Moral pride, more intense in girls than in boys? | Journal of Moral Education | 2019
“Studies on gender differences in other self-conscious emotions experienced in the moral sphere, such as guilt and shame, have found that, like empathy, these emotions are felt more intensely by women in different age groups, a finding which has important implications for their moral functioning (Benetti-McQuoid & Bursik, 2005; Etxebarria, Ortiz, Conejero, & Pascual, 2009; Tangney & Dearing, 2002; Walter & Burnaford, 2006). Is the same true of moral pride? More specifically, do girls report their experience of authentic moral pride as more intense than boys?... If the answer is yes, then this would indicate the presence of a weaker intrinsic reinforcement of moral behavior in boys, thus pointing to the need to pay more attention to this emotion (as well as empathy and guilt, for example) in their moral education, both at school and in the family environment.
Whatever the case, there is, as yet, no firm evidence to indicate that girls feel more authentic moral pride than boys, at least not in the context studied, namely Basque society, whose social parameters are comparable with those of most European countries with a medium-to-high economic and social development, especially as regards gender equality (EUSTAT, 2016)…. Our efforts in the social field, and in particular in the educational realm, should therefore focus on fostering moral sensitivity among boys (although obviously without overlooking girls) and defending everyone’s right, be they male or female, to feel any emotion, both weak and strong, especially when they are justified by one’s own actions and fulfill an important function in those actions, as is the case with moral pride.