Causal or unifying
The results of these studies may be very interesting—or they be entirely useless—but they do not contribute to a deeper understanding of the human condition. At least, not by themselves. Without a proper underlying theory, findings are nothing more than mere curiosities. One could build a digital museum and maybe do something interactive for children with them, but that's about the extent of their use.
There are of course disciplines in the Humanities and Social Sciences that are supported by proper theories. Generative syntax is a prime example. You can disagree with the field based on its findings or its maxims, but you cannot deny that one reason that it's been so productive for the past sixty years, is that there is an underlying theory that is continuously being refined or revised, and that is to account for human language. A proper theory makes the field inherently superior to many of its competitors that do nothing more than ad hoc analysis. (Although, to be fair, there is plenty of ad hoc analysis going on in generative syntax as well. But even the hard sciences are guilty of that sometimes.)
The days following the incident were livened up by a bunch of anecdotal "evidence". It did not take long for men to point out that, contrary to claims by Williams' coach, Ramos has been just as strict to top men like Rafael Nadal. He has been one of few umpires who has repeatedly sanctioned Nadal for taking too long in between points. An infraction that is barely more sever than a coaching violation, for which Williams was punished. But of course, there were also cases where Ramos did not sanction men for behavior similar to that of Williams. Both sides claimed their points vindicated, showing just how useless anecdotal evidence is.
The New York Times attempted to resolve the issue definitively by investigating the past twenty years. They counted all the times men were penalized and compared that to all the times women were penalized. After correcting for the fact that men play more tennis—best of 5 instead of best of 3—and there are more men in the qualifications at all slams except the US Open—128 men vs 96 women—they claimed that men were still penalized more. Interestingly enough, the only exception was coaching, for which women were more often sanctioned.
What do numbers mean?
These kind of articles reinforce the methodological point that you cannot do quantitative analysis without also doing qualitative analysis (and vice versa). In this case, the numbers provided by the NYT would be a nice starting point to figure out if something is really going on—are men treated more unfairly?—and if so, what. Every case has to be appreciated for its individual relevance: no two sanctions are alike. That sounds like a massive amount of work, and it is, but without such an investigation, all we have are numbers. Just as without those numbers, all we have is a series of anecdotes. Real evidence comes in the form of theories that are both qualitatively and quantitatively supported.