Skip to content

Functions and Temperament in relation to Gender and Animals

August 31, 2012

Functions and gender roles

There may at times be some confusion concerning gender and the judging attitudes, and the roles formed around them. Either can gender can be either T or F. But because females are naturally designed to be the mothers, carrying and nurturing the young child, their natural focus has shifted more to the “humane or “personal” side of life. (Including being more in touch with the emotions). Since males then were the breadwinners, and the strong protectors, they became more focused on the “technical” or “impersonal”. The traditional roles of society formed around this, with the typical model of a woman being said to be SFJ or SFP, and the typical model of a man being STJ or at least STP. Even though modern society has been changing the roles and integrating both genders to the same sorts of careers and family tasks, the associations have stuck.

This can cause type confusion for female T’s, and both type and “masculinity” problems for male F’s. I have noticed particularly that female ITJ’s (especially ISTJ’s) and ETP’s, who both have tertiary Feeling, will look a lot like Feelers. Male EFP’s and I imagine, IFJ’s (particularly INFJ) will have tertiary Thinking, and are said to look a lot like Thinkers. In function/archetype theory, the tertiary function is often carried by a “child” complex that is said to “inflate”. This will lead to it becoming very visible in the personality, so a woman’s tertiary Feeling, especially, will often be very prominent and color their outward behavior, fitting the traditional roles.

Animals and temperament or type

The whole idea of animal type or temperament sometimes also comes up in discussions.

Type is a combination of behavioral and cognitive factors. The behavioral breaks down into “affective” (Interaction Styles) and “conative” (the Keirsey groups). Or, respectively, social and leadership/action skills.

So yes, animals can manifest the affective factors of expressiveness (i.e. E/I) and responsiveness (directing/informing or how much interaction we “want” from others), which make up what amounts to the four Interaction Styles.
These are what were observed by Pavlov in the four temperaments he assigned to dogs. He called the factors Passivity: (Active or Passive) and Extremeness: (Extreme or Moderate response) and the four temperaments as Weak inhibitory (Melancholic), Strong excitatory (Choleric), Lively (Sanguine), Calm, imperturbable (Phlegmatic).

It is the cognitive area animals do not have. As was mentioned in other articles, the functions are basically interpretations of data. Animals experience things, but do not cognitively interpret them. They just react according to the limbic system of instinct and emotion. So while they experience sensation, they are not even “Sensors” under this definition.

Thus, animals do not possess any of the dichotomy preferences beyond E and I. (Which is likely based on neurological stimulatability anyway, rather than being fixed to human “[dominant] function-attitudes”. We just pair our dominant function with that dominant orientation, and the rest of the functions fall into place for us).
So they can be seen as having somewhat of an Interaction Style, with E/I, and the other factor; which for us is connected to T/F or J/P combined with S/N; but for them stands alone. (I believe that too is probably about stimulatability, and for us ties into our function and attitude preferences).

So they will not have a whole type, or even a Keirseyan temperament. (Which are determined by functions, despite Keirsey’s claim to the contrary). They won’t even have the other Keirseyan factor of “cooperative/pragmatic”, or the cross-factor of “structure/motive”. All that stuff is covered by their instinct.

So their “conation”, “leadership style” or “area of Control” is undefinable. That stuff is part of what distinguishes us as humans.

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: