Undergraduate Psychology Research Methods Journal


In 1982, Carol Gilligan tested Kohlberg’s theory of moral reasoning claiming that his research favored men. Lawrence Kohlberg limited his research to studying 75 boys from adolescents through young adulthood (Kohlberg, 1981). His theory of moral reasoning stemmed from that research. The purpose of this project was to test Carol Gilligan’s claims that women have different moral tendencies than men. The hypothesis for this study was that there would be measurable differences between the way men and women judge different scenarios. The survey used for this study was the Defining Issues Test 2 which included demographic information created by James Rest in 1975. Statistical significance was found in the difference between men and women in their moral tendencies. This was distinguished by comparing the participants’ genders and type indicator. The results of this study supported Carol Gilligan’s claim that women and men do indeed have different moral tendencies. It was found that men and women approach moral scenarios in a different manner.

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