Psychological Self-Help

Navigation bar
  Home Print document View PDF document Start Previous page
 21 of 49 
Next page End Contents 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26  

Women: 62% have a care focus; 38% have a justice focus; 23% have
justice absent; 8% have care absent (92% have some care). 
One conclusion: if all our values are to be accurately represented in
Congress and the legislatures, half of our representatives should be
women. We need their emphasis on caring.
Gilligan illustrates how males and females see the world
differently, starting at an early age. Consider the moral dilemma
mentioned above of the dying patient and the profit-making druggist.
She quotes an 11-year-old male, Jake, who reasons that life is more
important than profit, so the husband should steal the medicine.
However, an 11-year-old female, Amy, sees the problem as the
druggist's lack of sensitivity to the dying patient's needs. She doesn't
reason, as Jake does, in terms of the businessman's rights or the
husband's moral obligation to steal. Amy simply concludes that the
husband shouldn't steal "because it's not right" and the wife shouldn't
die either, so all three people will have to talk it over and reach an
understanding. Jake and Amy obviously think about the dilemma
differently. Unfortunately, the male moral development theorists, like
Kohlberg, would probably consider Amy's answer inferior to Jake's.
Indeed, she almost sidesteps the examiner's question: "Should he
steal the drug?" To her, that isn't the issue. Instead, she concentrates
on finding better ways via relationships, not power, to get the drug.
Gilligan, a female moral development theorist, considers both Jake's
and Amy's views valuable. Jake relies on individual action (stealing) to
avoid a personal confrontation. He sees the situation as an impersonal
conflict of individual rights rather than a conflict of personal needs.
Jake uses logic (life above profit) and the law (the judge will
understand) to decide who is right. Amy is less concerned than Jake
with who is most right but seeks a practical solution that will hurt no
one very much. Her solution depends on people relating and caring for
each other. 
Keep in mind that boys must gain their masculine identification by
separating from mother, while girls attach and take on the
characteristics of mother. Thus, for this reason and others, males may
tend to see danger in connecting with others--in getting too close or
too dependent on someone or in confronting someone. Doing battle in
court is more a man's style. Females may see danger in disconnecting
with others--in loneliness or successful advancement or rejection.
Intimacy is scary to males but a source of security to females.
Autonomy is scary to females but a source of pride to males. To males,
human relationships are seen as a hierarchy based on power and
status; they want to climb to the top and feel afraid if others get too
close to them (the sociobiologists point out the similarity of this view
to the male struggle for sexual dominance in many species). Most men
do not have an intimate relationship with a male nor an intimate non-
Previous page Top Next page

« Back