Why Do Women Philosophy Students Drop Out of Philosophy? Some Evidence from the Classroom at the Bachelor’s Level
It is well known that there has been a steady and significant underrepresentation of women in philosophy on different professional levels. Numerous hypotheses explaining this underrepresentation have been suggested, but empirical analyses are not yet extensive. In particular, studies of the phenomenon in different countries are nonexistent. In this paper, we present findings from an exploratory study in which we analyze the interests, abilities, beliefs, attitudes, perceptions, and goals of bachelor’s students in a semester-long philosophy of science course at a major German university. We furthermore make the first attempt to compare women-only learning environments with mixed-gender learning environments. Our results suggest that while there are generally some gender differences regarding interests, abilities, beliefs, attitudes, perceptions, and goals of students in the classroom, most of the hypotheses we explore to explain dropout rates by gender differences cannot be supported. We conclude that possible factors leading to the underrepresentation of women in philosophy in Germany might be found in the social and institutional environment within which philosophy is taught.
How to Cite:
Herfeld, C. & Müller, J. & von Allmen, K., (2022) “Why Do Women Philosophy Students Drop Out of Philosophy? Some Evidence from the Classroom at the Bachelor’s Level”, Ergo 8: 51. doi: https://doi.org/10.3998/ergo.2252