Moral Reasoning and Homosexuality: The acceptability of arguments about lesbian and gay issues

Journal of Moral Education 31 (4):455-467 (2002)
Abstract
In the political arena, lesbian and gay issues have been contested typically on grounds of human rights, but with variable success. Using a moral developmental framework, the purpose of this study was to explore preferences for different types of moral arguments when thinking about moral dilemmas around lesbian and gay issues. The analysis presented here comprised data collected from 545 students at UK universities who completed a questionnaire, part of which comprised a moral dilemma task. Findings of the study showed that respondents do not apply moral reasoning consistently, and do not (clearly) favour human rights reasoning when thinking about lesbian and gay issues. Respondents tended to favour reasoning supporting existing social structures and frameworks, therefore this study highlights the importance of structural change in effecting widespread attitude change in relation to lesbian and gay rights issues. The implications of the findings for moral education are also discussed
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