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Woman are more moral than men, survey says

Hannah Furness
16 April 2012

The study, which measured responses to questions about honesty and competency, showed females are more likely to make decisions based on how they impact on others.

It also suggest the moral compass of both men and women alters with age, become less obedient but more able to use reason, until they reach a "peak of our intellectual and moral powers" in early 60s, according to a leading philosopher.

[Related feature: How your personality affects your memory]


Professor Roger Steare based his conclusions on a “Moral DNA test,” which he developed four years ago to measure changes in people’s value systems.

Around 60,000 volunteers across 200 countries have already taken the quiz, encompassing a variety of jobs and social status to help understand what influences morality.

Participants were asked to make statements about their work and home lives, including judgments on whether those around them would consider them honest.

They then rated statements such as “I am good at exercising self-control” and “I always honour people’s trust in me” to establish their results.

Finally, they were labelled as one of six personality types: philosopher; judge; angel; teacher; enforcer; or guardian.

Professor Steare told the Daily Mail: “Women prefer to make their decisions based on how it impacts others – which tends to produce better decisions – while men have a more individual approach and are more self-interested.

‘What this shows is that when it comes to work men have to grow up, put their ego to one side and show some humility and compassion – qualities they all too often have in their personal lives but put to one side when they walk into the office.”

The “corporate philosopher”, who has advised HSBC, PwC and BP about their cultures, added human beings also appeared to get more moral with age.

He said: “What stood out from the answers was that obedience decreased with age, while reason increased – a logical occurrence as we make the transition from youth to experience,’ he added.

"Interestingly the crossover point occurs around our mid-thirties, which is when we mature as adults.

"That process then continues until our early sixties, when we’re at the peak of our intellectual and moral powers.

The MoralDNA test is available online, at www.moraldna.org

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