Thursday, October 08, 2009

Say It Again...

...this time with style.

I do get weary of the discussion about the dearth of women in philosophy, but the problem seems fresh and intriguing once again when covered by The Edge of the American West. Not to mention tractable. As Rosie says, "We Can Do It!"

Aha, these posts remind me that it's time for the yearly Digest of Education Statistics Update. (See the sidebar to the left for earlier installations.)

Here are the percentages of bachelor's degrees in
philosophy earned by women, yearly:

1994: 32.0%
1995: 31.6%
1996: 31.4%
1997: 29.8%
1998: 30.9%
1999: 31.3%
2000: 31.5%
2001: 31.4%
2002: 33.0%
2003: 32.3%
2004: 29.2%
2005: 29.7%
2006: 30.8%
2007: 30.9%

Nary a significant deviation from the mean, and no trend of change, unlike what has been seen in many of the sciences. This percentage is certainly not tracking the trend of a growing percentage of bachelor's degrees overall being earned by women.

The one-year trend in Master's degrees is not good and the result is especially not good in comparison to the statistic for undergraduate degrees. In 2006, 26.6% of Master's degrees went to women and in 2007 22.1%.

The figures for doctorates are not quite so bleak, but no light on the horizon, either. Since 1991, about 27% of PhD's in philosophy have gone to women. The 2006 figure was 27.1% and the 2007 figure is 25.3%. This is a decline from the 2004 high of 33.3%, but is statistically in line with the verdict of "no change."


Richard Zach said...

I couldn't find the table you got this from. Do you have the link?

Evelyn Brister said...

Hi Richard,
The post links to the Digest of Education Statistics. It's fairly straightforward to use. The most recent data is on students who graduated in 2007. For that year's data (labeled 2008), I used Table 275: