Women and morality

I think this short essay puts it quite well.

“Are women naturally amoral?”

I am not sure of the exact evolutionary argument used in that essay, but I think there is a real sex difference in moral reasoning that needs explanation. I would say not that women are amoral but that their morality is teleological (utilitarian) rather than deontological.

A close female relative once said, in a moment of insight, that women cannot afford strict ethics because they generally have children to consider.

In any case, there are two points that seem clear to me. One is that the truly astonishing rate at which many Western women have recently descended into slutty behaviour, slovenly dress and an easy willingness to seek abortions becomes less surprising once one recognises that women do not generate their own morality internally, but rather, typically, adopt the morality of the crowd. The second point is that putting women in positions of religious authority is obviously liable to lead rapidly to the promotion of moral error. The performance of female bishops in the Anglican Communion has already shown this.

The best women are generally those who follow the norms of a patriarchal religion.

Incidentally, studies have shown a truly extraordinary correlation between a father’s religious practices and those his children eventually adopt, and very little correlation with the mother’s.

 

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4 responses to this post.

  1. I have never thought of it in this perspective. women do not develop morality internally but adopt morality standards from the crowd…So insightful.

    Reply

  2. […] Women and Morality  Women are not little, emotionally driven, amoral faeries that men must repel or appease in order to survive. Women can attain virtue- should attain virtue and like men will have to stand before God and face judgment. Women however, have different duties than men and seem to approach morality differently as well: “I would say not that women are amoral but that their morality is teleological (utilitarian) rather than deontological. . .  women do not generate their own morality internally, but rather, typically, adopt the morality of the crowd. The second point is that putting women in positions of religious authority is obviously liable to lead rapidly to the promotion of moral error. . . Incidentally, studies have shown a truly extraordinary correlation between a father’s religious practices and those his children eventually adopt, and very little correlation with the mother’s.” […]

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  3. Posted by RichardP on September 9, 2016 at 10:00 pm

    I have a book in my library, read long ago, that references research done on the differences between the sexes in how moral positions are developed and adopted. There are indeed differences based on sex. In general terms (don’t have time to locate the studies now), the studies found that women’s morality is based on assuring the survival of the group (utilitarian) whereas men’s morality is based on much more idealistic concepts. For women, the first group to protect with their morality is the mother and her children. And then the other mothers and their children that make up her social circle. And then outward from there to all mothers and children. For women, getting resources for her children is a most moral behavior, regardless of how it is accomplished (to include hypergamy and branch swinging).

    Rudyard Kipling knew all of this even before the official studies were done. From his poem “The Female of the Species (is more deadly than the male):

    http://www.potw.org/archive/potw96.html

    SHE is wedded to convictions—in default of grosser ties;
    Her contentions are her children, Heaven help him who denies!—

    Where, at war with Life and Conscience, HE uplifts his erring hands
    To some God of Abstract Justice—which no woman understands.

    And Man knows it! Knows, moreover, that the Woman that God gave him
    Must command but may not govern—shall enthral but not enslave him.

    For a concrete example of the differences,note the current debate in the United States over deporting ililegal immigrants. Many men embrace the abstract concept of “citizenship”, and are perfectly willing to break up families by deporting the illegal immigrants in an effort to protect that concept. Most women I’ve been exposed to take the opposite approach, that it would be immoral to break up families by deporting the illegal immigrants just because of some “silly” concept of citizenship.

    And thereby demonstrate why men are the keepers of society. They work to keep out those whose motive is to take resources without contributing anything in return. Women, not so much. (See Europe in 2016, Germany in particular.)

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  4. Posted by RichardP on September 9, 2016 at 10:25 pm

    The fundamental question facing mankind: “Given that we are going to live together as a society, how then shall we live our lives?

    The linked article errs in what it considers morals. Morals are the answers to the question “how then shall we live our lives?” Men create morals. But so do women create morals, quite independently of men. The research referenced in my other post highlights this fact. Men may not like the morals that women create. Many men may not even understand, and so therefore cannot apprehend, the morals that women create. But the things that exist are not limited to only those things I can aprehend. I would be foolish to insist that this were so. So it is with women and morals.

    Women may not abide by the morals men create – particularly because, like Kipling’s female, they lack the ability to understand man’s God of Abstract Justice. But to label women amoral, lacking in morals, is to shout loudly the fact that the man really truely does not know what it means to be a woman.

    Whose morals better serve society is a different question, requiring a different discussion. But the global answer is that men don’t need morals that serve the birthing and raising of children, and women don’t need morals that govern the taking down of the woolly mamoth. Each to his own, as his need may be.

    Interesting how that works.

    Here’s a start for those interested in following up on gender differences in moral judgements.

    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/26787145_Gender-related_differences_in_moral_judgments

    Reply

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