Women's Decision-Making: Common Themes-- Irish Voices

By Nancy W. Veeder | Go to book overview

1
Introduction: Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

Though we see the same world, we see it through different eyes. Any help we can give you must be different from that you can give yourselves, and perhaps the value of that help may lie in the fact of that difference.

Virginia Woolf ( 1938)

Women make decisions that are as good and as important as those made by men. In fact, the evidence in this study begins to show that women may even make better decisions than men for the simple reason that they take more factors into consideration in the contexts within which they make decisions. This assertion certainly runs counter to both the bulk of theory about women's development and decision-making and the studies that compare women and men making decisions, including the processes and outcomes of these decisions.

Theory about women's development that is considered traditional, old, and quite passé emphasizes female "lacks" or inferiority in comparison with societally desired male social and psychological development. Traditional social and psychological theory, which dealt almost exclusively with male developmental data, stressed the desirability of "male" traits, which were active and instrumental (such as mastery, aggression, competence, competition, autonomy, independence, dominance, isolation/separation, and power). In these traditional developmental frameworks, evolved by Sigmund Freud, Erik Erikson, Jean Piaget, and Abraham Maslow, among

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