The Underrepresentation of Women in Prestigious Ethics Journals

Hypatia 32 (4):928-939 (2017)
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It has been widely reported that women are underrepresented in academic philosophy as faculty and students. This article investigates whether this representation may also occur in the domain of journal article publishing. Our study looked at whether women authors were underrepresented as authors in elite ethics journals — Ethics, Philosophy & Public Affairs, the Journal of Political Philosophy, and the Journal of Moral Philosophy — between 2004-2014, relative to the proportion of women employed in academic ethics (broadly construed). We found that women are indeed underrepresented overall in prestigious ethics journal publishing. Though this is not our focus, we discuss possible causes for this finding, such as top ethics journals’ tendency not to publish much feminist philosophy; the impact of women’s lesser professional status or rank within philosophy on their prospects for, and success in, journal publishing; and the review process itself, which may disadvantage or discourage women authors — perhaps especially when their gender, rank, and affiliation are known to the editor or reviewer, or if their work is explicitly feminist. We discuss possible avenues for future research on the "woman problem" in philosophy, noting how our study relates to existing research on this issue.

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Author Profiles

Meena Krishnamurthy
Queen's University
Maggie Dalecki
University of Manitoba
Monique Deveaux
University of Guelph
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