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date: 17 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Morality and gender are intersecting realms of human thought and behavior. Reasoning and action at their intersection (e.g., views of women’s rights legislation) carry important consequences for societies, communities, and individual lives. In this chapter, the authors argue that children’s developing views of morality and gender reciprocally shape one another in important and underexplored ways. The chapter begins with a brief history of psychological theory and research at the intersection of morality and gender and suggests reasons for the historical failure to view gender attitudes through moral lenses. The authors then describe reasons for expecting morality to play an important role in shaping children’s developing gender attitudes and, reciprocally, for gender attitudes to play an important role in shaping children’s developing moral values. The authors next illustrate the importance and relevance of these ideas by discussing two topics at the center of contentious debate in the United States concerning ethical policy and practice: treatment of gender nonconformity and gender-segregated schooling. The chapter concludes with suggestions for future research.

Keywords: gender attitudes, gender nonconformity, gender stereotyping, moral values, children

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