Study says women think as rationally as men
Researchers have found that when it comes to moral decisions, women are no less cognitive than men when it comes weighing options. But according to new research published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, women also are more likely to have a gut-level negative reaction to causing harm to an individual.
Overall, though, the researchers concluded that contrary to conventional wisdom, women are not less rational or more emotional when making those decisions.
The data used in this meta-analysis came from 6,100 people answering 20 questions about various moral dilemmas. A wide array of decisions were studied, including murder, lying, and animal research. Researchers classified rational thoughts as cognitive evaluations of action outcomes, and emotional feelings as affective responses to harmful actions. Researchers found that in situations of harming one person for the benefit of a community, men and women responded similarly cognitively, but women had a stronger emotional response to causing harm than men did.
Researchers concluded that there was no gender difference when it came to utilitarian reasoning, but that women did experience more feelings of empathy when it came to harm.