Gender differences in moral judgment and the evaluation of gender-specified moral agents

Article


Capraro, V. and Sippel, J. 2017. Gender differences in moral judgment and the evaluation of gender-specified moral agents. Cognitive Processing. 18 (4), pp. 399-405. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10339-017-0822-9
TypeArticle
TitleGender differences in moral judgment and the evaluation of gender-specified moral agents
AuthorsCapraro, V. and Sippel, J.
Abstract

Whether, and if so, how exactly gender differences are manifested in moral judgment has recently been at the center of much research on moral decision making. Previous research suggests that women are more deontological than men in personal, but not impersonal, moral dilemmas. However, typical personal and impersonal moral dilemmas differ along two dimensions: personal dilemmas are more emotionally salient than impersonal ones and involve a violation of Kant’s practical imperative that humans must never be used as a mere means, but only as ends. Thus, it remains unclear whether the reported gender difference is due to emotional salience or to the violation of the practical imperative. To answer this question, we explore gender differences in three moral dilemmas: a typical personal dilemma, a typical impersonal dilemma, and an intermediate dilemma, which is not as emotionally salient as typical personal moral dilemmas, but contains an equally strong violation of Kant’s practical imperative. While we replicate the result that women tend to embrace deontological ethics more than men in personal, but not impersonal, dilemmas, we find no gender differences in the intermediate situation. This suggests that gender differences in these type of dilemmas are driven by emotional salience, and not by the violation of the practical imperative. Additionally, we also explore whether people think that women should behave differently than men in these dilemmas. Across all three dilemmas, we find no statistically significant differences about how people think men and women should behave.

LanguageEnglish
PublisherSpringer
JournalCognitive Processing
ISSN1612-4782
Publication dates
Online09 Jun 2017
Print01 Nov 2017
Publication process dates
Deposited26 Nov 2018
Accepted01 Jun 2017
Output statusPublished
Accepted author manuscript
Copyright Statement

This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in Cognitive Processing. The final authenticated version is available online at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10339-017-0822-9

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1007/s10339-017-0822-9
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