned £993. (Forfeit: Nothing)
- Saturday 9th January 2010 at 21.25 (45 minute version)
- Thursday 14th January 2010 at 22.00
- Tuesday 16th November 2010 at 21.00 on Dave (60 minute version)
- Tuesday 25th January 2011 at 21.00 on Dave (60 minute version)
- Tuesday 12th April 2011 at 21.00 on Dave (60 minute version)
- Thursday 19th May 2011 at 23.20 on Dave (60 minute version)
- Thursday 23rd June 2011 at 15.00 on Dave (60 minute version)
- Thursday 23rd June 2011 at 21.30
- Saturday 17th September 2011 at 22.00 on Dave (60 minute version)
- Sunday 18th September 2011 at 01.00 on Dave (50 minute version)
- Sunday 30th October 2011 at 21.00 on Dave (60 minute version)
- Monday 31st October 2011 at 00.10 on Dave (60 minute version)
- Saturday 17th December 2011 at 16.00 on Dave (60 minute version)
- Saturday 17th December 2011 at 20.00 on Dave (60 minute version)
- Monday 16th January 2012 at 21.00 on Dave (60 minute version)
- Monday 16th January 2012 at 24.00 on Dave (60 minute version)
- Monday 30th April 2012 at 19.00 on Dave (60 minute version)
- Monday 4th June 2012 at 19.00 on Dave (60 minute version)
- Monday 9th July 2012 at 19.00 on Dave (60 minute version)
- Monday 9th July 2012 at 23.00 on Dave (60 minute version)
- Tuesday 12th August 2014 at 23.00 on Dave (60 minute version)
- Wednesday 13th August 2014 at 20.00 on Dave (60 minute version)
- Sunday 12th October 2014 at 14.00 on Dave (60 minute version)
- Friday 21st November 2014 at 22.40 on Dave (60 minute version)
- Friday 15th May 2015 at 19.00 on Dave (60 minute version)
- Friday 15th May 2015 at 22.40 on Dave (60 minute version)
- Friday 24th July 2015 at 22.00 on Dave (60 minute version)
- Saturday 25th July 2015 at 20.00 on Dave (60 minute version)
- Wednesday 7th October 2015 at 24.00 on Dave (60 minute version)
- Thursday 8th October 2015 at 20.00 on Dave (60 minute version)
Cast & crew
|Stephen Fry||Host / Presenter|
|Alan Davies||Regular Panellist|
|Katie Taylor||Exec Producer|
|David Morley (as Dave Morley)||Exec Producer|
|Jonathan Paul Green||Production Designer|
|Other cast & crew|
|John Mitchinson||Question Wrangler|
|Justin Pollard||Question Wrangler|
|James Harkin||Question Wrangler|
|Molly Oldfield||Question Wrangler|
As part of its current "G" series, QI explored the sexes in a "Girls & Boys"-themed edition, by dividing the four players into male and female duos (Alan Davies and Jack Dee vs. Ronni Ancona and Sandi Toksvig).
We learned many things, not least the scientific reason for why QI itself features so few women, how pink used to be the traditional colour for boys, and how all babies were called "girls" pre-1920's...
I still enjoy QI, but I find it less enthralling than I used to. Maybe the format's just become too predictable, or the facts are less interesting for whatever reason. I'm not sure. It's still amusing and occasionally fascinating, but I'm no longer quite so keen on it. Overexposure thanks to endless repeats on Dave, perhaps? In this episode, I thought Jack Dee was extremely disappointing (he recycled the "male drivers asking for instructions" cliche!), but Ronni Ancona was better than usual. Sandi Toksvig, a very quick-witted person (as her own BBC Radio 4 The News Quiz proves), is somehow rendered smug and irritating whenever she's on television, too.Dan Owen, Dan's Media Digest, 9th January 2010