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Masculinity and Femininity of Cognitive Functions - A Theoretical Approach

Updated: Jan 29, 2021

UPDATE: A complete and better thought out video presentation of this topic can be found here -

This chain of thought began when I was thinking of why INTJs are not associated with the "Spacy/Dreamy" qualities that Jung associated with the Ni dominants, the traits often found in the archetypal INFJ for example.

I think functions are inherently masculine or feminine, not developed to be such a way as some other theories suggest.

This comes from the idea that introversion is inherently more feminine than extroversion. Sensing is more masculine than intuition. Feeling is more feminine than thinking, and judging functions are more masculine than perceiving ones, or so I am at least proposing theoretically.

Thus Extroversion is a masculine trait while introversion is a feminine one. Sensation is a masculine trait while intuition is a feminine one. Thinking is a masculine trait while feeling is a feminine one.

Introverted intuition = Feminine/Feminine

Introverted sensing = Feminine/Masculine

Introverted feeling = Feminine/Feminine

Introverted thinking = Feminine/Masculine

Extroverted intuition = Masculine/Feminine

Extroverted sensing = Masculine/Masculine

Extroverted feeling = Masculine/Feminine

Extroverted thinking = Masculine/Masculine

Now, as Briggs notes in Gifts Differing, "The introverted types can often be mistaken for their extroverted counterparts when presenting the auxiliary function."

When you think about this in relation to the idea of the sexual orientations of the functions, then you come to some interesting conclusions, specifically within the introverted types.

Let's look at the introverted irrationals, the IJs.

The INTJ leads with Ni, a feminine/feminine function. So does the INFJ though. The difference between them though is that the INTJ has Te as its auxiliary function, a Masculine/Masculine function, while INFJs have Fe, a masculine/feminine one.

This means that despite the inner world being of a Yin nature, feminine/soft, in the INTJ, the outer world is of an entirely Yang one. When looking at the INFJ their inner world is of the same Yin nature. The difference though is that their outer one is of a balanced masculine/feminine one, due to the nature of Fe.

This means that that INTJs are of a significantly more masculine nature right? Well, no, because the temperament of a type is not even when looking at the first two functions. The auxiliary function exists only to serve its lord, the dominant function, which makes up a large majority of the conscious self. What it does do though is lead to a slight inclination towards the traits of that orientation, a tilt in the compass away from the true North of the femininity of Ni, where INFJs have less of this influence.

Let's contrast INTPs and ISTPs in the same nature. When we think of these two types we often imagine the archetypes of the scientist for the INTP and something akin to the engineer for the ISTP. Which of these two inherently sounds more masculine?

Introverted thinking is a feminine/masculine function, so it is relatively balanced, specifically as a dominant function, which leads to a greater balance of the two than even in the Ni or Fi dominant types which hold to complete yin nature.

What differentiates the INTP and the ISTP is again the auxiliary function, which is most often presented to the world as it is extroverted. The INTP has Ne, while the ISTP has Se. Ne is a masculine/feminine function while Se on the other hand is a masculine/masculine one. The outer presentation of the ISTP is of an entirely masculine nature, while the outer presentation of the INTP is of a relatively balanced nature, aligning with the dominant function.

This can even be seen in the extroverted types with how the introverted function supporting it might influence this energy.

Look at the ESTP vs the ESFP. A double masculine leading function that is supported by either a feminine/masculine one (Ti) or a feminine/feminine one (Fi).

Thus the ESTP is often associated with the archetypes of the athlete, the fighter, etc., while the ESFP is associated with the musician, the artist, etc.

A further step, introducing the inherent M/F of perceiving vs judging could also be theoretically added. For example, Ni is an Introverted (F) Intuitive (F) Perceiving (F) function - so FFF. While introverted sensing is an Introverted (F) Sensing (M) Perceiving function - so FMF. Fe would be Extroverted (M) Feeling (F) Judging (M) - MFM.

Introverted intuition = Feminine/Feminine/Feminine

Introverted sensing = Feminine/Masculine/Feminine

Introverted feeling = Feminine/Feminine/Masculine

Introverted thinking = Feminine/Masculine/Masculine

Extroverted intuition = Masculine/Feminine/Feminine

Extroverted sensing = Masculine/Masculine/Feminine

Extroverted feeling = Masculine/Feminine/Masculine

Extroverted thinking = Masculine/Masculine/Masculine

All in all, I think that these things matter in the presentation of types and could even have impacts on the expression of traits within people of the same type of different gender or gender preferences in relation to the gender norms of their culture/environment.

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John Oh
John Oh
Oct 21, 2023

How is Fe more masculine when the most common types among females are Fe dom/aux? Also Fi is arguably a more masculine function, about inner values etc, less about social harmony. Its found in STJs, the most common male types.


Leaping Tiger
Leaping Tiger
Oct 05, 2021

Interesting, Jung proposed Ni as a masculine function - ambition, skill of speech and curiosity. I believe that any function can be masculine or femenine. It must also be understood that masculinity/femeninity is a concept which varies throughout time and differing countries. For example, in ancient Greece, intuition and would probably be seen as masculine. Science, philosophy and the arts were almost entirely dominated by men, a majority being introverts (mainly in science and philosophy). This also applies to the Age of Exploration. However, cut to Medieval times, which sits between both of those, and you will find Se-like attributes as masculine and Si-like ones as feminine. It was primarily a sensing era. In the East, intuition and intoversion are…


These All Are Useless Someone Has More Developed Extroversion And Someone Has More Developed Introversion And It Can Be Males Females Or Anyone. I have Seen Loud Extroverted Females And Quiet introverted Males And They Are In A Great ratio. So Your reports Are Just Waste Of Time. If Someone Is An INTJ, Including My Son He Usually Remains At Home Until Needed To Go To School Or Coaching Classes And He Studies A Lot Does it Means He Is More Feminine. Although Bill Gates Was Like That Does he became More Feminine. No, At Least he Is Earning Lots Of Money Which Is A masculine Trait. And If it Comes At Such A Price. That You Could Develop Skill…


Cole Hinkel
Cole Hinkel
Jul 07, 2021

Do you know where in Gifts Differing they say this? "The introverted types can often be mistaken for their extroverted counterparts when presenting the auxiliary function."

I'm wishing to find it in my own copy but the search function does not pick it up for me. If it's a paraphrasing, what section is it from?

Jul 07, 2021
Replying to

Been a long time since I wrote this article but I believe it to be a paraphrase of page 73 in reference to the JP preference. I thought it was a literal quote and it might be I just don't feel like hunting through each page to find it. There are many references to this type of interaction in the book as well though, for example page 112s description of the INFJ or at the end of 83 where she discusses the similarity in types who only differ in I/E.


Don’t mind me. Just a male ENTJ-A MM TE/SE 8w7 837 SX/SO. The best part is that I could only see my FF Fi and thought I was a super feminine introvert. I was shocked to learn just how powerful I am. My goal is to learn to use it well for myself and others. We have a lot of work to do!

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