The Influence of Stereotypes & Hormones on CORE Types by Gender
There are two primary factors that influence behaviors—the proverbial “nature and nurture”. As we all know however, “nurture is often not so nurturing. In fact, the source of almost all of our woes is non-complimentary conditioning.
This report examines the effects of one area of conditioning or “nurture”—stereotypes—and one area of nature—the influence of hormones.
Although the stereotypes have very little basis in fact, the expectation that males are supposed to act one way and females another do impact the natural styles of men and women, sometimes in profound and often painful ways. That we buy into them heavily can be witnessed in the popularity of books like Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus. This popular series of books presents stereotypical behavior as though they are the only way “normal” men and women act or should act. Buying into this fallacy is highly detrimental to almost everyone.
The majority of people do not fit comfortably into the stereotypes and when those who do believe that the stereotypes are real and valid (as many do) even they find themselves in trouble when they make erroneous assumptions based on the stereotypical models.
Many people suppress their nature or are forced by family, friends, peers, superiors and societal pressures to suppress it and adopt the expected stereotypical “norms”.
Although stereotypical expectations and pressures are powerful factors in the conditioning that prevents so many from realizing their true potential, they are not the only things that impact outcomes. Another factor is the Androgen/ Estrogen hormone factor.
This paper describes the effects of both socialized stereotypes and hormones on each of the four CORE Types and examines the degree to which these effects complement or conflict with the natural inclinations of each type.
Each of the types are viewed from evolved and unevolved positions. Evolved refers to those whose natural styles are well-developed and non-reactionary. Unevolved refers to those who are undeveloped and reactionary.
Those who are evolved show high levels of emotional maturity or competence (also called emotional intelligence or EQ). They are primarily positive and patient in their approach to life and to almost all other people. Any negative emotions they feel are generally well managed and kept in check.
Those who are unevolved show low levels of emotional maturity or competence and high levels of impatience, selfishness, anger, moodiness and other negative emotions. Their behaviors are frequently perceived by others as negative.
For specifics on what positive and negative types, and those who are simply coping (what CORE refers to as mid-zone behaviors) look like, see the report entitled Recognizing Evolved and Unevolved Types.
Stereotypical Influence on Males
The male stereotype presents all males as tough, decisive, no-nonsense types who process everything logically, prefer to lead rather than follow, do not show emotion or talk about their feelings, and are who more interested in achieving goals, accomplishing tasks and getting ahead financially than they are in connecting with other people in meaningful (or feeling) ways.
Where women, according to the stereotype, are seeking love or affection, men are only seeking sex. The sex versus affection part has some basis in fact due to the effects of testosterone in men and estrogen in women, but the drive toward sex simply for the sake of sex is definitely not true for every type of man, and does not appear to be true of any type of man when his nature is more evolved or developed.
Following are the effects of the male stereotype on the four CORE types.
The natural inclinations of the Commander male personify the masculine stereotype and almost fully compliment this style. For the less evolved Commander, the stereotype gives them permission to charge ahead without considering the feelings or needs of others. After all, they reason, aren’t real men supposed to be tough and unfeeling?
Evolved Commander males know this is not the case and choose to be more caring and thoughtful of others, but even the evolved ones generally have to consciously work on developing their feeling side unless Entertainer is a strong secondary style. The need to develop the feeling side for greater effectiveness and balance is especially true for True Commanders and Commander/Organizers. Entertainer as a secondary style aids in the development of the feeling side. Still, the Commander nature is to lead with thinking and to suppress feelings, and the stereotype encourages that behavior.
Organizer males are not bold, take-charge leaders to the degree that Commanders are, but the stereotype still fits their natural style to a large extent. They too are thinking types who by nature prefer a no-nonsense approach, and the strong, silent-type persona suits them just fine, except for the stereotypical image of the aggressive, go-getter. Organizers prefer to work in the background, rather than jump out front and lead.
Unlike the other types, Organizers get a double dose of validation in society. Besides being validated by the silent, thinking man stereotype, Organizer preferences are also validated in typical school systems where the expected behavior is to sit quietly, follow protocol and attend to details. Because these are natural and, therefore easy tasks for Organizers, the unevolved ones come out of the school system with a rigid, black-and-white view of the world. The male stereotype adds to that rigid view. To unevolved Organizers, their way is the right way and everyone else’s way is wrong. And, why wouldn’t they think that? They grow up regularly getting rewarded for being the way they are.
The more evolved Organizers have expanded their view and noticed that other types can also be right, and other ways can lead to correct outcomes, so they are less critical and more considerate of others. They too must work at developing their feeling side as it expresses in the outer world, since this is not natural for them. Organizers are actually very sensitive internally, but because of the stereotypes, many never express their sensitive side. Those who have learned to do that find they get far better results.
Relater males are the polar opposite of the male stereotype and this fact causes them a great deal of stress. Relaters are gentle, feeling types by nature. They don’t generally have a preference for one way of acting over another, which can make them appear indecisive. They also have little desire to jump into the lead role and tell other people what to do. Many Relater men worry that this fact makes them less “manly” and try to hide their nature with shows of bravado. The reality is, Relater men are every bit as “manly” as the most stereotypical of the types. They just express their masculinity in different ways. And the way the healthier ones express it is often very appealing to women. Think Brad Pitt.
Relaters are very relationship oriented and more than willing to discuss feelings with others . . . the other person’s feelings, that is, not their own. They have a very difficult time with the stereotypical image of the tough guy who knows what he wants and just goes after it. Relaters tend to be far too considerate to even think of tromping on others to get what they want.
Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for well-meaning parents to push their little Relater sons toward the masculine stereotype, which often leads to a lifetime of pain and conflict. Relater males tend to handle this conflict in one of two ways; the less evolved ones put on a macho mask and pretend to be what they are not—Commanders. Unfortunately, Relaters don’t play the Commander role very well long-term. The result for those who try to adapt to that role is generally that they end up making themselves and everyone else miserable. Relaters pretending to be Commanders come across as very negative, angry and short-tempered, and they generally have no idea why since that certainly is not their intent. Beneath the tough façade, is a man who really cares and is really hurting because he deeply longs for good relationships and just doesn’t know how to get or keep them.
The other approach is the one more evolved Relaters take. They throw out the stereotype, admit that it just isn’t what they are about and let their gentle, caring side show. Evolved Relaters are among the kindest, most genuinely caring men on the planet. The problem evolved Relater men generally have with the stereotype comes from unevolved women who expect them to be “more of a man”, meaning a more decisive, take-charge type, and from other men who push them to be tougher.
Entertainer males are also feeling types, but because they are extroverts and are more focused on experiencing life, they are less aware of how their actions affect others than Relaters are, so they have less conflict around the feeling/thinking mismatch.
Their main problems come from the stereotypical requirement that they stay in logical thinking mode, be tough rather than fun-loving, and minimize conversation. Entertainers love to talk and, according to the stereotype, men are not talkers, women are. So those who have bought into the stereotype (which is, unfortunately, most of the world) give the talkative male Entertainer a hard time for being too chatty. Entertainer males quickly learn to suppress their tendency to be talkative around other males, which often makes maintaining friendships with the thinking type males difficult. Entertainer men often gravitate to other Entertainer men or to Relater men for male friendships and they usually have a lot of female friends because females tend to appreciate their talkative, fun-loving approach.
Unevolved male Entertainers try to fit the stereotype by being more serious and less talkative across the board. They do that by shutting down their true nature. Because their need for acceptance and appreciation is high, they don’t allow themselves to step outside the accepted thinking male model and express their feeling side, so they end up unhappy, angry, and drained of their natural energy, enthusiasm and light-heartedness. Like unevolved Relaters, they generally have no idea that the basis of their misery is trying to fit into a stereotypical mold that doesn’t suit their nature.
Evolved Entertainers refuse to buy into the foolish idea that the wants and needs of others are more important than their own. They don’t have any guilt around the idea that life is to be enjoyed, so they live full out and are a delight to be around.
Stereotypical Influence on Females
The feminine stereotype is that women are feeling types who prefer to follow and serve, rather than take the lead or be served. According to the stereotype, females prefer to defer decisions to males (who stereotypically are supposed to lead). Women who buy into the feminine stereotype most heavily actively resist making serious decisions believing that’s the purview of males.
According to the stereotype, females talk a lot, but not about anything serious; mostly “girl talk”. They love romance novels, chick flicks and looking pretty. They are more concerned about relationships and caring for others than about getting ahead financially or building a successful career. The stereotypical “wisdom” is that females are happier being taken care of and taking care of others.
Following are the effects of the female stereotype on the four CORE types.
Like Relater males, Commander females are the polar opposite of the feminine stereotype and are the ones most negatively impacted it. Commanders (both male and female) are thinking types who prefer to lead, rather than follow. They are decisive and driven to succeed. They are goal directed and are generally willing to meet almost any challenge, provided it makes sense. Commanders of both sexes are not talkative unless Entertainer is a strong secondary influence. Of the four types, Commander is the most self-directed, and the most unwilling to put themselves in a subservient position.
Because the strength and power that is apparent in the Commander style does not align with the feminine stereotype, Commander females who have bought into the stereotype reject Commander tendencies in themselves. They have the false notion (well fed by those who want to perpetuate the stereotype) that power and femininity are mutually exclusive. They also have a hard time coming to terms with the idea that they may be more logical than “caring” in the traditional sense. What they fail to realize is that strong women can be very feminine and logic does not translate into being uncaring. Thinking types are just as capable of being considerate and caring as feeling types and, likewise, the feeling types are just as capable of being logical when they choose to.
Feeling, in the sense that it is applied to the types, is a relative term that simply attempts to describe the differences in the way the thinking and feeling types process information and make decisions. We all use logic and consider the effect of a decision. It’s just that these considerations occur in a different order depending on whether we lead with thinking or feeling.
Everyone asks and answers two questions when making decisions; (1) “Does this make sense?” and (2) “How will this decision affect me or someone else?” Those who lead with thinking are first concerned with whether a particular decision makes sense. If it does, then they consider how it will affect them or someone else. Feeling types do just the opposite. They begin with how the decision will affect them or someone else and ask whether it makes sense only after they check its impact. It isn’t a matter of whether or not one has concern for the effect on people, only of the order in which the concern ocurs.
Because unevolved female Commanders tend to suppress Commander tendencies, when they surface, they surface as anger or inappropriate toughness.
Evolved female Commanders use their power very effectively, and their confidence level actually increases their feminine appeal to evolved men. (Which is the only kind evolved Commander females let into their world.)
In general, Organizer women are quite comfortable with the stereotype. They experience much less stress around the feminine stereotype than do Organizer men around the masculine stereotype. The primary reason for this is because women are not expected to make the first move (or any move really) in the dance of courtship or to take the lead in business and family matters, so Organizer women don’t have that pressure. If they have any pressure at all, it’s usually in the social arena because the social ideal is an extroverted approach. People are expected to be more open and communicative in social situations than most Organizers are comfortable with.
Unevolved Organizer females are perfectionists, who are critical of others and passive-aggressive in trying to get others to act the way they think they should, which creates more of a problem for others than it does for the unevolved Organizer.
Evolved Organizer females are generally prized in school, in the workplace, and in the home for their meticulousness and attention to detail. Like their male counterparts, the evolved ones are good students and good employees. They are also dutiful wives, daughters, and mothers. About the only place they don’t fit the stereotype is that they are thinking, rather than feeling types, and they are not very talkative. But they are so good at taking care of details that almost no one notices or cares that they aren’t as openly demonstrative or talkative as the stereotype suggests females should be.
Except for the fact that they aren’t really talkers, Relater women are the epitome of the feminine stereotype, just as the Commander male is the epitome of the male stereotype. Actually, the Relater/Entertainer or Entertainer/Relater combinations come closest to fitting the feminine stereotype. True Relaters are more soft-spoken than the stereotype suggests, and they listen more than they talk, but they are certainly nurturers who are ever willing to defer their own needs in order to serve others. They are content to stay in the background too, with little-to-no desire to step into a leadership position. Relaters are generally willing to go along with whatever others want to do. They are compliant, empathetic and helpful.
Because Relater closely fits the stereotype and many parents knowingly or unknowingly push their children to fit into the socially accepted roles, many women have been conditioned to the Relater style. This type of conditioning is most damaging to young females whose natural style is Commander.
Unevolved Relaters (and those who have been conditioned to Relater) are indecisive, wishy-washy, too passive and too easily taken advantage of. They won’t speak their mind or state their position for fear of creating conflict. Natural Relaters avoid conflict like the plague unless they are defending a loved one, and then they can become quiet controlling and/or manipulative. Conditioned Relaters avoid conflict across the board because that’s what they have been taught to do. Many apparently unevolved Relater women are actually Commanders or Entertainers that have been conditioned to Relater as a child.
Entertainer females, like Relaters, fit the feminine stereotype fairly closely so there isn’t a lot of conflict with the image of a feeling-centric, talkative, somewhat scattered in their thinking stereotype. Where Entertainer women have a problem with the stereotype is in the notion that women are supposed to be others focused and to put their own wants and needs aside to attend to the wants and needs of others.
Entertainer is by nature self-focused. Not, selfishly, unless they are unevolved, but in that they want to be seen, heard and appreciated. They want to be placed on an equal playing ground with others. They want to experience life fully, and fully connect with people, and they understand that they cannot do that from the sidelines. They want and need to be right in the center of their universe and they are not happy on the sidelines attending to others and ignoring the many delights life has to offer. Entertainers love first-hand experiences and adventure. And they tend to live in the moment, so anything that requires them to defer their experiences and their enjoyment in order to attend to others is stressful and very draining.
Unevolved female Entertainers try to fit the stereotype by moving in the direction of ditzy. The talkative, fluffy “just a girl” stereotypical image gives them an excuse to continue to act like a child well into adulthood. They tend to be incessantly late, inappropriately flirty, overly dramatic and can be quite over-bearing. As with the males, their need for acceptance and appreciation is high, so they don’t allow themselves to step outside the accepted mold. In the case of female Entertainers who have bought into the stereotype, their misery comes from always putting themselves on a back burner to attend to the needs of others.
Evolved Female Entertainers, like their male counterparts, refuse to buy into the foolish idea that the wants and needs of others are more important than their own. They don’t have any guilt around self-care or the idea that life should be enjoyed. They don’t seek to be above anyone else, but they don’t accept being below anyone either.
The Hormonal Influence on Males
It is well known among researchers that a primary effect of testosterone is aggression. That is why the prison population is 89% male. It’s also why males are more likely to engage in extreme sports than are females, and have a stronger preference for things that represent aggression; firearms, fast cars, powerful motorcycles, etc.
Other effects of increased aggression are impatience and a more visible drive toward whatever is desired. Males tend to be less patient and more aggressively driven toward things like sex, sports, job promotions or whatever else is of interest to them than are females. The key term here is aggressively driven. Women have just as much drive as men in areas that interest them, they just aren’t as aggressive in the way they go after it. Women tend to approach things in a more patient, less frantic way than their male counterparts thanks to the calming, nurturing effects of Estrogen.
As with the stereotype, the aggressive influence of testosterone compliments the Commander male’s natural tendency to take charge, push ahead, lead the way and get things done. Commanders (both male and female) feed on adrenaline. They love fast-paced, challenging environments and, for males, the effects of testosterone just add to the effects of adrenaline. Testosterone creates an urgency (or impatience) that gets translated, at least in the socialized world, as drive. Both male and female Commanders are very driven, but the testosterone aggression effect makes the drive of Commander males more visible. The natural aggression of the Commander type combined with the aggressive effects of testosterone causes Commander males to be more aggressive on every level, including sexually.
The effects of testosterone also make male Commanders less patient and quicker tempered than their female counterparts. Although the effects of testosterone are complimentary to the Commander style, when aggression is added to lack of emotional development, the outcome can be devastating, as is attested to by prisons full of unevolved Commander males.
The effects of testosterone cause Organizer males moderate stress, because Organizers are not by nature aggressive people. The unevolved ones can be quite critical and can be masters at passive-aggressive manipulation, but for the most part, Organizers don’t like open aggression so the aggressive elements added by testosterone can create tension. Another problem with testosterone aggression is the diminished ability to be patient with processes when frustrations arise. To attend to details in the meticulous way most Organizers prefer takes a lot of patience, which testosterone can play havoc with at times. The effects of testosterone are beneficial for Organizer males in that it increases their drive toward (or impatience to have) the things they desire, which is always helpful when an introverted, and not too socially oriented male is seeking a mate.
As with the stereotype, the effects of testosterone negatively impact Relater males the most. Aggression is a totally foreign concept to Relaters of both genders. They don’t like the feelings of aggression toward other people, although many Relater men fully enjoy the testosterone induced attraction for objects of aggression, such as fast cars and motorcycles. In fact, many Relater men turn to fast cars, four-wheeling, and other powerful machines to channel the aggression away from the people they care about and have no desire to act aggressively toward. As with the introverted Organizers, where the effects of testosterone are most beneficial to Relaters is in their pursuit of a mate. Yet, even here the effects of impatience and aggression create problems. Relater males often report that the sexual feelings testosterone creates in them feels “selfish”. They don’t like the fact that testosterone creates tension around the need to approach a mate or to focus on sex. Their primary goal is generally to build deep, strong, meaningful relationships, and they worry that any form of aggression can prevent that. For most Relater males sex is just icing on the cake. It rarely represents the whole cake.
For Entertainer males the effects of testosterone are mostly complimentary. The added aggression increases their drive to impress, to approach strangers, to pursue lovers, and to participate in sex, sports (extreme and otherwise) and other experiential enjoyments. Since Entertainers love the experience, testosterone-driven aggression serves the males well in increasing the level of experiences they can have. The only place the effects of testosterone seem to create any conflict for Entertainer males is that it adds impatience to an already impatient and scattered style. Entertainers tend to be scattered because they find so much in life interesting that they can’t imagine ignoring all those interesting things to focus on just a few. Add the effects of testosterone and the less evolved ones can become downright flighty, flitting from one thing to another in an effort to experience everything. “Flighty” is not an acceptable behavior for males, and those who come across as flighty tend to get a lot of negative feedback, which negatively affects their self-esteem, adding fuel to the already raging fire.
The Hormonal Influence on Females
The primary effects of estrogen on females are that it tends to increase patience and confer a nurturing instinct. This makes perfect sense biologically since women are the bearers of children, and have always been their primary caretakers, and patience and nurturing are essential in that arena. However, the degree of patience and instinct to nurture appears to vary greatly among women. This may or may not have anything to do with type, but certainly the way in which women choose to nurture greatly depends on type.
As with the stereotype, the effects of estrogen are most stressful to Commander women, primarily because of the emotional effects produced by the fluctuating levels of estrogen. Commander women hate feeling out of control and are really not happy with the emotions that often come with hormone shifts. Commander women are often frustrated with the out of control feelings that occur just before menstruation or during menopause. They report that the high emotions that estrogen shifts create are irritating and aggravating, especially when those shifts are their own.
The benefit of estrogen for Commander women is that it provides them with more patience than Commander males have, and the added instinct toward nurturing gives the more evolved ones a decidedly gentler and kinder leadership style, and this kinder, gentler style is highly effective. This is not the case with unevolved Commander women. In fact, it’s the unevolved Commander women that men generally point to when trying to prove that women don’t make good leaders. Unevolved Commander women in leadership roles can be real terrors, but then so can unevolved Commander men. The difference is, the behavior in men is dismissed as “tough”. In women, it’s seen as “bitchy”, thanks to the stereotypes.
The effects of estrogen on Organizer females are mostly complimentary. Estrogen adds patience to the already patient attention to detail, which Organizers in general tend to have. The nurturing element helps the more evolved females warm up to others better than their male counterparts generally do. Strangely, in the less evolved Organizer females, the nurturing instinct can be a source of tension because it tugs at them to connect with others at deeper levels than they are comfortable with. Some of them feel compelled to put up their guard in order to stay process, rather than people, oriented and sometimes feel guilty that they don’t fit the more affectionate feminine stereotype.
The effects of estrogen are completely complimentary to Relater females, which is one reason why they fit the stereotype so well. Their nature is to be laid-back, easy-going, patient, nurturing, to put others ahead of themselves, and to be of service. About the only area where estrogen related conflict may occur for Relater females is in raising their already sensitive emotions to the point that they occasionally get upset with others and say or do something out of character.
The effects of estrogen are mostly complimentary to Entertainers since they are feeling types who already have the tendency to make people central to their lives. But, as with Relaters, fluctuating hormone levels can create mild conflict by raising Entertainer’s emotional levels such that they become testy, weepy or over-dramatic. The effect is less stressful to Entertainers than to Relaters however, because Entertainers are not usually as embarrassed about showing their emotions or crying in public as are Relaters. They are much better at dismissing dramatic outbursts and moving on. The effects of estrogen just make the naturally charismatic energy of evolved Entertainers all the more appealing.