Presidential Scholars Theses (1990 – 2006)
The moral reasoning of males and females in response to hypothetical dilemmas involving the care of elderly family members
Open Access Presidential Scholars Thesis
Carolyn Hilderbrandt, Advisor
Medical ethics--Sex differences;
Twenty Midwestern Caucasian college students, ten males and ten females, were tested on justice and care orientations when reasoning about hypothetical moral dilemmas involving the care of elderly family members. A slightly modified version of the dilemma developed in Stack's (1990) study was used along with a new dilemma developed by the author of this study to further clarify the coding process. Lyons' (1983) scoring method and Gilligan's (1982) guidelines were used to code subjects' responses. No sex differences in the type of moral reasoning were found. The results of this study did not support Gilligan's theory that there are two distinct ways of thinking about moral problems, justice reasoning and care reasoning, that are related to gender. They did, however, support Stack's results that the predominate reasoning used in both males and females is a mixture of care and justice reasoning. It was concluded, based on Stack's research and the results of this study, that no sex differences in moral reasoning are present when using the hypothetical dilemmas developed by Stack's subjects and this author.
Date of Award
Department of Psychology
Presidential Scholar Designation
A paper submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the designation Presidential Scholar
1 PDF file (25 pages)
©1995 Denise Literrer
Litterer, Denise, "The moral reasoning of males and females in response to hypothetical dilemmas involving the care of elderly family members" (1995). Presidential Scholars Theses (1990 – 2006). 102.
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