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All comments by Samantha Punch
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Thank you for your observant comments. Diarmuid who did the quantitative analysis has replied but his figure and table won't paste here so I hope the below makes sense.

Figures 2 & 3
Yes, the width of individual bars was decided by the statistical software: width=1.7894737 and width=2.1578947 respectively. Setting width=2 or width=1 doesn’t change the overall shape of the distributions by very much.

Figure 4
The widths were determined by the software, and are not the same due to the different sample sizes of each group. This shouldn’t necessitate any changes to the y axis as the density measures the frequency of the different bars in the data, though I agree that you are not comparing the same range of values for each group and that having a common width would be clearer in this case).

Regression results
If I’ve understood this correctly, you would like to see separate regression analyses for bridge and non-bridge players alike: if so see below. The factors explain more of the variation in wellbeing for non-bridge players, and there are some differences in the magnitude and direction of effects between the groups. As we acknowledge in the conclusion, it is likely that playing bridge has an effect on wellbeing, but we cannot rule out the plausible possibility that people with higher wellbeing are attracted to bridge (and other similar activities).

Not sure if the below can be read - supposed to be in table form…

Coefficient
Bridge Non-bridge
Age -0.04*** 0.14
Female 0.75*** 1.69
Ability to socialise when feel like it 5.76 7.95
Member of an online social network -0.2125 0.73
Live with a spouse or partner 1.20 3.65
Retired 1.20 -.79
Degree or higher .43 0.80

Constant 39.39 22.98
R squared 7% 19%
n 6,092 293
April 1, 2018
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Equivalent individuals were compared by controlling for demographic and social factors.
April 1, 2018
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Congrats - great win!
July 28, 2017
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I’m trying not to get involved in the detail of the discussions as the point of this research is to explore others’ views. I admit I used the somewhat provocative title to try to encourage a few more people to respond to the questions. Many people have indicated that they would reply but still haven’t got round to it yet. Whilst the responses I’m getting are extremely interesting, it would be great to get more in order to compare the replies of different ages and levels of players.

I also used the title of the post and added it as an extra question because quite a few of the early responses to the sexism questions referred to men being better than women at bridge. I used the word ‘successful’ rather than ‘better’ because there are more men in the world’s top 100 list or who win major open titles (even when there is no simultaneous women’s event). However, I’m happy for terms to be questioned/unpicked etc as the aim of this exploratory (qualitative rather than quantitative) research is to try to understand the meanings and understandings that players attribute to these issues.

This is why I’ve used the more open-ended format of questions rather than a more structured, quantitative approach such as Surveymonkey as I’m keen to encourage respondents to explain their views and provide examples to illustrate their points. The reason I’m asking Ashley (a doctoral researcher who I work with in sociology) to do the initial analysis is because she can look at the data from a non-bridge player’s perspective before I become more involved.

This current study complements an on-going piece of research with 52 international players which covered a greater variety of topics. These projects are largely self-funded so until we secure some further funding, there is a limit as to how much and how quickly we can process the data and disseminate the findings. Meanwhile, interviews with some of the top players will be appearing in the online Bridge Magazine as a new series called ‘Bridge Encounters’ (starting from this February issue I believe). I’ll be keen to hear your feedback on these so I can improve the editing of the interviews to cover topics of most interest.

Meanwhile, we look forward to receiving more responses over the next couple of weeks. In due course the papers we write from this research will be shared via BridgeWinners. Many thanks.
Feb. 6, 2017
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Looking forward to hearing your views on it and the other questions.
Jan. 31, 2017
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Still time to respond if you haven't yet got round to it. Would be much appreciated. Either post here, private message me or send to the email: genderandbridge@stir.ac.uk

An additional question to include at the start is:

0) At the top level, why are men more successful than women at bridge?
Jan. 30, 2017
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Many thanks to all who have responded so far. If you haven't yet done so, please do consider sending your response - all views are welcomed and appreciated. I shall continue to collect responses during January.
Dec. 26, 2016
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Given that I have now completed 52 interviews with top players I have lots of interview data on a wide range of bridge themes and hopefully (with help from my bridge networks and BW - please keep emailing with your responses) I will have lots more data on this topic. My main problem now is time and funding - at the moment this is largely self-funded research (with some greatly appreciated contributions along the way which have enabled me to get it started).

However given that I work full-time and play a lot of bridge, this means I'm currently trying to squeeze this research into my somewhat limited ‘free’ time. If I could secure more funding it would enable me to employ PhD students to undertake literature reviews, the sorting and coding of the data as well as to assist with the analysis and writing up. That way by supervising and working with doctoral students, academic papers and bridge literature could be published much more quickly, making the findings easily accessible rather than waiting for my early retirement plans to kick into action. Just thought I'd take the opportunity to mention that here, in case anyone has any funding suggestions…
Dec. 24, 2016
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Well spotted! We have presented this paper at two academic conferences (in Scotland and England) and in December I gave a similar talk to a bridge audience at a Scottish congress in Peebles. Interestingly there were more men in the audience than women. If of any interest, I'd be happy to present at other bridge events that I'm attending. Reply to your questions below…
Dec. 24, 2016
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1. Yes this current research does follow-on from that paper. The research for that conference paper was a much broader project on the Sociology of Bridge - gender was just one small section of the interviews conducted by me with top level players (mainly from US and UK). Elizabeth Graham (my current PhD student) analysed that interview data using a gender lens for her Masters thesis alongside doing her own focus groups with sociologists and psychologists (she won two awards for that thesis).

The focus on sexism for this follow-up study also emerged from the recent threads on BW (Ida's letter posted via Justin, posts by Sabine, Peg and others). I wanted to do something a bit more systematic rather than just exploring those online discussions and I am hoping to target a much wider range of responses (compared with the in-depth interviews which involved only international players).

By the way, the interviews will start to be published in Bridge Magazine next year in a new series titled ‘Bridge Encounters’ beginning with Jeff Meckstroth and Eric Rodwell.

2. So for that research the focus was only on elite players - mostly pros and top level players who have represented their country. I included some juniors and post-juniors in order to get the perspectives of younger players who had also played at international level.

3. By ‘better’ I was referring to practical competence. I make the distinction between men being more successful in terms of results because they win more top level events and ‘better’ in terms of aptitude and competence. In my view, the former (results) is clear and the latter (competence) is up for debate.
Dec. 24, 2016
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Do you still have the article you wrote on chess and gender? If so, could you send it to me?
Dec. 24, 2016
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Peg has provided some links which indicate that men and women's brains are different, and Yehudit suggests that there is contradictory evidence which disputes that view. Does anyone know of any books/papers or other sources which I can use as part of a literature review on the topic of male versus female brains?

Other relevant material for the broader debate of this thread would also be welcomed.
Dec. 23, 2016
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I used these age categories as they mirror those I've used in recent research where I wanted to capture juniors, post-juniors, and older players' perceptions of the game. I'm broadly interested in differences between younger and older players for this exploratory study but age, whilst relevant, is not necessarily going to be a key factor.
Dec. 22, 2016
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No problem at all - I'm just keen to get as many responses as possible - I'm not bothered what format they arrive in! And if others just want to email or private message me with a general response that is also fine.
Dec. 22, 2016
Samantha Punch edited this comment Dec. 23, 2016
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You don't need to copy the questions - just the question numbers with your responses are fine. Many thanks to those of you who have replied so far. I chose not to use a standardised questionnaire as my experience of that format is that people respond very briefly. By using this more open-ended approach I hoped to encourage people to respond at length if appropriate.
Dec. 22, 2016
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I think it is more complex than just stopping women's events. In the long run that will help, but in the short run it will be a challenge for various reasons (eg. men and women do not experience the same opportunities nor do they face the same barriers). So it might need the sacrifice of one generation for it to start levelling out. Perhaps beginning at junior level and ensuring training around unconscious bias might work better.

I think they tried stopping women's events in Norway, but it didn't last as I believe quite a few women stopped playing. Does anyone know what happened/when?

Raising awareness around everyday sexism is a good starting point (posts such as this and recent ones), as it has been about for so long that many people don't see it or inadvertently perpetuate it (including some women). When sexism in bridge stops being taken-for-granted or shrugged off as ‘normal’, then things can gradually change (as in other spheres), but there is likely to be plenty of resistance along the way as it has been naturalised for so long.
Aug. 14, 2016
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The bigger challenge might be how to get rid of ingrained sexist discourses, attitudes and behaviours then it might be easier to get rid of gender based events.
Aug. 13, 2016
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Instead of the question ‘why are men better at bridge’ perhaps starting with ‘why are men more successful than women at bridge’ might be more appropriate?
Aug. 13, 2016
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I have read this thread with much interest as I am doing some sociological research on this topic at Stirling University in Scotland. If anyone has any examples or thoughts that they have not wanted to post publicly, but would not mind me using anonymously in my research project, then please do message me privately. All comments are welcome, and in due course I will share the findings of the study including an academic paper currently in preparation. Thanks in advance for any contributions which I will anonymise carefully.
July 1, 2016
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This question is to primarily act as a control variable for analysing the next set of questions in order to allow for respondents completing the questionnaire at a time that is ‘unusual’. So the information sought is whether respondents are experiencing different health status from ‘normal’ to give context to the survey responses, rather than trying to evaluate an absolute measure of health in these domains. I hope that may help to clarify the purpose of this question, as the subjective or relative nature of the statements is intentional. Many thanks to all those who have completed the survey so far - please encourage others to do so.
June 12, 2016
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