A quick update on women in philosophy

Just so you know, I have been able to get the data from the CIRP Freshman Survey, which means that I didn’t have to rely on what the Higher Education Research Institute publishes anymore. It’s a good thing because, in their publications, they round everything to one decimal place. This made some of my calculations imprecise, so I updated my post and the spreadsheet. (I would like to thank Ellen Stolzenberg, Assistant Director of the CIRP, who helped me get access to the data. Naturally, she can’t be held responsible for any of the views I express in this post, let alone for any mistake it may contain.) As you can see if you read the latest version, it didn’t really change the results, except that the correlation in my regression actually went up a little and so did the proportion of women among students who plan to major in most fields. (The latter fact is largely the result of a mistake I had made before, which was pointed out to me by a commenter the other day.) I have to say that, for the moment, I haven’t seen any rebuttal of the points I make in that post, even though I know it has been widely read. Since the data I obtained from the CIRP Freshman Survey include a lot of information about race, I plan to do the same kind of analysis about it when I have some time, but I’m not sure when that will be. I expect to find the same thing as in the case of gender, i. e. non-white students are less interested in philosophy than white students even before they have taken philosophy classes and this largely explains why they are underrepresented among PhD recipients in philosophy, but I could be wrong.

One thought

  1. In the event you find, as you predict, that students of color are less interested in philosophy than white students prior to taking philosophy classes, how does this impact some of arguments you put forward about why women are less interested? It seems it would be hard to apply some of your arguments about gender to race?

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