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I'm having a little trouble understanding the dynamics between personality traits caused by one's gender and those attributed to their MBTI functions. For example, empathy is a trait typically associated with both Fs and women. So what of T females? Anyone care to shed some light on the subject and help me out?
 

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nuture vs nature.
there's a societal influence exerted on both sexes to act a certain way, no matter their innate proclivities. Some effect can be put upon children to act in these ways, laying the path to maybe not their inherent type. However, some will break the mold and retain their characteristics, be supported to be who they are, or possibly even adopt some behaviors that they are not innately born with.

Kinda like a lefty being forced to be a righty.

I'm not as versed in Jungian type language, so I hope others will chime in.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
nuture vs nature.
there's a societal influence exerted on both sexes to act a certain way, no matter their innate proclivities. Some effect can be put upon children to act in these ways, laying the path to maybe not their inherent type. However, some will break the mold and retain their characteristics, be supported to be who they are, or possibly even adopt some behaviors that they are not innately born with.

Kinda like a lefty being forced to be a righty.

I'm not as versed in Jungian type language, so I hope others will chime in.
First off, Hello Sweetie ;)
References aside, while that maybe true for the gender traits that are socially imposed, most have to do with the way we are genetically constructed. From an evolutionary perspective, some traits, such as empathy, come easier to females because of their role as caretakers of their offspring.
 

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Technically speaking "Feeling" has nothing to do with empathy, but with making value judgements.

A female thinker will make decisions based on logic; a female feeler will do so based on morals. That said, empathy is about relating to someone: it's subjective. Thinkers (particularly those with Te) are objective and impersonal in most cases, since it's what they're used to during decision-making, hence the lesser (demonstrated/affective) empathy.


Since usually females are expected to be more empathetic than males, it's more likely that a female thinker would feel pressured to develop empathy and be more empathetic than your average thinking male. However since empathy is a very useful skill to develop, it's likely by middle age that both male and female thinkers will have the ability.


(As an aside, the whole "girls are naturally better at empathy because they used to take care of the offspring" thing doesn't have studies to back it up, at least to my knowledge-and by "studies" I mean "good studies with proper methodology". It's likely that the elderly had just as big a-if not bigger-role in child rearing.)
 

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I won't get into the Jungian type language, as I'm not as well-versed in it either. But as a T female, I know that I definitely do lack empathy. Thinking back to interactions since I was a very young child, I have never had the level of empathy expected of me. If someone is telling me about their personal problems, I often think that they are trivial and don't know how to respond appropriately.

That said, it's very difficult for me to understand the empathy that people feel, in certain situations. For example, a friend was telling me about how her boyfriend's (whom she had been dating for about a year) aunt has cancer. To which I said how awful that was and that hopefully she makes it- As any decent person would say. Then my friend went on to say how she wants to help but doesn't know how, how she feels so bad, etc. I could not understand this at all and told my friend that, going on to say that I'm not sure if there really is much that she can do, and how it isn't really her duty to do anything. She can't cure cancer, she had never even met the aunt, etc. I made it clear that the only thing she can really do is support her boyfriend. She agreed with me, but said that she still needed to do something more. I left that conversation utterly baffled.

So that is my anecdotal evidence that being female certainly does not override their personality type's traits, though it may make socialization generally easier.
 

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First off, Hello Sweetie ;)
References aside, while that maybe true for the gender traits that are socially imposed, most have to do with the way we are genetically constructed. From an evolutionary perspective, some traits, such as empathy, come easier to females because of their role as caretakers of their offspring.
From the books/papers I've read, it's not all or nothing. TBH, empathy does not come easy to me.

Arguably, it's very difficult for humans to study themselves because it's impossible to remove societal bias from those performing the studies. We do the best we can.
Can some of this be genetic-of course. Can all of it be genetic - no. I'd love to see where it's "most".
 
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Opening statement before I dive into this:
The average female is more empathetic/sympathetic, and while females with a Thinking preference represent one side of the "bellcurve," there's a lot more chance of a female being a Feeler than a male being one.

Personally, I think gender has very little to do with personality beyond that, the only exception being male's comparatively underdeveloped frontal lobe (though we get spatial awareness to make up for it).
@Priva offers a good explanation as to the higher need for girls to be communicative (and I expect males are expected to be more self-sufficient).
But if it's studies with proper methodology you're after, I can only wonder why you're on an MBTI forum.
@anonimouze123, thanks for bringing up evolution early on. :proud:
For anyone interested, look up "Social Biology Robert Sapolsky" on youtube and there's a series of lectures on the matter. It's good stuff.
@Tea Path
Don't think of it as a natural tendency (i.e all women are this) but as a statistical one (i.e women are more likely to be this); like how males are better at sports (better spatially and stronger physically) on the whole, but that doesn't mean I'm game to have a one-on-one with a female boxer any time soon.

I'm presuming you're less emotionally available than the average male NF, but if you compare like to like, how many more male ENTJs are there than females?
 
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Opening statement before I dive into this:


@Tea Path
Don't think of it as a natural tendency (i.e all women are this) but as a statistical one (i.e women are more likely to be this); like how males are better at sports (better spatially and stronger physically) on the whole, but that doesn't mean I'm game to have a one-on-one with a female boxer any time soon.

I'm presuming you're less emotionally available than the average male NF, but if you compare like to like, how many more male ENTJs are there than females?
I wasn't thinking of it as one. I was arguing against it being stated as one. I just disagree it's all genetic. enough background in animal behavior, genetics, and a smattering of psychology back it up.
 
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I've often noted that in western culture certain traits and characteristics that MBTI measures are emphasized differently in males and females, so a female INTJ won't really get away with some of the behavioral traits that general INTJs (typically male) are stereotyped with in the same degrees. For instance, being aloof and arrogant may at times be tolerated or even celebrated in males whereas in females...not so much. It depends on the values of the adults around, I suppose. I remember being scolded regularly for violating some Fe value I was supposed to recognize, or for hurting an adult's feelings without realizing it, or for using something special that was given to me as a tool to accomplish some utilitarian end I had in mind. But for males, you get that whole "boys will be boys" deal. So it's hard to say how female Ts would look like if males and females started off being treated with the same expectations. I do believe that generally speaking, female Ts are taught to be more empathetic and such. Whether it actually sticks varies from person to person.

Personally, I had enough Fi and few enough friends that I learned the value of treating people decently early on.
 

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Opening statement before I dive into this:
The average female is more empathetic/sympathetic, and while females with a Thinking preference represent one side of the "bellcurve," there's a lot more chance of a female being a Feeler than a male being one.

Personally, I think gender has very little to do with personality beyond that, the only exception being male's comparatively underdeveloped frontal lobe (though we get spatial awareness to make up for it).

@Priva offers a good explanation as to the higher need for girls to be communicative (and I expect males are expected to be more self-sufficient).
But if it's studies with proper methodology you're after, I can only wonder why you're on an MBTI forum.
I hold different theories to different standards. :p

*Innate gender differences* are very different from a theory describing personality. Personality tests are almost always taken with a grain of salt to begin with. Gender, not so much. Which is why we need more confirming/denying of these differences.

Although if the MBTI were to get further study (after test improvements, of course-ones that actually measure function usage), I wouldn't complain!
 

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For example, empathy is a trait typically associated with both Fs and women. So what of T females? Anyone care to shed some light on the subject and help me out?
I dunno. I did grow up (part way) in a culture/era/faith that almost demanded empathy from women, and started training them towards it from a very young age. On the other hand, it also demanded/expected/imposed other things on girls that never did take root in me. So if anything, I take issue at an even earlier point in your premise, which is the implicit suggestion that 'just because' you're a thinker you're supposedly a bit limited on the empathy. I don't think they preclude one another at all.

I was a vicarious-flincher and an empathizer since before I recall, and I think even now that my genuine (inborn) reflexes had a very different feeling to them than the imposed ones that were applied to me from outside. I remember the feeling of both of them, and the genuine ones had nothing in common with the ones I was conscious from a young age of being 'expected' to feel.

For instance, I remember being given a new doll by someone every time that I turned around. I even tried to take an interest in them, the pressure to 'like' them and play with them was so strong. But it was like pressing a sheet of paper against a wall and expecting it to stay when you let it go - I didn't even understand what I was supposed to be getting out of it. And I remember instances like school-wide cartoon movie events, where everyone else in the room thought something on screen was hilarious and I was too horrified to understand why getting bashed with a frying pan or minced by a propellor was funny.

I think that a culture will try to force any identifiable human trait into the recognized, codified formats that make sense to it. But that has surprisingly little to do with what's actually there in the original person, underneath all of it.
 
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*Innate gender differences* are very different from a theory describing personality. Personality tests are almost always taken with a grain of salt to begin with. Gender, not so much. Which is why we need more confirming/denying of these differences.
I definitely agree that more studies need to be done. I don't consider gender traits to be innate. While there is definitely an element of genetics at play, in my experience gender traits are primarily a learned behaviour.

I was lucky that I grew up with Ts for parents. My mother tried to push me to be more F because that's what was expected, but since she didn't know how to be an F herself, it was rather ineffective.

Left to my own devices I wouldn't really say that I identify as either gender. Physically I may be female, but I don't think of myself in those terms. I'm a person, not a gender.

As a child, I would always much rather play with my brother's GI Joes than my dolls. I would also much rather be out in the woods with the neighbourhood boys than sitting inside playing house with the girls. I remember being told several times that I couldn't or shouldn't do something because I was a girl. I would always answer back, "What does being a girl have to do with anything? I want to do [x] and I'm physically capable of doing [x], so why can I not do it?"

Specifically regarding empathy, I used to say that I was empathetic but not sympathetic - as in I understand what people are feeling, but I just don't care that they're feeling it. I've recently realized that it's not true empathy though. Through logical analysis, I've learned to recognize other people's emotions, but I don't actually understand what they're feeling or why. I certainly have no clue what to do about those feelings once I recognize them.

Anyway, that was kind of a rambling post. I guess my point would be that for me personality most certainly trumps gender. Even as a child, I never took gender roles/traits seriously because I never accepted them as valid in the first place.
 
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