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By Dalton Ross
Updated September 13, 2012 at 04:00 PM EDT
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Credit: Image Credit: Mitchell Haaseth/NBC

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Math was never my strongest subject. But it doesn’t take a genius to perform simple arithmetic, and by my count — not including the All Stars or Fans vs. Favorites type seasons — Survivor has now brought back nine returning players to compete alongside newbies. And only one of those nine — Stephenie LaGrossa in Survivor: Guatemala — was a woman. The rest — Bobby Jon Drinkard, Russell Hantz, Boston Rob Mariano, Ozzy Lusth, Benjamin “Coach” Wade, and now Michael Skupin, Russell Swan, and Jonathan Penner on Survivor: Philippines — have all been dudes.

What gives with the discrepancy? I went to the host himself for answers. While on location for the new season (premiering Sept. 19 on CBS), I asked Jeff Probst why the show keeps bringing back men instead of women. “There just aren’t as many colorful women characters in Survivor history, and we’ve used up the ones we can,” says Probst. “For whatever reason we’re loaded with interesting guys.”

Well, what is the reason? Probst presents theories — including a possible flaw in Survivor’s casting process as well as the differences in how men and deal with conflict. Watch the video below for more from Probst on why men keep being asked back instead of women, and then share your thoughts about the discrepancy in the message boards below. And for more Survivor news and views all season long, follow me on Twitter @DaltonRoss.

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