Did sexism play a role in Serena Williams' loss at the US Open?

October 11, 2018, Wiley
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

A new Statistics Views article examines whether sexism played a role in what took place in the final round of the women's singles at the 2018 US Open, when American tennis superstar Serena Williams was fined for three code violations that caused her to be penalized during a game when she criticized the umpire for a controversial call and labeled him a "thief."

The article points to several studies revealing that women are disciplined and discredited for expressing anger, suggesting that the umpire may have penalized Williams to a degree that he would not have done if a man had acted the same way. This does not make it acceptable to act inappropriately on the tennis court, but it does point to the need to look at inherent biases and how they might influence not just matches, but people's entire livelihoods.

"I was just really curious as to whether there was any research to back up Serena's claims," said Allison Goldstein, the article's author. "And the answer is kind of yes-and-no. Sexism is so hard to prove in any tangible, numeric way. I hope this incident at least raises the possibility in people's minds."

Explore further: How ad 'heroes' move us… and connect us to their brands

More information: Did Sexism Play a Role in Serena Williams' Loss? www.statisticsviews.com/detail … a-Williams-Loss.html

Related Stories

How ad 'heroes' move us… and connect us to their brands

September 20, 2018

You may have seen it: the Nike ad in which tennis star Serena Williams ignores the judgements of others and chooses her own path. These and similar ads use storylines that have seemingly little to do with the brand itself ...

Wimbledon 'Stat Pack' help explain the point

July 12, 2018

In subterranean bunkers at the All England Club, statisticians are churning out millions of data nuggets during the Wimbledon championships, gobbled up by tennis nerds, players—and, increasingly, everyday fans.

Why can't a woman play tennis like a man?

April 29, 2016

Changing court conditions to address differences in men's and women's play might make women's tennis matches more competitive, according to a new study by Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) and other Israeli researchers.

Recommended for you

In colliding galaxies, a pipsqueak shines bright

February 20, 2019

In the nearby Whirlpool galaxy and its companion galaxy, M51b, two supermassive black holes heat up and devour surrounding material. These two monsters should be the most luminous X-ray sources in sight, but a new study using ...

When does one of the central ideas in economics work?

February 20, 2019

The concept of equilibrium is one of the most central ideas in economics. It is one of the core assumptions in the vast majority of economic models, including models used by policymakers on issues ranging from monetary policy ...

Research reveals why the zebra got its stripes

February 20, 2019

Why do zebras have stripes? A study published in PLOS ONE today takes us another step closer to answering this puzzling question and to understanding how stripes actually work.

Correlated nucleons may solve 35-year-old mystery

February 20, 2019

A careful re-analysis of data taken at the Department of Energy's Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility has revealed a possible link between correlated protons and neutrons in the nucleus and a 35-year-old mystery. ...


Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

3 / 5 (2) Oct 11, 2018
The only thing sexist was letting that big ugly man play against that nice little Japanese girl.
5 / 5 (1) Oct 12, 2018
Williams cheated....Williams got caught....Williams lost.
1 / 5 (1) Oct 12, 2018
And the answer is kind of yes-and-no.

Yes and no...what?

According to:

Yes; in general studies both women and men are more critical of women who show anger as opposed to men who show anger.
No; according to statistics "there isn't any real concrete evidence to show that, when it comes to being issued a violation, women are treated any more unfairly than men."
Conclusion; since Yes for studies, therefore "it stands to reason that Ramos penalized Serena to a degree that he would not have done if a man had acted the same way."

If anyone knows, how does an umpire decide on a fine amount? From what I can find, it looks like each violation has an up to $20,000 fine? Also are these fine amounts recorded anywhere?

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.