Is it Harder to Win the Game of Survivor as a Male or as a Female?

Is it harder to win the game of Survivor as a male or as a female? That is the main question The Mastermind will be exploring this week over the course of three separate articles with this one being the last. Check out part one and part two for all the intel.
UPDATE: This article is the only one worth reading. I regretfully keep the other two up without good reason. 

This whole idea came to me while watching Sophie Clarke’s final tribal council speech in which she said that she wished she wasn’t a young girl because young girls were at a disadvantage in Survivor. She then went on to call Coach a young girl that she carried through the game (which was hilarious). This got me thinking, what gender is really at a disadvantage in the game of Survivor? While men stand out as targets and often get eliminated right around merge time, females often find it a whole lot harder to claim votes at the end of the game. So which is it? Is it harder to win as a male or as a female? That is what The Mastermind will be attempting to answer primarily through the use of stats in this article.

What The Stats Say

So let’s start getting into the stats and try and find out if there are any over-arching themes!

Contestants: 269 Males, 269 Females
Winners: 19 Males, 14 Females
Finalists: 41 Males, 43 Females
Losing Finalists: 22 Males, 29 Females
Female Finalist Lost To Male: 18
Male Finalist Lost To Female: 12
First Boots: 14 Males, 21 Females
First Person Voted Out At Merge: 21 Males, 12 Females

Statistically, it seems that Sophie Clarke turns out to be right! The statistics seem to point towards females having a tougher time in certain aspects of the game, like surviving the first vote or winning over a jury. Throughout the history of the game, strong women have gone into the final jury vote with strong resumes and lost quite handedly. This can be seen most notably with Amanda in China, as well as players like Dawn and most recently Hannah Shapiro. With all of these players though, it’s hard to argue that the wrong person won the game.

But take someone like Kass for example. In Survivor Cagayan, Kass tried to play a cutthroat game and was quite ruthless in doing so. But no matter who she would have gone up against, she would have lost. Even if Kass had gone up against Woo, who did virtually nothing in the game, she would have likely lost without even receiving a single vote. It seems that more often than not, when females win they often have to go up against people that are far more despised than they are in order to win. This can be seen with Sandra, Amber, Sophie, Natalie W., Danni, Michele and the list goes on. Moreover, if we look at the stats even closer, it seems that even though there have been more female finalists than male finalists, females have lost far more. Something can’t be right about that and I think all the woman mentioned above are good examples of females who played games good enough to win but then couldn’t convince the jury to give them the votes. Is it because of their gender? Possibly!

Is It Gender or Age? 

Age also seems to play a big factor for women, a much larger factor than it does for men. Older women have to play the mother role and can’t ever play a cutthroat game to win. Think of the older women who have won the game. That’s Tina, Denise and Sandra. Out of all three of them, Sandra’s the only one who really played any sort of a game that could be even remotely described as cutthroat and as previously mentioned, she had to go up against people that were despised far more than she was to win the game. It’s okay for young women like Natalie Anderson, Parvati and Kim to play that kind of game but if an older woman like a Dawn, Kass, Missy or Twila play that kind of game, they’ll never win due to society’s expectations of women of that age. This kind of discrepancy is not seen with males at all. It’s fine if an older male, like a Richard Hatch or Tony Vlachos plays a cutthroat game just like it is if a younger male like a Todd Herzog does.


Judging solely on the stats, I think one could conclude that due to society’s expectations of how men and women should interact, behave and carry themselves, that females do have a harder time at winning the game of Survivor than males do. So it seems as though Miss. Sophie Clarke was right after all! Females, yes that’s right, females, have a harder time in the game of Survivor than males do. Sophie Clarke was right once again.

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