“You play like a girl” has taken on an entirely new meaning ever since researchers at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel decided to look into how much male sports stars crumble in competition compared to their female counterparts.
Published on the university’s website, “Choking Under Pressure and Gender” takes a deep dive into “a unique setting in which two professionals compete in a real-life contest with high monetary rewards.”
Researchers looked at more than 8,000 games played at Wimbledon and the French, US and Australian Opens in 2010 and Mosi Rosenboim of BGU’s management department said that women weathered competitive pressure better than men.
“Men consistently ‘choke’ under competitive pressure, but, with regard to women, the results are mixed,” he explains. That said, even if women showed a drop in performance in the more crucial stages of the match, it was still about 50 percent less than that of men.
Whether or not this finding translates more broadly into other sports or, perhaps, the boardroom, is still unclear. Nonetheless, the results suggest that we may all need to “man up,” and by that we mean: Don’t be like this guy…