COMMENTARY | According to The Telegraph, a four-year study conducted by professor Roger Steare was conducted through a quiz titled Moral DNA and involved approximately 60,000 volunteers from 200 countries.
The questions focused on home life and work, and results were used to determine the moral character of not only the sexes but also for different age groups. Perhaps most interesting is the determination of older people having a higher moral character -- peaking at about 60 years for most people. Although that number is still a tiny leap away for me, I believe it. Anyone over 30 can surely remember when we thought time was on our side and all that mattered was what we wanted.
Perhaps the most interesting attribute of Steare's study is how participants are categorized as philosopher, judge, angel, teacher, enforcer or guardian. (Surprisingly, I came up as an "angel," or a possible "teacher." I didn't see that one coming, either.) With a participant's results, each category is broken down to the category's description, strengths and weaknesses. During the test, participants are reminded to answer each question honestly.
Can these results be relied on? While this study is interesting -- as are the results -- perhaps the study's greatest weakness is the possibility of exaggerated answers or a limited understanding of how others honestly see us. Probably anyone can name at least one person they know who behaves as if everyone loves them while the truth is quite the opposite.
Regardless of how honest the answers given, or even any individual's ability to accurately perceive their relationships with others, the main point to remember with studies like these is that we're only talking in general terms. No matter how great the percentage of men or women rate as immoral or moral, we all still deserve to be treated as individuals.
Steare is probably conducting the study with the best of intentions -- after all he has consulted for a variety of big names in times past -- but the wisdom of conducting a study which might lead to any entire group of people being written off as "immoral" must be questioned. My verdict: Every single human alive can be good and everyone of us can just as easily be bad.
- Society & Culture