The study that described the differences in the way that boys and girls view morality is that of Carol Gilligan. She argued that traditional moral development theory, which was based only on research with boys, was inadequate and that girls had a different moral orientation. Gilligan’s theory of gender differences in moral motivation holds that women tend to be more relational and emphasize responsibility and care, while men tend to be more individualistic and emphasize rights and justice.
Gilligan conducted a study of adolescent women and boys to determine gender differences in moral motivation. She found that adolescent girls had a much more caring and compassionate view of morality than boys, who viewed morality as a system of rights and responsibilities. In a later study, she found that girls were less likely to prescribe punishment or blame for moral transgressions than boys. She concluded that girls tended to be more deontological in their moral judgments, focusing on the motivations behind the act rather than just the outcome.
This research has had far-reaching implications for gender equality in the field of morality. It has led to changes in the way we think about morality and how we teach kids about morality from a female perspective. It has also provided insight into the different ways boys and girls view moral dilemmas and how they think about moral responsibility. This research has helped us understand why boys and girls may have fundamentally different views of morality and how to bridge that gap.