Three studies recently released brought a new twist to that age-old competition, man vs. woman–the question of generosity and charitable giving.

The series of studies, published in the August 2009 Journal of Consumer Research, examined how men and women gave to victims of Katrina and the South Asian tsunami, as well as how they gave to victims of terrorism in London and Iraq. The result was a significant difference in the male and female approach to charitable giving.

The authors of the study used the term “moral identity” to describe the extent to which “notions of being moral are central and important to one’s self-identity.” While men who had a strong moral identity were more inclined to donate to Katrina victims and London terrorism victims, women who identified equally with their moral center were more likely to give to Katrina and tsunami victims, London and Iraqi victims. Women were more likely to focus on communal goals, and men more likely to focus on the self.

Interesting stuff. Personally, I feel fortunate in my friends and family and would consider them equally generous in their charitable giving, bridging the so-called gender gap. However, I’ve long since wondered about the concept of national boundaries, identification with and empathy for our neighboring countries, and whether there should still exist a place in our hearts and minds for any type of distinction (I don’t believe so).

I’d never considered gender to be a factor in these questions, so these studies bring about a new facet to my ruminations.

What do you think? Do you find a distinct difference in charitable giving in your household based on gender?

Subscribe to receive updates from Everyday Ethics or follow us on Twitter!
 

More from Beliefnet and our partners
previous posts

Thank you for visiting Everyday Ethics. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here are some other blogs you may also enjoy: Idol Chatter Most Recent Inspiration blog post Happy Reading!

Internet activist and New York Times bestselling author of The Filter Bubble: What the Internet Is Hiding from You, Eli Pariser is concerned that information gatekeepers of the past (i.e. editors/reporters) have been replaced by algorithms that individually tailor information based upon a host of variables that are being collected from you with or without your […]

Coca-cola has been accused of “propping up a notorious Swaziland dictator” whose human rights abuses and bilking of the national wealth has long been criticized by human rights activists. According to Guardian UK reporter David Smith**, Swaziland’s King Mswati III is Africa’s last absolute monarch whose personal wealth is gleaned in part from taxes paid […]

I know it’s become popular, but I’ve become suspect of using traditional goal-setting strategies and business process techniques to change personal habits and pursue a meaningful life. While I can admit that there’s something invigorating–even exciting–about casting a new vision, writing that list of goals and objectives and getting a fresh start, I also know […]