A study is done. An effect is claimed, i.e. that men are more utilitarian than women in their moral reasoning.
The Hitler question was among a range of moral questions asked of 6,100 people in a study conducted by U.S., Canadian and German researchers.For Pete's sake, this is Journalism 101. Do you suffer impairment in quantitative thinking? Algar fails to address the most basic question: What was the effect size?
Although both men and women carefully considered the consequences of their potential decision, women said they found it harder to commit murder and were more likely to let Hitler survive, the study found.
The study considered two contrasting philosophical/ethical principles; utilitarianism, which says committing a harmful action is acceptable if it is for the greatest good for the greatest number of people, and deontology, which holds that breaking moral conventions as held by most people, even to secure a favorable future result, is wrong.
Women were more likely to fall into the deontology camp and agonize for a long time over a decision, while men were somewhat more likely to lean toward utilitarianism and make a quick decision, the researchers found
With "men were somewhat more likely to lean toward utilitarianism and make a quick decision", all you are doing is feeding a stereotype. If the stereotype is true, well OK. Facts are facts. But we can't tell from this article whether or not it is true. If 55% of women would go back and kill Hitler but 56% of men would, then the statement "men were somewhat more likely to lean toward utilitarianism and make a quick decision" is both true and meaningless. A 1% difference in decision-making proclivity does not a stereotype make. Or it shouldn't.
Because Algar never identifies the effect size, we have no way of knowing whether what he has written is meaningfully useful. That frustrates me. I guess that means I "lean toward utilitarianism."