"I don't think that being a strong person is about ignoring your emotions and fighting your feelings. Putting on a brave face doesn't mean you're a brave person. That's why everybody in my life knows everything that I'm going through. I can't hide anything from them. People need to realise that being open isn't the same as being weak."

- Taylor Swift

Monday, May 07, 2012

gender and morality

Now Playing: 'Decode' by Paramore

What is the impact of gender on morality and moral development?

According to Kohlberg's work, females were initially thought to be slower in moral development tha males. This was completely dissed by Kohlberg's female colleague Gilligan, who said that Kohlberg's work (which was primarily centred around young, educated, Western males) and the concept of justice in general is severely male-oriented, and that women show equal or greater moral development in more feminine topics, such as pregnancy. It has since been suggested that male moral development is justice-oriented and female morale development is care-oriented.

Hmm. Food for thought.

I happen to talk to a lot of boys. I also happen to talk to a lot of boys in psych class. And because we go to a nerd school, we always pose random dilemmas to each other, like our views on abortion and euthanaesia and stuff. And I must agree with Gilligan.

I used to think that I had a very strong sense of justice; but now that I think of it, I am super soft. It doesn't take much to make my heart just melt. I am also much more likely to be more sympathetic on moral dilemmas, especially compared to my male colleagues who have said, amongst other things 'I think I'd go crazy if I had twins', 'I'd make her sign a contract cancelling any parental responsibility before sleeping with her' and 'I think I'd give up my Down Syndrome kid for adoption'. Harsh, yes, but it's honest teenage opinion. It will change, I am sure, as they get older and wiser (and cuter? Stubble?)  but nonetheless the men I know are not prone to be very sentimental about things that aren't particularly close or relevant to them.

I'm not saying that I'm weak and mushy and they're cold and heartless. It's important to have the two elements to balance out each other. Because, after all, the law is written in cold hard words and we're not robots; but we do need people to sometimes make the hard decisions.

So my verdict?


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