In Aurora Georgina Bustos Arellano & Jocelyn Martínez (eds.), Las filósofas que nos formaron: Injusticias, retos y propuestas en la filosofía
. Nuevo Leon, Mexico: Centro de Estudios Humanísticos, Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León. pp. 133-154 (2022
In Philosophy, it is well known that of the total faculty population, the proportion of women is significantly lower than men. This disproportion is odd for a discipline within the humanities; these numbers seem more compatible with what is found in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) careers. These proportions are in turn a product of the low female presence that exists from the previous levels of academic training in philosophy. What happens in the case of the philosophy student body? For example, the report presented by BeeBee and Saul (2011), on women in philosophy in the United Kingdom, in the period 2008 and 2009, points out that in the first degrees of academic training, in the bachelor's degree, women occupy 45% of the student population, in the master's degree 38% and in the doctorate 35%. Thus, "it is notable that there is a reduction in the proportion of women from the bachelor's degree to the doctorate [...]. This has as a consequence that at the professional level women holding positions as professors represent only 19%" (BeeBee & Saul, 2011, p. 11). Recently, Torres González (2018), based on European Union studies, points out that in Spain, with respect to gender disparity in students, "the data yield as a result masculinized studies, where, contrary to what happens in the branch of the humanities to which it [philosophy] belongs, males outnumber females by 28 percentage points" (2018, p. 328). This disparity is reflected in philosophy at the professional level, "the indicators of vertical segregation show a reinforced glass ceiling, which presents one of the worst data of hierarchical discrimination in the university: the percentage of female professors in philosophy is 12% compared to 21% of female professors in higher education" (Idem). Although it is a fact that there are fewer women than men studying philosophy and, therefore, fewer women than men working professionally in this discipline, we do not yet have possible explanations for this phenomenon of gender disparity in the student body in philosophy. In some cases, even if the number of women entering the philosophy degree program is already low, the number of women graduating is even lower, which indicates that there is attrition along the way; the initial numbers of women entering the program tend to decrease by the time they graduate.
Thus we come to the question that is the subject of this paper: What causes female students to drop out of the philosophy program? In this article we answer this question from the philosophy of science and supported by local empirical data, so we do not give a complete or even less exhaustive answer. We review two explanatory models that purport to answer the question of why there are fewer women in philosophy, both formatively and professionally. These are the Different Voices Model (DVM) and the Perfect Storm Model (PSM); we opt for the latter and give reasons for it. Regarding the empirical aspect of our research, our source of statistical data belongs to the undergraduate program in philosophy at the Facultad de Estudios Superiores Acatlán-UNAM, Mexico (FES Acatlán), obtained in the framework of the SWIP-Analytic Mexico workshops. Our analysis of these data shows that even when female students have better GPAs than male students and take fewer subjects while enrolled, female students graduate less than male students in the FES Acatlan degree program.