Testing Kohlberg's Theory of Moral Development for Gender Bias

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Testing Kohlberg's Theory of Moral Development for Gender Bias Testing Kohlberg's Theory of Moral Development for Gender Bias Introduction Building upon Piaget's moral development model, which suggests that children around the ages of 10 or 11 transition from a rule-based morality to one that is more relativistic, Kohlberg concluded in his 1958 doctoral dissertation that there were at least five stages of moral development (Crain, 1985). According to Kohlberg, the maturation from one stage to the next was not controlled by genetics, cultural norms, or socialization per se, but driven by activities that challenged personal moral assumptions. Therefore transitioning from one stage to the next, according Kohlberg, did not occur at specific ages, yet were invariant in sequence. Kohlberg's model of moral development made three assumptions (Krebs and Denton, 2005). First, identifying the moral stage a person inhabits depends on how maturely they reason through a philosophical moral dilemma. Second, a person's moral orientation is organized in the form of holistic structures, which implies that a person's moral orientation will be consistent across innumerable moral dilemmas. And third, this structure is replaced by new structures as the person matures to the next stages of moral development. In addition, Kohlberg conceded that transitions from one stage to the next could occur gradually so that a person could be scored as inhabiting two stages at the same time. Kohlberg

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