Gilligan (1982) put forth a care moralorientation based on women's responses to moraldilemmas. We tested in 2 studies Gilligan's predictedgender differences and the effect of dilemma content onmoral orientation. We used real-life dilemmasconsisting of the Baby M surrogate motherhood case andthe Kimberly Mays case where babies were switched atbirth;these dilemmas had the advantage of beingstandardized across all participants, and of being moreinvolving than hypothetical dilemmas. The Baby M dilemmaelicited primarily justice responses while the KimberlyMays case elicited care responses; yet in both these dilemmas, when compared to men, womenscored higher on care, and lower on justice.Additionally, moral orientation was related to specificresolutions ofthe dilemmas.Thus both genders wereflexible in their use of justice and care orientationsdepending on the dilemma, with gender differences stillapparent within dilemmas.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 30, 2004
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