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The greater common good

india Updated: Apr 17, 2012 21:48 IST

Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

It seems that the man versus woman debate will never cease to excite people. And it would also seem that there is still something left to unravel when it comes to the two sexes. A new study by British philosopher Roger Steare has come to the conclusion that women are more ethical than men.

The study, based on a ‘Moral DNA Test’, measured responses to questions about honesty and competence, found women to be more moral than men. The study, which was done over a period of four years and had 60,000 volunteers from more than 200 countries, ranging from chief executives to manual workers and housewives, showed that women prefer to make their decisions based on how it impacts others while men have a more individual approach and are more focused on themselves.

Even though there may be many supporters of this result, the truth is that generalisations can never give an honest picture. Besides is there any perfect definition of morality? Say, for example, the good old story of Robin Hood, that heroic outlaw in English folklore.

What would we call him? Morally bankrupt or a model for fair play? Then there are, of course, the women politicians in India and their love for things material. Ah, pit them against any men and they will win hands down. The study also says that even among women the ones above 30 are more moral than the younger ones.

While this could be a good barometer for HR divisions of offices, this brings us to the main question: who’s Prof Steare? He is a ‘corporate philosopher’ who advises executives who regularly face critical decision-making. Well, as critical as this!