Feminist Approach to Moral Decision Making Essay

1152 Words 5 Pages
Feminist Approach to Moral Decision Making

While ethics theories often focus on justice, care, an "equally valid moral perspective," is usually disregarded because of male bias (Sterba, p. 52). The two perspectives are often harmonious, 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
…show more content…
The shift in moral perspective is manifest by a change in the moral question from 'What is just?' to 'How to respond?'" (cited in Sterba p.52). The female moral perspective of care concerns feelings and emotions like love, sympathy, and compassion. This sentiment is lacking in many moral theories and reveals the prevalent male bias, according to Sterba and Gilligan.
Some critics question the distinction Gilligan makes between justice and care perspectives and others attempt to validly illustrate her ideas. Roger Rigterink does just this. He uses a real life example he feels illustrates the difference between justice and care perspectives. In 1988, a hunter killed a rare white crow in Wisconsin. Many people were upset like Jo Ann Munson who said, "I was angry about it when I first heard of it and I still am. I don't understand why someone feels the need to shoot a bird like that. It should have been left in the wild for all of us to enjoy" (cited in Barcalow, p. 200). Holing to his side of the story, the hunter stated, "I'm a hunter, its fair game. The opportunity presented itself. People blow these things out of context…I had been seeing it for a long time. I wanted it for a trophy" (cited in Barcalow, p. 200). After relating the story, Rigterink solicited responses form his students. Many said the hunter was justified in his actions because no laws prohibited

Related Documents