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MORAL REASONING OF BOYS AND GIRLS IN SOLUTIONS OF CONFLICT SITUATIONS

Š. Ferková, A. Nagyová, J. Záhorec

Comenius University in Bratislava (SLOVAKIA)
Society, school, or family, which isn’t based on basic moral values and principles can’t proceed progressively. Moral decay of modern society and the increase of social-pathological phenomena lead us to examine the moral reasoning of children and adults. In paper we present partial results of applied research focused on comparing of the moral reasoning of boys and girls in solving of conflict situations. The theoretical part of the article is based on the theory C. Gilligan, whose studies were focused on women's moral reasoning. We used the Test of moral reasoning, which was created by modifying the original standardized Czech Test of moral maturity of personality (Kotásková, Vajda, 1983). The test contains seven stories focused on common conflict situations between children. Boys and girls solved these conflict situations from the position of participant of the conflict as well as from the position of the observer. The stories were focused on aggression against the person, aggression against things, on lie and theft. The respondents of the survey were students aged 10-13 years (n = 283), boys (n=155) and girls (n=128). We were interested in incidence of the elements of prosocial behavior, aggression, independent solutions without the help of an adult, the pursuit of revenge, avoidance of conflict resolution or helplessness. The result of the test is to distinguish moral reasoning of boys and girls, which represent the three main categories of solutions of conflict situations: constructive, passive and destructive. The results indicate a higher score of suggested destructive and passive solutions in terms of boys. Significantly most frequent occurrence of the proposed solutions was generally among both - boys and girls in the category of passive solution of conflict situation, even boys significantly higher (n = 974) than girls (n = 761). The results suggest that both - boys and girls tend to report the situation to the teacher or parent and expect to assume responsibility of the solution of conflict situation of someone else. Statistical analysis of the results didn't demonstrate a statistically significant difference between boys and girls in suggested constructive solutions of conflict situations. Although the results are not statistically significant, more constructive solutions proposed boys (n = 623) than girls (n = 612). The results create a space for the development, integration and implementation of programs focused on development of moral competences of students.

Acknowledgement:
This paper was supported by grant KEGA 026UK-4/2015 from the Grant Agency of Ministry of Education, Science, Research of the Slovak Republic.