Bridging Gender: Attitudes & Inequalities


This project analyses attitudes to gender among bridge players based on 151 email questionnaires and 52 interviews from the Bridging Minds study. The initial analysis of the interview data was conducted by Elizabeth Graham for her Masters thesis, combined with the follow-up email questionnaires carried out by BAMSA. This project explores gender differences in the mindsport of bridge and the question of why, at the top of the game, men are more successful in terms of winning more prestigious events. This work is also informed by a literature review of gendered brains, titled: ‘Sex differences in the human brain and the game of bridge’ (McPherson, Punch and Graham).

The fieldwork consisted of email questionnaires (2017-2018) and in-depth interviews (2013-2019). Findings were published in 2021-2023. These research findings have led to the development of a Gender Policy by the Women’s Committee of the European Bridge League (EBL).

Journal Articles

Bridging Gender

Punch, S., Snellgrove, M., Graham, E., McPherson, C. and Cleary, J. (2023) Bridging Brains: Exploring Neurosexism and Gendered Stereotypes in a Mindsport, Leisure/Loisir Journal.

Rogers, A., Snellgrove, M.L. and Punch, S. (2022) Between Equality and Discrimination: The Paradox of the Women’s Game in the Mind-sport Bridge, World Leisure Journal, 64(4): 342-360.

BAMSA Reports

Bridging Gender
Rogers, A., Snellgrove, M.L. & Punch, S. (2021) Bridging Sexism: Gender Inequality at and away from the Bridge Table, BAMSA Working Paper 2, Stirling: University of Stirling.

Conference Papers

Bridging Gender

BAMSA (2021) Gender, Sexism and Bridge, 4th International Bridge Conference, Bridging Academia, Policy and Practice, 30 June 2021, University of Stirling.

Punch, S., Snellgrove, M.L., Graham, E. and McPherson, C. (2021) ‘Bridging Brains: Exploring Gendered Attitudes and Inequalities in a Mindsport’, The Academy of Leisure Sciences Virtual Conference, 8-19 February 2021

Video presentation

Graham, E. and Punch, S. (2016) ‘Why are Men More Successful at Bridge than Women?Centre for Research on Families and Relationships Conference, University of Edinburgh, 13 June

Graham, E. and Punch, S. (2016)Intellectual Contests, Gender and Bridge’, Royal Geographical Society Geographers’ Annual Conference, London, 28-30 August 2016.


Bridging Gender

Punch, S., Graham, E., McPherson, C. and Rogers, A. (2018) Gender Inequalities and Bridge – Implications for Tournaments Directors, English Bridge Union (EBU) TD Panel Training, Coventry, 6 December 2018