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It’s all in the Mind

The academic online newspaper The Conversation recently published an article on the theme of why men outperform women at mindsports such as Chess and Bridge, considering that they rely primarily on memory, thinking, problem solving, planning, mental discipline and judgment as opposed to physical strength.

Research conducted by BAMSA found that gender stereotypes and “neurosexism” (claiming there are differences between female and male brains that can explain women’s inferiority) can partly explain differences in achievement. A survey of 52 expert bridge players (32 men and 20 women) revealed that both men and women believed that female brains are simply better suited to emotion, nurturing and multi-tasking than to mental toughness and competitiveness.

However, modern research shows that most brains are a mosaic of what we think of as feminine and masculine features, a more mixed the brain, affording better mental health.

BAMSA’s research suggests that men’s dominance in elite mindsports can ultimately be explained through historic and structural opportunities that privilege men rather than brain differences. For example, women may be constrained by factors such as childcare and other caring duties, which reduces time to practice, play and concentrate.

A new BAMSA project is focusing on the development of mindsport education in schools. As a result of the BAMSA research, the European Bridge League has recently introduced a gender policy that raises awareness of gender-based obstacles, suggests best practices and outlines what disciplinary action should be taken if the policy is breached. It is anticipated that this can be extended globally via the World Bridge Federation.

You can read the full article at:

From bridge to chess, why men outperform women at ‘mindsports’ – and what to do about it :
https://theconversation.com/from-bridge-to-chess- why-men-outperform-women-at-mindsports-and-what-to-do- about-it-223873

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