GENDER AND AGE DIFFERENCES IN THE TWO-DIMENSION MODEL OF UTILITARIANISM

Alexandra MAFTEI

Abstract


Although most studies exploring utilitarianism focused on moral dilemmas, a two dimensional model (2 D) was conceptualized by Kahane et al. (2018) in order to assess both positive and negative sides of utilitarianism, namely instrumental harm (IH) and impartial beneficence (IB). Within this theoretical framework, the Oxford Utilitarian Scale (OUS) was used to explore gender and age difference in a sample of Romanian adolescents, for both IH and IB dimensions. Our results revealed an important age effect on both IH and IB, but no significant gender effect, contrary to previous findings. Younger male participants scored higher than the older ones in both utilitarian dimensions. Possible explanations are discussed within Gilligan’s care versus justice theory (1982).

DIFERENȚE DE VÂRSTĂ ȘI GEN ÎN MODELUL BIDIMENSIONAL AL UTILITARIANISMULUI

Deși majoritatea studiilor care explorează utilitarismul se axează pe dilemele morale, un model bidimensional (2 D) a fost conceptualizat de Kahane et al. (2018), pentru a evalua atât aspectele pozitive, cât și cele negative ale utilitaris­mului, și anume – răul instrumental (IH) și impartialitatea (IB). În acest cadru teoretic, Scala utilitarianistă Oxford (OUS) a fost utilizată pentru a explora diferența de gen și vârstă într-un eșantion de adolescenți români, atât pentru dimensiunile IH, cât și pentru IB. Rezultatele noastre au arătat un efect important al vârstei atât asupra IH, cât și asupra IB, dar nu și un efect semnificativ al genului, contrar constatărilor științifice anterioare. Participanții mai tineri, de gen masculin, au obținut scoruri mai ridicate la ambele dimensiuni ale utilitarianismului, comparativ cu participanții mai în vârstă. Posibile explicații sunt discutate prin prisma teoriei formulate de Gilligan (1982).


Keywords


utilitarianism, instrumental harm, impartial beneficence, gender, age.

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References


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