University of Cambridge examiners have been warned against using words such as 'genius', 'flair' and 'brilliance' while checking the work of students due to their association with the male gender.
Lucy Delap, a lecturer in British history at Cambridge, told The Telegraph that tutors had been discouraged from using these terms since they “carry assumptions of gender inequality," The Independent reported.
“Some of those words, in particular, genius, have a very long intellectual history where it has long been associated with qualities culturally assumed to be male.
“Some women are fine with that, but others might find it hard to see themselves in those categories,” she said.
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Lucy, a specialist in gender history said the reason males have more first-class degrees at institutes such as Oxford and Cambridge in comparison to women was due to the fact that females had to struggle in the "male-dominated environment."
To prove her point, Lucy showed reading lists with a majority of male authors and college portraits which were mainly dominated by men.
Earlier last week a debate was sparked by Oxford University's history faculty when the department was accused of sexism after introducing a "take home" exam paper for females. They hoped the move would boost results for females, but the decision was criticised by faculty members saying that it implied that women are the "weaker sex."
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To reduce gender differences Lucy said that Cambridge University would need to use language that was more 'transparent.'
In order to do this Lucy said the department was rewriting two years of the history degree in order to create a wider set of paper choices and to "make assessment criteria clearer, and to really try and root out the unhelpful and very vague talk of ‘genius’, of ‘brilliance’, of ‘flair’ which carries assumptions of gender inequality and also of class and ethnicity."
This article originally appeared on the Independent.
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