Boston Globe, Sun Jun 24 2012
By: Ruth Graham
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In the 1970s, Carol Gilligan made a sweeping, forceful argument that psychology had systematically ignored women in trying to answer questions about how humans make ethical judgments, and claimed the existence and importance of a “different voice”—feminine, emotional, relationship-oriented—in moral reasoning.
Gilligan’s book “In a Different Voice” became an immediate sensation. Before writing the book, she had worked with Lawrence Kohlberg, a social psychologist from Harvard University. In her book, Gilligan claimed that Kohlberg’s work portrayed women as less developed in terms of moral reasoning.
In the mid-1980s UBC developmental psychologist Lawrence Walker conducted a literature review examining gender in 80 studies using Kohlberg’s moral-development scale; 86 percent showed no significant differences between the genders. In every case where researchers controlled for occupation or education, the differences disappeared.