PSYB20 - Lecture 9
Morality and Gender
November 20, 2013
Three aspects of morality
Theories of moral development
Gender vs. sex differences
Gender stereotypes & Backlash effect
Theories of gender development
3 ASPECTS OF MORALITY
Good, socially acceptable actions.
Independent from self interest.
Production of prosocial behaviours
Resistance to temptation
“Forbidden toys” test
Examined 6- and 7-year olds
Forbidden to play
Will child play or not?
Mean “temptation” scores calculated.
PARKE (1976) 6
M0an Number of "Temptations"
All children were unable to resist temptation, with boys more tempted than girls.
Feelings on moral and ethical decisions.
Criticism – indirect measure of emotion
Direct measures of emotion?
EISENBERG ET AL. (1988)
Examined preschoolers and second-graders.
3 emotionally-arousing films:
a) Boy & girl in thunderstorm
b) Girl & her pet bird
c) Girl attempting to walk
Heart rates, facial expressions, & verbal reports.
EISENBERG ET AL. (1988): RESULTS
Knowledge of ethical rules and moral judgments.
Two leading theorists are Piaget and Kohlberg. PIAGET’S THEORY OF MORAL DEVELOPMENT
Moral development follows a three-stage developmental sequence.
Moral maturity = social rules & equality
Focus on rules of games and judgments on transgressions.
Pre-moral stage: No rules
Moral realism: Inflexible rules
Morality of reciprocity: Intentions & equalitarianism
a) Rules for games (e.g., marbles)
Adherence to rules & understanding of origin and nature of rules.
b) Moral dilemmas
Objective ------> subjective evaluations
Moral maturity = justice
Cognitive skills important
Moral development in three levels:
Famous example: Heinz’s story
Yes/no judgment & reasoning
External sanctions -------> Inner conscience
Focused on male adolescents
Women < Men
Males = rights orientation
Females = response orientation
WALKER ET AL. (1987)
Interviewed family triads (mother, father, & child).
Hypothetical and real-life dilemmas.
Assessed moral orientation.
WALKER ET AL. (1987): RESULTS
Children’s moral dilemmas on friendship, honesty, and fighting.
Adults’ moral dilemmas on family- and work-related issues. Gender differences.
WALKER ET AL. (1987): RESULTS
Orientation (%) Female
Mean Percentage of Moral
Hypothetical Real life
Males took on the rights orientation.
Females took on the response orientation.
Both orientations present for males and females.
SEX IS NOT GENDER
Biological and physiological differences between men and women.
Greater lateralization in men’s brains than women’s brains (Halpern, 2000).
a) More pronounced deficits among brain-damaged male patients.
b) Greater brain activity in corresponding cognitive task among men (Shaywitz et al., 1995).
Behaviours and activities that men and women engage in that are directly relate to sex differences.
GENDER IS NOT SEX
Gender – behaviours and activities that society deem appropriate for men and women.
Stereotypes can be in line with sex and sex-role differences.
Degree to which a person adopts socially-defined behaviours and activities.
Reflections of gender stereotypes.
Variability among men and women to how much they adopt gender prescriptions.
Gender typing – adoption of gender roles.
Baby “X” studies
Experimentally label child as boy or girl.
Examine adults’ reactions and behaviours.
CONDRY & CONDRY (1976) Adult males and females.
Overall intensity rating of infant’s emotion – pleasure, anger, and fear.
“David” or “Dana”
CONDRY & CONDRY (1976)
Mean Ratings Boy
Angerear Angerar Angerar Angerar Girl
Pleasure Pleasure Pleasure Pleasure
Teddy J-B Doll Buzzer
Gender label influenced adults’ interpretations of infant behaviour in ambiguous situation.
GENDER STEREOTYPES USEFUL
Process information and situations.
Within a short period of time.