Sunday, November 30, 2008

Ethics and gender (by Suzie)

       The Associated Press reports on a survey by the Josephson Institute on lying, cheating and stealing among U.S. high school students.  
       Boys came out looking worse. By statistically significant margins, more boys agreed with these statements: "In the real world, successful people do what they have to do to win, even if others consider it cheating." "A person has to lie or cheat sometimes in order to succeed." "People who are willing to lie, cheat, or break the rules are more likely to succeed than people who are not." More girls thought: "Being a good person is more important than being rich." "It's not worth it to lie or cheat because it hurts your character." Yet, boys and girls scored pretty much the same when asked how they rated compared with other people they know.  
        The AP asked whether kids these days are worse than kids in the olden days. As usual, no one asked questions about gender differences, such as: Why do boys appear to be less ethical than girls? What implications does this have for girls in school, the workplace and their personal lives?  
        Think of politics, in which men still dominate the upper echelons. What may seem like playing the game to some people may seem unethical to others.