The Construction of Moral Dilemmas in Everyday Life

Journal of Moral Education 29 (1):5-21 (2000)
Abstract
This study investigated the extent to which people interpret real-life moral dilemmas in terms of an internal moral orientation, as Gilligan (1982, 1988) has suggested, or in terms of the content of the dilemma, as Wark and Krebs (1996, 1997) have reported. Thirty women and 30 men listed the issues they saw in descriptions of real-life prosocial, antisocial and social pressure types of moral dilemma. Results revealed that Gilligan's model underestimates the influence of dilemma content. Moral dilemmas differed in the extent to which they were viewed in terms of the same issues by different participants. There was relatively little within-person consistency in moral orientation. There were four gender differences. Compared to men, women rated social pressure dilemmas as involving more care-orientated issues, and prosocial dilemmas as more significant. Compared to women, men viewed all dilemmas as involving more justice-based issues, and reported experiencing more antisocial dilemmas
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