Why women are more moral (especially if they're over 30)
00:17 GMT, 16 April 2012
Morally superior: Women over 30 were found to be more moral than men (file photo)
In the battle for the moral high ground, it seems we have a winner at last.
A leading philosopher has claimed that women are more moral than men.
Professor Roger Steare developed the
‘Moral DNA’ test four years ago to measure both a person’s morality and
the changes in their value systems when they enter the workplace.
Since then 60,000 volunteers have
taken the questionnaire in more than 200 countries, ranging from chief
executives to manual workers and housewives.
Professor Steare said the results show that your gender and age are most likely to influence your morality – with women and the over-thirties proving the ‘most moral’.
Those taking the test are asked to rate a series of statements about their personal and work life – for example, whether their colleagues or family would say they were ‘honest’ or ‘competent’.
They then have to evaluate assertions about themselves, such as ‘I always honour people’s trust in me’ and ‘I am good at exercising self-control’. Those taking part then receive a report naming them as one of six personality types – Philosopher, Judge, Angel, Teacher, Enforcer or Guardian.
Professor Steare said the volunteers’ responses revealed their ‘ethics of obedience, care, and reason’ – qualities he believes lie at the heart of decision-making and therefore morality.
Professor Steare. who advises bluechip and FTSE 100 companies including HSBC and BP on how to combine profitability with the ethics of care, said: ‘The differences that emerged between men and women are valuable when we look at decision-making in the workplace.
‘Women prefer to make their decisions based on how it impacts others – which tends to produce better decisions – while men have a more individual approach and are more self-interested.
Mr Moral: Professor Roger Steare quizzed 6,000 people in more than 200 countries
‘What this shows is that when it comes to work men have to grow up, put their ego to one side and show some humility and compassion – qualities they all too often have in their personal lives but put to one side when they walk into the office.’
And he revealed that as we get older, we also appear to become more moral.
‘What stood out from the answers was that obedience decreased with age, while reason increased – a logical occurrence as we make the transition from youth to experience,’ he added.
‘Interestingly the crossover point occurs around our mid-thirties, which is when we mature as adults.
‘That process then continues until our early sixties, when we’re at the peak of our intellectual and moral powers – yet sadly the age people often end up leaving the workplace.’
To take the MoralDNA test visit www.moraldna.org.