Host Jeremy Paxman has come out in defence of the show, claiming its just a simple matter of men being more interested in quizzes than women.
In an attempt to quash the gender debate that has long dogged the show, he pointed out the competing universities chose their own teams, saying: “I suspect that – like football or darts – more males than females care about quizzing.”
The controversial subject was sparked yet again after two all-male teams went head-to-head in this year’s final.
This year's final saw an all-male line-up
The all-male semi-final prompted the veteran host himself to question why there was a distinct lack of female faces on teams during later stages of the competition.
But now, it appears the 66-year-old host may have found an answer to his own question, saying: “As for the testicle issue, since we know that intelligence is not determined by gender, it must be a question of taste.”
Writing in the Financial Times, Mr Paxman said: “The teams are not chosen by the college or university authorities but by the students themselves.
"The students are encouraged to enter teams which broadly reflect their institution.
"A growing number of applicants ‘prefer not to be gendered’.
The host also tackled the question of whether the show is dumbing down to suit modern viewers.
The allegation, he said, is "rubbish".
The veteran host has defended the show against sexism claims
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It seems to be an opinion shared by many viewers, who are keen to see more women take part in the show.
In December 2016, fans were thrilled by a team of female alumni from St Anne’s College, Oxford – Dame Mary Archer, Dr Janina Ramirez, Jacky Rowland and Rebecca Morelle – who smashed their opponents by 130 points in the show's Christmas special.
The foursome were referred to as 'ultimate squad goals' and one viewer tweeted: “I’d like to see the ‘there's less women on University Challenge because there's not enough smart women’ excuse after St Anne's performance.”
Commentators have previously suggested that women are reluctant to go on the show because they fear social media backlash and commentary on their looks.
When that rare breed of a real-life female student is spotted on a University Challenge team, her experience is often far from positive.
Emma Johnson was labelled the 'sexiest University Challenge contestant ever'
Sophie Rudd from Warwick University went on to become one of the most popular contestants of 2017, thanks to her quick-fire answers and love of colourful blouses.
She became a show icon after enthusiastically shouting out the answer to a question that took her team into the lead to win the competition, before the team was unfortunately knocked out in later stages.
However, Sophie suffered cruel jibes from internet trolls, who taunted her fashion sense and suggested she was transgender.
Emma Johnson from Corpus Christi College, Oxford, hit the headlines earlier this year when she was labelled “the sexiest University Challenge contestant ever”, despite the fact that she is almost certainly also one of the cleverest, firing off a string of correct answers on topics hugely divergent from her own discipline of medicine.
And she is not the first woman from her college to have received such treatment: in 2009, Gail Trimble caught the attention of social media and was mocked relentlessly, and even invited to pose for ‘lads’ mag Nuts.