Feminist Thought and Ethics of Care

972 words 4 pages
While ethics theories often focus on justice, care, an "equally valid moral perspective," is usually disregarded because of male bias. The two perspectives are often pleasant-sounding, but a need for care point of view precedence exists. While truth is evident in both these statements, the problem of distinguishing between them becomes apparent soon after. Many feminist look to psychologist Carol Gilligan's research for evidence to confirm the difference between characteristically male and female approaches to moral decision making. Her research illustrated how men almost unfailingly focus on justice when making moral decisions and women use justice and care in equal proportions in their moral judgments. While men and women take different …show more content…
This perspective has hints of Utilitarianism and Kant in it. If these theories are invoked, though, a duty to care or a greatest utility resulting from care dimension is also part of the equation. This pokes holes in Rigterink's interpretation of his findings (Barcalow, p.201).
Is there a difference between the moral language and logic of males and females?
Does sex or gender play a difference in moral reasoning?
Variety of qualities that characterize male and female ethics.
Men: talk in terms of hurting and benefiting others, reasoning they ought to do that which helped the people involved in a particular case at hand. The moral realm then in many ways be similar to the public domain of law and contract. The primary obligation is not to act unfairly; impartiality and respectfulness are key virtues.
Women: Morality is highly personal. It is the private and personal natural relations of family and friends that the model for other relations. The primary moral obligation is to prevent harm and to help people and not to turn away from those is need. Caring and compassion are key virtues.
According to Kohlberg, the highest stage of moral development was supposed to be the stage in which an adult can be governed not by social pressure but by personal moral principles and a sense of justice. Kohlberg, found that women did not often reach this stage of development. He thus judged them to be morally underdeveloped or morally deficient.
Freud believed

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