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post #1 of 29 (permalink) Old Jun 24th, 2007, 06:32 AM Thread Starter
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Thumbs down Fault! Disbelief as tennis study 'proves' female weakness

Fault! Disbelief as tennis study 'proves' female weakness


Heather Stewart, economics editor
Sunday June 24, 2007

It is a familiar scene. A hard-fought game of tennis reaches a key stage, then one player serves a string of double-faults and loses the match.

It's happened many times. Now economist Marco Daniele Paserman has discovered a new twist to this tale of lost nerves: many more women players than men stumble in this way. When it comes to dealing with nerves, the male is steadier than the female - and not just in sport, but in business as well, says Paserman, who works for the Centre for Economic Research.

He has come to this startling conclusion by scrutinising every point played in every match during four recent tennis Grand Slam tournaments, calculating whether players were more likely to fail at make-or-break moments. Paserman said he found women were more likely to make mistakes in the points that matter most. 'The propensity of women to commit unforced errors increases significantly with the importance of the point, while men's corresponding propensity is unaffected by point importance,' he told The Observer
Paserman said his results revealed 'robust gender difference in performance under pressure' and suggested they may have relevance far away from the tennis court. In particular, it explains women's under-representation in the upper echelons of the business world. In other words, Paserman believes he has uncovered 'a real gender difference in productivity, that is relevant for many contexts other than tennis'.

Women's under-representation at top levels in business are not a result of sexism, says Paserman. Their problem is that they lose their nerve when things get tough. Men, by contrast, keep cool.

Not surprisingly, not everybody agrees. Lynda Gratton, management writer and professor at London Business School, said an ability to whack a tennis ball across a net was not a good indicator of performance in the business world. 'I think the analogy is very thin. What happens in sport doesn't tell you very much about business,' she said. 'There isn't any evidence that I know of that women are any worse at working under pressure than men.'

She added that the strategies women tend to pursue, of co-operation and collaboration, were not helpful on the tennis court, but eminently suited to 21st-century business. 'This whole focus on competition just does not help you any more in business. It's not about putting people under pressure and seeing whether they win or not. The sports analogies are becoming thinner and thinner.'
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post #2 of 29 (permalink) Old Jun 24th, 2007, 06:33 AM
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Re: Fault! Disbelief as tennis study 'proves' female weakness

This is all true.
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post #3 of 29 (permalink) Old Jun 24th, 2007, 06:36 AM
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Re: Fault! Disbelief as tennis study 'proves' female weakness

I tend to agree

Look at Jennifer Capriati.

PERFECT EXAMPLE...she consistantly choked matches away, break point and so forth...those US OPEN SEMIS.......*cringe*

bang on...
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post #4 of 29 (permalink) Old Jun 24th, 2007, 06:44 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Fault! Disbelief as tennis study 'proves' female weakness

I don't agree with the part about women and business
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post #5 of 29 (permalink) Old Jun 24th, 2007, 06:57 AM
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Re: Fault! Disbelief as tennis study 'proves' female weakness

This article doesn't surprise me. I think that men on average generally have more confidence than women because society just doesn't judge them as harshly. We live in a society where women have to prove everything, while men get a free pass and are believed to be able to accomplish anything just because they are males.

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post #6 of 29 (permalink) Old Jun 24th, 2007, 07:03 AM
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Re: Fault! Disbelief as tennis study 'proves' female weakness

BS!

How many times have we seen James Blake choke & crumble?
How many times in one match did we see Davydenko choke
& crumble against Federer in the French? How many times
have we seen chokes from players against Federer/Nadal?
How many times have we seen chokes from Federer against
Nadal?

As far as business, nope!

However, fact is that women in a society where the male
has been dominant since time began, they are set at a
disadvantage. Not at inteligence, but at social stigmas.
A stern businessman is a "strong leader". A stern
businesswoman is a "bitch". In a society where men have
such fragile egos, woman have more to fight against and
more to accomplish than simply the job at hand.

I guess if this makes some feel better,
then sobeit.
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post #7 of 29 (permalink) Old Jun 24th, 2007, 07:07 AM
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Re: Fault! Disbelief as tennis study 'proves' female weakness

What next? A study on softball players suggests that women can only do business underhand? Ridiculous! Baloney! I want Judge Judy to go kick this economists' ass!
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post #8 of 29 (permalink) Old Jun 24th, 2007, 07:08 AM
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Re: Fault! Disbelief as tennis study 'proves' female weakness

I agree with this article about men handling pressure better but there are plenty of successful women in business who are presidents, CEOs, and hold other various forms of executive positions in Fortune 500 companies. I think a lot of it also has to do with societal norms that are taught very early on in gender roles. Many girls are raised to be delicate little flowers and boys are taught not to cry or show too much emotion. So I don't think its so much nature in this situation as much as it is nurture.

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post #9 of 29 (permalink) Old Jun 24th, 2007, 07:28 AM
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Re: Fault! Disbelief as tennis study 'proves' female weakness

i thought this was common knowlege. the womens games is equivalent to about a good male junior college level.
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post #10 of 29 (permalink) Old Jun 24th, 2007, 07:35 AM
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Re: Fault! Disbelief as tennis study 'proves' female weakness

that's because as mentioned throughout this thread, women are always seen as inferior to the men. so, the situation is so much more significant. a man would not even be able to fathom how much pressure a woman has to go through.

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post #11 of 29 (permalink) Old Jun 24th, 2007, 07:46 AM
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Re: Fault! Disbelief as tennis study 'proves' female weakness

Quote:
Originally Posted by dreamgoddess099 View Post
This article doesn't surprise me. I think that men on average generally have more confidence than women because society just doesn't judge them as harshly. We live in a society where women have to prove everything, while men get a free pass and are believed to be able to accomplish anything just because they are males.
Conversely women generally have an easier life in terms of pressure and expectations on professional achievement. An unemployed male would be looked down on far more than an unemployed female. Many girls openly admit there focus is to marry a rich guy and live off that (not accusing anyone here, just saying I hear it a lot from girls). Men are expected to be a professional/financial success.

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post #12 of 29 (permalink) Old Jun 24th, 2007, 07:52 AM
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Re: Fault! Disbelief as tennis study 'proves' female weakness

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Originally Posted by jadarite View Post
Conversely women generally have an easier life in terms of pressure and expectations on professional achievement. An unemployed male would be looked down on far more than an unemployed female. Many girls openly admit there focus is to marry a rich guy and live off that (not accusing anyone here, just saying I hear it a lot from girls). Men are expected to be a professional/financial success.

while that's true, it has to be noted that because of this very fact, many women often face the problem of stunted career growth.

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post #13 of 29 (permalink) Old Jun 24th, 2007, 08:02 AM
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Re: Fault! Disbelief as tennis study 'proves' female weakness

Well the thing that is important to point out, is that research results are unique to the individual study. The variables measured (in this case weakness), how they are measured, and how they are defined. Apparently this guy had footage for "every point played in every match during four recent tennis Grand Slam tournaments." Well I find that hard to believe that he watched every single player and every single point, but if this is the case, then his results are based on the average and not just the top players.

I think this is an interesting study (or I should say a potentially good study). The relation with women in the business world, well I'm not sure about that. There's not much mentioned in this article stating how he developed his hypothesis or why he decided to relate the two...i'm guessing it's written somewhere, because if it's not his research is bogus. Anyway, press releases rarely give the full details of a research analysis, even though it's important. I'm guessing this will break way for more follow-up studies on this, though.







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post #14 of 29 (permalink) Old Jun 24th, 2007, 08:05 AM
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Re: Fault! Disbelief as tennis study 'proves' female weakness

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paneru View Post
BS!

How many times have we seen James Blake choke & crumble?
How many times in one match did we see Davydenko choke
& crumble against Federer in the French? How many times
have we seen chokes from players against Federer/Nadal?
How many times have we seen chokes from Federer against
Nadal?

As far as business, nope!

However, fact is that women in a society where the male
has been dominant since time began, they are set at a
disadvantage. Not at inteligence, but at social stigmas.
A stern businessman is a "strong leader". A stern
businesswoman is a "bitch". In a society where men have
such fragile egos, woman have more to fight against and
more to accomplish than simply the job at hand.

I guess if this makes some feel better,
then sobeit.
Nice post!

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post #15 of 29 (permalink) Old Jun 24th, 2007, 08:57 AM
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Re: Fault! Disbelief as tennis study 'proves' female weakness

How does this account for women like the Williams sisters and Henin who seem to thrive under pressure. Human beings are too special and diverse to pin down an entire gender with a survey.
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