How does female thinking differ from male thinking according to Carol Gilligan?

Carol Gilligan, was a psychological theorist, born on Nov 28, 1936, in New York City and pursued her doctorate degree in social psychology from Harvard University. She stated that women face a lot of psychological challenges and that their point of view on moral development involves caring which shows its effect on human relationships.

According to Carol Gilligan’s theory of moral development, changes occur due to the change of self rather than critical thinking. It was stated that the Post-conventional level of Kohlberg is not attained by women. But Carol Gilligan researched and found that the post-conventional level of thinking is not easy for women, because they care for the relationships.

Levels of Thinking

Carol Gilligan states that the post-conventional level of moral thinking can be dealt based on the two types of thinking.

  • The care-based morality (usually found in women)

  • The justice based morality (usually found in men)

Care Based Morality

Care-based morality is the kind of thinking found in women. This is based on the following principles.

  • More emphasis is given to inter-connected relationships and universality

  • Acting justly, mainly focuses on avoidance of violence

  • Mainly interested in helping others

  • More common in girls because of their closeness to their mothers

  • Because girls remain connected to their mothers, they are less inclined to worry about issues of fairness

Justice-Based Morality

Justice-based morality is the kind of thinking found in men. This is based on the following principles.

  • They view the world as being composed of autonomous individuals who interact with one another.

  • Acting justly means avoiding inequality.

  • Mainly interested in protecting individuality.

  • Thought to be more common among boys because of their need to differentiate between themselves and their mothers.

  • Because they are separated from their mothers, boys become more concerned with the concept of inequality.