Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 134, Issue 2, pp 199–208 | Cite as

Influence of Biological Sex and Gender Roles on Ethicality

  • Damodar SuarEmail author
  • Jyotiranjan Gochhayat


Earlier evidence predominantly supports that women are more ethical than men. With the replication of such a hypothesis for testing, this study further examined whether feminine gender roles are a better predictor of ethical attitudes, ethical behaviors, and corporate responsibility values than the biological sex. Four hundred ten management students from two technical institutes in eastern India participated in this study. Along with the socio-demographic variables in the questionnaire, inventories were used to assess gender roles, ethical attitudes, ethical behaviors, and corporate responsibility values. The inventories had acceptable reliability and validity. The results suggested that when the confounding effects of age, caste, and rural/urban origin are controlled, women manifest higher corporate responsibility values than men, but they embody similar ethical attitudes and ethical behaviors as men. Furthermore, the feminine roles of the participants were found to be more consistent, potent, and direct predictors of ethical attitudes, ethical behaviors, and corporate responsibility values than the biological sex. Hence, individuals with feminine roles may be better suited for ethical responsibilities.


Corporate responsibility values Ethical behaviors Feminine roles Biological sex Gender roles 



The authors are grateful to Alex Michalos, Editor in Chief, and the anonymous reviewers for their constructive criticisms and suggestions to improve the quality of the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Indian Institute of Technology KharagpurKharagpurIndia

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