Carol Gilligan

Born in New York City, Carol Gilligan is a full professor at New York University in the School of Law and a visiting professor at the University of Cambridge affiliated with the Centre for Gender Studies.

Gilligan received a bachelor’s degree in English literature at Swarthmore College, a master’s degree in clinical psychology from Radcliffe College, and a PhD in social psychology from Harvard University in 1964. She began teaching at Harvard in 1967 and worked with both Erik Erikson and Lawrence Kohlberg. While studying with Kohlberg, Gilligan became interested in his research on moral development. In the next few years, she conducted studies that led to her seminal work, In a Different Voice: Psychological Theory and Women’s Development (1982), which described women’s point of view on development in terms of their caring effect on human relationships. Her studies on women and gender issues resulted in five coauthored books with her students: Mapping the Moral Domain (1988), Making Connections (1990), Women, Girls, and Psychotherapy: Reframing Resistance (1991), Meeting  at  the  Crossroads: Women’s  Psychological and Girls’ Development (1992), and Between Voice and Silence: Women  and  Girls,  Race  and  Relationships (1995). Meeting at the Crossroads: Women’s Psychological  and  Girls’ Development  won  the  New York Times’ Notable Book of the Year award. In addition to being a prolific author, Gilligan has been honored by receiving a Senior Research Scholarship award from the Spencer Foundation (1989–1993), a Grawemeyer award for her contributions to education (1992), and a Heinz award for contributions to the field on human conditions (1998), and was named one of the 25 most influential Americans by Time magazine.

Gilligan was a member of the Harvard faculty for more than 30 years and was named the first Professor of Gender Studies in 1997, where she was the Patricia Albjerg Graham chair. While still a professor at Harvard, she was honored with the distinction of becoming the Pitt Professor of American History and Institutions  at  the  University  of  Cambridge  (1992–1993). In 2002, she became University Professor at New York University, where she continues to work. Also in 2002, her book The Birth of Pleasure was described by The Times Literary Supplement as a “thrilling new paradigm.” Gilligan teaches courses on gender issues, psychology and culture of democratic societies, and adolescent psychology.


  1. Gilligan, C. (1982). In a different voice: Psychological theory and women’s development. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University
  2. Gilligan, C. (1993). In a different voice: Psychological theory and women’s development (2nd ed., with new preface by the author). Cambridge, MA: Harvard University
  3. Gilligan, (2002). The birth of pleasure. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.
  4. Gilligan, C., & Brown, L. (1992). Meeting at the crossroads: Women’s psychology and girls’ de Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
  5. Taylor, Gilligan, C. & Sullivan, A. (1995). Between voice and silence: Women and girls, race and relationships. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.