Have you ever seen a caduceus (the symbol of the medical profession)? It’s a staff with two serpents crisscrossing it, and wings at the top of the staff. The staff itself represents the central spinal column; where the serpents cross the staff represents the individual chakras moving up the spine from the lowest to the highest; and the two serpents themselves represent solar and lunar (or masculine and feminine) energies at each of the chakras.
That’s the crucial point. The 7 chakras, which are simply a more complex version of the 3 simple levels or stages, represent 7 levels of consciousness and energy available to all human beings. (The first three chakras—food, sex, and power—are roughly stage 1; chakras four and five—relational heart and communication—are basically stage 2; and chakras six and seven—psychic and spiritual—are the epitome of stage 3). The important point here is that, according to the traditions, each of those 7 levels has a masculine and feminine aspect, type, or “voice.” Neither masculine nor feminine is higher or better; they are two equivalent types at each of the levels of consciousness.
This means, for example, that with chakra 3 (the egocentric-power chakra), there is a masculine and feminine version of the same chakra: at that chakra-level, males tend toward power exercised autonomously (“My way or the highway!”), women tend toward power exercised communally or socially (“Do it this way or I won’t talk to you”). And so on with the other major chakras, each of them having a solar and lunar, or masculine and feminine dimension; neither is more fundamental, neither can be ignored. At the 7th chakra, however, notice that the masculine and feminine serpents both disappear into their ground or source. Masculine and feminine meet and unite at the crown—they literally become one. And that is what Gilligan found with her stage-4 moral development: the two voices in each person become integrated, so that there is a paradoxical union of autonomy and relationship, rights and responsibilities, agency and communion, wisdom and compassion, justice and mercy, masculine and feminine.