philosophy meta-forum

Study on gender and prestige effects

Tadeusz

184 day(s) ago

Reported on DN no less.

Market outcomes starting in 2014 and going back 10 years offer no evidence women are at a disadvantage in tenure-track competitions.

http://dailynous.com/2017/06/16/new-study-gender-program-prestige-hiring- philosophers/

Stanley

184 day(s) ago

As far as I can tell, none of this is new. It's just CDJ's work repackaged.

Tadeusz

184 day(s) ago

Yeah but it's now published in a respectable, peer-reviewed, non-phiilosophy journal.

Leonard

184 day(s) ago

Way to bury the lede:

The study focuses chiefly on the Academic Placement Data and Analysis (APDA) work of Carolyn Dicey Jennings (UC Merced). Allen-Hermanson argues that the APDA findings strongly support the conclusion that “men are significantly less likely to obtain permanent positions.” Additionally, “female candidates had about half as many publications as their male counterparts.” He adds, “men and women appear to be held to different standards.”

Lynne

184 day(s) ago

Kudos to Weinberg for posting it at all. I wouldn't have expected him to do so.

Naomi

184 day(s) ago

Every time an armchair rationale for preferential hiring is shown to be baseless with actual evidence, a new one is invented. A new iteration of the whack-a-mole game we're apparently playing:

"So maybe departments are finally starting to realize that one (perhaps not the only) way to help [the issue of higher attrition rates for women] is to have more women on the faculty who can interact with women grad students (and students in general) in a meaningful, professional way. No, I’m not saying that men are not likely to do that; but perhaps women would still feel a bit more welcome at certain departments events etc. if they weren’t the only women around."

We don't know that attrition is higher for women, nor do we know that it would be combated effectively simply by hiring more women. If women in philosophy are selected for toughness, as another hypothesis holds, why think that the women who have made it will be supportive rather than disdainful of those who aren't so tough?

It is hard to shake the feeling that claims like the above are post hoc rationalizations for policies that people favor for independent reasons.

Anne

184 day(s) ago

Good work by Kaufman and Lemoine on DN. Now someone needs to post a link to this site, maybe hidden in their name/URL thing.

Anton

184 day(s) ago

It would be fucking lovely if the narrative that has recently been used to justify anti-male sexism throughout philosophy is starting to crumble. Probably too much to hope for though.

Stanley

184 day(s) ago

Yeah but it's now published in a respectable, peer-reviewed, non-phiilosophy journal.

Tadeusz

It's still all the same things she said, and using the data she gathered and analysed, and using her analysis. Cheap trick.

Peg

184 day(s) ago

This review was linked to in the DN thread. More criticisms of the political acceptance of the dubious implicit bias findings.

https://philpapers.org/rec/ALLRIB

Philippa

184 day(s) ago

As part of a review process not long ago, my department collected and analyzed information on how our candidates had performed on the market. We were delighted to discover that our female candidates were more likely to get TT jobs than our male candidates were. Interestingly, our male candidates took longer to get jobs, typically doing a postdoc or VAP before getting a TT post. Our female candidates, by contrast, were more likely to secure TT offers while still ABD. Several years after finishing the degree, there were no significant gender effects. Despite having a difficult time in graduate school, women were finishing the program and seemed to suffer no disadvantage in seeking employment.

Based on a quick read of this article, it seems that similar patterns are true of the market as a whole, and that is good news indeed. In a profession that so often sports one bad "climate for women" headline after another, we've got a glimmer of hope here!

Reinhardt

184 day(s) ago

Did you give that information to your students? I've heard about gendered favoritism like this for years, but only after I landed a job.

Philippa

184 day(s) ago

Yes, the gender placement information was included in passing in the report that came out of the departmental review, and an external evaluator explicitly flagged it as something to be celebrated.

Genevieve

183 day(s) ago

You need to celebrate that probably weaker candidates were hired because they were women?

Lynne

183 day(s) ago

They were "delighted" to discover gender based discrimination. Not "horrified", but "delighted". Thank God said discrimination went in the currently socially acceptable direction, right?

Louis

183 day(s) ago

Is there any reason to think that women generally have a harder time in philosophy graduate school than do men?

You hear this all the time, but in my experience, female students are heavily catered to from the beginning of graduate school to the end. Maybe this wasn't always true, but it surely is now. The anecdotal evidence here usually amounts to attributing general graduate school difficulties to sexism ("My adviser never sent me comments on the dissertation chapter I sent him, it must be because I'm a woman!")

Paul

183 day(s) ago

Well, I had a harder time in grad school than my male colleagues because I was dealing with a horrific sexual harassment situation. That's just anecdotal, of course.

Michèle

183 day(s) ago

Is there any reason to think that women generally have a harder time in philosophy graduate school than do men?

\

Louis

Yes. My department recently did a survey of graduate students, and women reported (statistically significantly) worse experiences along several dimensions, including how likely they were to feel excluded from the intellectual life of the department. This is just one department, but it's systematic in the sense that all of our grad students were surveyed. And we're known as one of the better departments for women.

Harriet

183 day(s) ago

The interesting question is whether women are treated worse than men in philosophy grad school, as a matter of fact, regardless of their feelings or willingness to report those feelings. The culture we currently have in philosophy should make everyone hesitate before granting too much weight to grad student surveys, or the like.

Lynne

183 day(s) ago

The interesting question is whether women are treated worse than men in philosophy grad school, as a matter of fact, regardless of their feelings or willingness to report those feelings. The culture we currently have in philosophy should make everyone hesitate before granting too much weight to grad student surveys, or the like.

Harriet

Is that THE interesting question?

Chantal

183 day(s) ago

Yes. We're trying to figure out whether women are at a disadvantage, not whether they take themselves to be disadvantaged after internalizing the inescapable narrative that they are.

Just imagine trying to determine whether Trump voters are really disadvantaged by Mexican immigration by asking their opinions in a survey, and then naively taking the results as true by assuming the reports are accurate. Same thing.

Paul

183 day(s) ago

If the climate survey the previous commenter alluded to is anything like the ones I've seen, the survey didn't ask questions like, "Rate how disadvantaged you are relative to your male colleagues." It asked questions like, "Rate how happy you are," and "Rate how included you feel in the departmental life." Someone could then compare the women's answers to the men's answers and see if any discrepancies arise.

Are you saying we shouldn't even trust women's self-reporting on those questions? Furthermore, if you're not going to trust what women tell you about grad school, what kinds of evidence would you need in order to come to believe that women are disadvantaged in grad school?

Sylvia

183 day(s) ago

FTFY: If the climate survey the previous commenter alluded to is anything like the ones I've seen, the survey didn't ask questions like, "Rate how disadvantaged you are relative to your Mexican immigrant neighbors." It asked questions like, "Rate how happy you are," and "Rate how included you feel in the life of your community." Someone could then compare the Trump voters' answers to the Mexican immigrants' answers and see if any discrepancies arise.

Are you saying we shouldn't even trust Trump voters' self-reporting on those questions? Furthermore, if you're not going to trust what Trump voters tell you about their lived experience, what kinds of evidence would you need in order to come to believe that Trump voters are disadvantaged?

Arthur

183 day(s) ago

Sylvia, I seriously doubt that Trump voters are going to report feeling less included in their community than Mexican immigrants would. And if they did, that would be (defeasible) evidence that Trump voters are treated differently by their communities than Mexican immigrants are by theirs.

Karl

183 day(s) ago

Arthur, have you ever listened to Trump voters? Ever talked to any or read their editorials?

These are people who sincerely feel that they are always getting the short end of the stick and that their every minute is made worse by Mexican immigrants, over-reaching government, and Islamic terrorists.

What this shows is that mere reports of feelings is pretty well worthless as evidence. In our professional work, those of us who have paid any attention at all to social and individual psychology have learned how foolish it is to blindly trust self reports.

Arthur

183 day(s) ago

Who said we should blindly trust self-reports, Karl? Someone asked for evidence about how women fare in grad school. Evidence was provided in the form of a survey. There is no need to blindly trust evidence. But refusing to blindly trust some piece of evidence does not require ignoring.

Arthur

183 day(s) ago

What kind of evidence would you accept as supporting the claim that women have a harder time in graduate school than men? Not self reports, even when they are more systematic than anecdotes. And not objective data such as that women have fewer publications than men by the end of grad school. So, tell us: where exactly have you placed the goalpost?

Sylvia

183 day(s) ago

Arthur, think of it this way: Accusations are not evidence that a crime has been committed, but this doesn't prevent laws from being upheld.

Arthur

183 day(s) ago

I don't really know what you mean to be implying, Sylvia. But testimony by an accuser is indeed evidence in a court of law. More importantly: what would you say *would* count as evidence that female graduate students have a harder time than male ones? As far as I can tell, you don't seem to think such evidence is even possible.

Uku

183 day(s) ago

Arthur, it's not so difficult. Look at objective measures. How successful are female vs. male students in securing work after grad school? What kind of work is it? Is there evidence that women are doing as much work as men, or less, or roughly the same amount in getting similar results? Is the completion rate for women and men different? If so, what explanations seem most likely for that? You can test those explanations against objective facts, not just self-assessment. If you control for objective measures of talent and hard work in grad students' incoming scores and evaluations, are women achieving about as much as men? Things like that.

What kind of evidence would I accept as supporting the claim that women have a harder time in graduate school than men? Here are a few:

- a significantly higher dropout rate from philosophy graduate programs than men (where academically unrelated factors are controlled for)

- a higher failure rate on graduate coursework among women than among men.

- women facing a more difficult job market than men

I haven't seen evidence supporting things like that. If anything, the evidence supports the view that women are having an easier time in philosophy graduate programs than men do.

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