. . . the area of instrumental function concerns relations of the system to the situation outside the system, to meeting the adaptive conditions of its maintenance of equilibrium, and instrumentally establishing the desired relations to external goal objects. The expressive area concerns the "internal" affairs of the system, the maintenance of integrative relations between the members, and regulation of the patterns and tension levels of its component units [p. 47].
Within this instrumental-expressive dichotomy lies a great array of possibilities, in that the modal men and modal women of a society can conceivably vary from extreme male-instrumental and female-expressive to near equal combinations of each. However, the evidence is that reversals in these male and female modalities within a society is not probable.
Said another way, we are acknowledging here the importance of social learning and societal input in the patterning of variation in male and female roles, but we are at the same time emphasizing that societal institutions do not arise, as it were, out of the blue; and that world-wide consistencies in institutionalized male-female roles appear to reflect phylogenetically adaptive differences in the sexes, differences that may already be seen in their incipient forms in very early infancy.
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