Ethics of Care
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What did Gilligan state in 1982?
- Kohlberg's focus on justice and fairness as the major feature of moral reasoning is a reflection of the male bias in cognitive development
- Because Kohlberg's theory is based on research involving only boys, he missed equally important developmental questions that might be more central to female development
What did Gilligan believe females were more concerned with with regards to moral reasoning?
Ethics of care
What was Gilligan's moral position on Justice?
- It is more prominent in boys and the aspect of morality that Piaget and Kohlberg paid the most attention to
- The main aspect is to not treat others in an unfair manner
What was Gilligan's moral position on care?
- More prominent in girls and the aspect of morality studied by Gilligan
- The main aspect of care is to not ignore those in need
What was the aim of Gilligan's real life dilemma study into ethics of care?
To see if moral reasoning of women was similar to that described by Kohlberg
What methodology was employed during Gilligan's real life dilemma study into ethics of care?
- 29 pregnant women who were considering abortion were given unstructured interviews
- From the responses recorded, 3 levels of care were identified
- The women were also interviewed about 3 of Kohlberg's dilemmas
What were the results of Gilligan's real life dilemma study into ethics of care?
The reasoning of women were at higher levels in relation to abortion than in relation to Kohlberg's dilemmas
What was concluded from Gilligan's real life dilemma study into ethics of care?
- Levels of reasoning in relation to an ethic of care could be identified
- The women produced higher levels of reasoning about care issues that about Kohlberg's standard moral dilemmas
How can Gilligan's real life dilemma study into ethics of care be evaluated?
- Gilligan examined a real life situation meaning the results have high ecological validity, this might also explain the difference between her findings and those of Kohlberg
- The study did not, however involve a comparison of men and women's moral reasoning
What are the features of level 1 ethic of care and what is its justice level equivalent?
- Known as the self-focussed stage
- Decisions are made on what is best for oneself
- In terms of justice, the person upholds moral standards and resists lowering said standards
What are the features of level 2 ethic of care and what is its justice level equivalent?
- Know as the self-sacrifice stage
- Decisions are made on the welfare of others rather than one's own needs
- In terms of justice, people's feelings should be considered, but it is important to uphold principles
What are the features of level 3 ethic of care and what is its justice level equivalent?
- Known as the non-violence stage
- Decisions are made on the importance of not hurting others
- In terms of justice, exceptions can be made, but universal laws are in everyone's best interests
What was the aim of the Gilligan and Attanucci study into moral reasoning?
To test the prediction that females would reason about a higher level about care and males would reason at a higher level about justice
What methodology was employed during the Gilligan and Attanucci study into moral reasoning?
- 80 men and women aged 14-77 were asked about their experiences of moral conflict in an interview lasting around 2 hours
- The answers were classified as having a care or justice focus
What were the results of the Gilligan and Attanucci study into moral reasoning?
- 35% of females and 2% of males showed a focus of care
- 29% of females and 65% of men showed a focus of justice
What was concluded from the Gilligan and Attanucci study into moral reasoning?
- Males and females have different orientations towards morality
- Women tend to have an ethic of care whereas men have an ethic of justice
How can the Gilligan and Attanucci study into moral reasoning be evaluated?
- The study supports Gilligan's argument that men and women reason in different ways about morality
- Interview methods allow experimenter bias and are often subjective
What was the aim of the Walker study of 1989?
To see if there were any sex differences in moral reasoning
What methodology was employed for the Walker study of 1989?
- 233 p's aged 5-63 were given Kohlberg moral dilemmas and were asked to discuss real life dilemmas used by Gilligan
- Responses were coded
- P's were seen twice with a 2 year gap between
What were the results of the Walker study of 1989?
- There was no difference in the levels of moral development between males and females
- The changes across time were compatible with the stage theory as most P's moved to a higher level of moral reasoning
- There was only a weak relation between Kohlberg's stages and Gilligan's levels
What was the conclusion of the Walker study of 1989?
The findings did not support Gilligan's male bias criticism of Kohlberg
How can the Walker study of 1989 be evaluated?
Repeated measures were used, P's discussed both Gilligan's and Kohlberg's moral dilemmas
How can Gilligan's choice of participants be seen as a positive?
- Pregnant women thinking about abortion were interviewed
- This is a real dilemma that they are actually facing so is high in ecological validity
What did Walker find in 1984?
- Girls do not show less mature morality as predicted by Gilligan
- There are no consistent sex differences for moral reasoning
What did Snarey et al find in 1985?
Boys' and Girls' reasoning moved through the same stages as described by Kohlberg
What did tong state in 1992?
- If gender affects moral reasoning then so must class and ethnicity
- This is not considered by Gilligan
How can Gilligan's choice of participants be criticised?
- Gilligan only interviewed women
- If she had interviewed their partners then she might have found that they too had an ethic of care
- The type of reasoning could depend on the type of dilemma rather than the gender of the P'
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