ERIC Number: ED310329
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989-May
Reference Count: N/A
Sex Differences in Moral Decision Making.
Vera, Elizabeth M.; Levin, Irwin P.
Gilligan's theory, which identifies two distinct orientations of moral decision-making, care and justice, was extended in this study. Moral dilemmas were used to ascertain percentages of care-based responses versus justice-based responses in 40 men and 39 women. Based on previous research, it was predicted that by increasing the level of importance of a given situation and the degree of difficulty in reaching a decision, one would find significant increases in percentages of total care responses in both men and women. It was also predicted that in decisions of lesser importance, men would tend to rely on a justice orientation while women would operate more from a care orientation. Results yielded support for all but the latter of these predictions. These findings deviate somewhat from predictions based on Gilligan's theory that these orientations are predominantly sex-specific. Thus it is clear that the two orientations do in fact exist, but it is less clear under what circumstances sex differences may exist. Further research that focuses on situational differences and their relation to the responses of men and women is needed to clarify this issue. (References are included.) (Author)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A