Not by self-report, at least. Here's a bit more data from a survey Josh Rust and I conducted of ethicists, non-ethicist philosophers, and comparison professors in other departments in five U.S. states. (Other preliminary survey results, and more about the methods, are here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.)
In the first part of the survey we asked respondents their attitudes about various moral issues. One thing we asked was for them to rate "Not keeping in at least monthly face-to-face or telephone contact with one’s mother" on a nine-point scale from "very morally bad" (1) through "morally neutral" (5) to "very morally good" (9). As it turned out, the respondent groups were all equally likely to rate not keeping in contact on the morally bad end of the scale: 73% of ethicists said it was morally bad, compared to 74% of non-ethicist philosophers and 71% of non-philosophers (not a statistically significant difference). There was a small difference in mean response (3.4 for ethicists vs. 3.7 for non-ethicist philosophers and 3.3 for non-philosophers), but I suspect that was at least partly due to scaling issues. In sum, the groups expressed similar normative attitudes, with perhaps the non-ethicist philosophers a bit closer to neutral than the other groups. (Contrast the case of vegetarianism, where the groups expressed very different attitudes.)
In the second part of the survey we asked respondents to describe their own behavior on the same moral issues that we had inquired about in the first part of the survey. We asked two questions about keeping in touch with mom. First we asked: "Over the last two years, about how many times per month on average have you spoken with your mother (face to face or on the phone)? (If your mother is deceased, consider how often you spoke during her last two years of life.)" The response options were "once (or less) every 2-3 months", "about once a month", "2-4 times a month", and "5 times a month or more". Only the first of these responses was counternormative by the standards of the earlier normative question. By this measure there was a statistically marginal tendency for the philosophers to report higher rates of neglecting their mothers: 11% of ethicists reported infrequent contact, compared to 12% of non-ethicist philosophers and only 5% of non-philosophers (chi-square, p = .06). (There was a similar trend for the non-philosophers to report more contact overall, across the response options.)
Second, we asked those with living mothers to report how many days it had been since their last telephone or face-to-face contact. The trend was in the same direction, but only weakly: 10% of ethicists reported its having been more than 30 days, compared to 11% of non-ethicist philosophers, and 8% of ethicists (chi-square, p = .82). We also confirmed that age and gender were not confounding factors. (Older respondents reported less contact with their mothers, even looking just at cases in which the mother is living, but age did not differ between the groups. Gender did differ between the groups -- philosophers being more likely to be male -- but did not relate to self-reported contact with one's mother.) So -- at least to judge by self-report -- ethicists are no more attentive to their mothers than are non-ethicist professors, and perhaps a bit less attentive than professors outside of philosophy.
Maybe this isn't too surprising. But the fact that most people seem to find this kind of thing unsurprising is itself, I think, interesting. Do we simply take it for granted that ethicists behave, overall, no more kindly, responsibly, caringly than do other professors -- except perhaps on a few of their chosen pet issues? Why should we take that for granted? Why shouldn't we expect their evident interest in, and habits of reflection about, morality to improve their day-to-day behavior?
You might think that ethicists would at least show more consistency than the other groups between their expressed normative attitudes about keeping in touch with mom and their self-reported behavior. However, that was also not the case. In fact the trend -- not statistically significant -- was in the opposite direction. Among ethicists who said it was bad not to keep in at least monthly contact, 8% reported no contact within the previous 30 days, compared to 13% of ethicists reporting no contact within 30 days among those who did not say that a lack of contact was bad. Among non-ethicist philosophers, the corresponding numbers were 6% and 27%. Among non-philosophers, 4% and 14%. Summarized in plainer English, the trend was this: Among those who said it was bad not to keep in at least monthly contact with their mothers, ethicists were the ones most likely to report not in fact keeping in contact. And also there was less correlation between ethicists' expressed normative view and their self-reported behavior than for either of the other groups of professors (8%-13% being a smaller spread than either 6%-27% or 4%-14%). It bears repeating that these differences are not statistically significant by the tests Josh and I used (multiple logistic regression) -- so I only draw this weaker conclusion: Ethicists did not show any more consistency between their normative views and their behavior than did the other groups.
Perhaps the ethicists were simply more honest in their self-described behavior than were the other groups? -- that is, less willing to lie or fudge so as to make their self-reported behavior match up with their previously expressed normative view? It's possible, but to the extent were were able to measure honesty in survey response, we found no trend for more honest responding among the ethicists.
[For comments, see the cross-post at The Splintered Mind.]