Gender, Race and Morality in the Virtual World and Its Relationship to Morality in the Real World

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Abstract

This research examines children's beliefs about moral behavior in the virtual world and the real world. Participants were 515 children, average age 12 years old. One-third were African American and two-thirds were Caucasian American. Children completed surveys mailed to their homes which included questions about the acceptability of morally questionable virtual behaviors. Findings indicated: (1) gender and race differences in the acceptability of morally questionable behaviors in the virtual world; (2) moral behavior and moral attitudes in the real world predicted the acceptability of morally questionable behaviors in the virtual world; and (3) the frequency of IT use predicted the acceptability of morally questionable behaviors in the virtual world. Implications for children's IT education are discussed.

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