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Is it true that alpha guys exist, or is it simply science fiction? Here’s what science says about the supposed male hierarchy.
So-called influencers abound on the internet. The “manosphere” of yesteryear has been honed into a money-making machine controlled by a small group of “top alpha males” who have figured out how to monetize fury and controversy.
“Alpha male” is likely the most well-known and oldest category in Vox Day’s male hierarchy, and referring to a powerful man as an “alpha” has become standard.
However, the term “alpha male” and other related terms such as “sigma” and “beta male” are not supported by research.
Let’s take a look at where the male socio-sexual hierarchy comes from and why it’s not a useful lens for seeing masculinity.
What is Male hierarchy?
Where did the concept of an “alpha male” originate, and why is it so prevalent today?
The phrase “alpha male” appears to have been used a few times before 1960, most notably in Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World.
The term “alpha” was popularised by L. David Mech’s 1970 book The Wolf: The Ecology and Behavior of an Endangered Species. Mech had noticed that one wolf in the pack looked to be dominant over the others. Mech’s further examination revealed that his first conclusions were erroneous – what he thought were “alpha wolves” were actually father wolves caring after their offspring. Mech’s further examination revealed that his first conclusions were erroneous – what he thought were “alpha wolves” were actually parent wolves caring after their offspring.
Since the internet’s rapid growth, the projected “male hierarchy” has grown from an alpha/beta dichotomy to an entire “Greek alphabet soup” of male roles.
The far-right activist Theodore Robert Beale also known as “Vox Day” formalised the male hierarchy into its current form around 2011.
SOCIO-SEXUAL “RANKINGS” DEFINED
Before delving into whether these divisions are factual and accurate, let’s take a look at each of the primary categories in the male hierarchy. It is worth noting that the boundaries of these “ranks” are not clearly defined. What appears to some as “beta” may appear as “omega” to others. None of these definitions are used consistently across the internet.
The alpha male is the stereotypical ‘bad boy’ or the ‘main character’. They are natural leaders, self-assured, macho, dominant, charismatic, and a little aggressive.
They are frequently tall and beautiful, and they enjoy telling others what to do since it feeds their ego. Women find them very beautiful, and other guys are motivated by them. Alpha males enjoy socialising and are drawn to submissive females. US President Donald Trump is possibly the best illustration of an alpha male.
Alphas value social domination and social acceptability by their organisations because they appreciate having a high social position. They are outgoing people who enjoy being the centre of attention. These people are usually successful in their careers and are not afraid to take chances. They can, however, be shallow and place too much emphasis on outward appearances.
On the male hierarchy, Sigma and Alpha guys are nearly equal. Sigmas are as self-assured as alphas, but they are lone wolves who do not seek social attention to improve their self-esteem.
They are introverted and do not follow the social rules of the hierarchy. Nonetheless, they win the game. An alpha may view a Sigma as a threat, although they are interested in assuming the position of Alpha or becoming leaders. Women find Sigmas just as appealing as Alphas. Vox Day and actor Keanu Reeves’ fictional character John Wick are both excellent examples of Sigma men.
Sigma is a quiet, mysterious person with a lot of self-confidence. They are incredibly thoughtful and consider every action they make. This does not imply that they are bashful. They are personable by nature, have a positive mindset, and outstanding management skills. The Sigma never settles in life. They work hard to go where they want to go and can be highly manipulative in order to obtain what they desire.
Intelligent and well-performing Sigmas are unconcerned with the social hierarchy and work outside of it. They generally forgo traditional professions and achieve success by pursuing their own source of money.
Sigmas typically do whatever their hearts desire without regard for what others think of them. They are, nonetheless, extremely lonely, especially when they allow their introversion to keep them socially isolated.
The Betas are the Alpha male’s followers and are oneof the most popular personality kinds in the socio-sexual hierarchy.
They are known for playing it safe, avoiding conflicts and risks, and idolising women. They typically lack the Alphas’ and Sigmas’ physical appeal, confidence, and charisma.
They are devoted and skilled at obeying and carrying out directions. They value maintaining their position in the hierarchy and will take a stand if the hierarchy is threatened. They are devoted Alpha lieutenants who usually have prosperous careers. John the Baptist is an excellent example of this type of man.
They are your typical lovely folks, kind, decent, and likeable. They are normally calm and grounded, with very little aggression. They understand how to manage their egos and accept criticism constructively. They tend to be quiet and idealistic. They are generally secure and content in life.
The majority of guys are Deltas. These are regular guys who work hard to govern civilization. They are not the most gorgeous males, so they have difficulty attracting ladies. They primarily seek ladies who are superior to their female counterparts.
However, if men are in a relationship with a woman who is better than them, they tend to grow insecure and put their spouse on a pedestal because they are afraid the woman would lose interest and leave them.
This, ironically, becomes the cause of their failing relationships. Women are frequently uninterested in them. Jason Bourne, a fictional character, is a textbook illustration of this personality type.
It is often assumed that these men are physically and psychologically weak, with no interest in self-improvement. They feel that interacting with an Alpha male or a Beta will help them thrive and survive.
They are typically unappealing, bitter, and introspective. They are obsessive lovers, stalkers, psycho-jealous ex-boyfriends, abusers, narcissists, offenders, social justice warriors, and conmen.
Gammas are frequently perplexed by the socio-sexual hierarchy and avoid the Alpha male, Betas, and even Sigmas. They generally do not belong to any group and do not obey social rules.
They are intelligent, but they tend to overestimate their intelligence and thus assume they should be further up in the organisation. They consider themselves to be superior to Alpha, Sigma, Beta, and even Delta.
Gammas are generally invisible to women and have a hard time enticing the opposite sex. Women, although being amorous and sensitive, dislike gammas and are frequently placed in the friend zone. Gamma guys either worship or despise females. They are sexual rejects, not social rejects.
The Alpha man’s polar opposite is the Omega male. They are typically social outcasts who are avoided by everyone. Omegas are clinging because they are terrified of being alone.
They will cling to anyone who will pay them attention. They are, however, usually honest and not deceptive like the Gammas. Most people regard them as social losers since they are typically unpleasant, dumb, broken, and occasionally creepy.
They are frequently social outcasts who are unable to attract ladies. These males are primarily nerds and geeks with no romantic or social lives. They stick with their own gang of nerds. Omegas are usually apathetic to other women, if not hostile to them.
Omegas are severely lacking in social skills and physical characteristics. Milton from the film Office Space is a wonderful illustration of this type.
Male Hierarchy: fact or fiction?
Vox Day’s male hierarchy is, at best, a fable. While hierarchies are an important aspect of society, there is no evidence that billions of people can be neatly classified as belonging to a “natural” hierarchy. According to supporters, “even Vox Day identifies the hierarchy as ‘fractal,’ which means it’s strongly context-dependent.” The issue is that Vox Day’s hierarchy is not supported by any hard facts.
While it is true that good-looking, forceful men tend to perform well in high-powered situations, there is so much going on behind the scenes in the lives of “high performers” and in their work contexts that isn’t taken into account when they are labelled as “alpha” or “sigma.” Again, every person on Earth is a complex human being, and any attempt to draw broad categorizations of people is doomed to be highly short-sighted.
The Dangers of Vox’s hierarchy
It is obvious that the kind of simplistic thinking promoted by Vox’s masculine hierarchy may be used to deceive people and excuse prejudiced, even dangerous, behaviour.
People like the infamous Andrew Tate try to make a quick buck by exploiting beliefs like male dominance and other dubious lines of thought.
While Vox’s social sexual hierarchy is not inherently hazardous, it is a significant oversimplification that many online hucksters utilise to help promote these and other types of bad discourse and dubious business practices.
Creating a hierarchy, has many disadvantages, such as:
Isolation and Siloed Thinking
The same grouping that helps department members to work well together also isolates them from the rest of the firm, diminishing interdepartmental cooperation and communication. Departments can lose sight of other regions’ concerns and develop tunnel vision. When tensions are high, departments may prioritise their own agendas over company aims.
Centralization of Power
Hierarchical organisations concentrate power and authority at the highest conceivable levels. This can cause issues for a small business owner. Instead of making big-picture decisions, planning, and providing leadership, the owner may become engrossed in day-to-day operations, making decisions about matters that should be left to individuals closer to the situation.
Endless Red Tape
As a hierarchical organisation expands, so does its hierarchy. Bureaucracies slow down decision-making, communication, and action, and the company becomes ponderous rather than spry. Communication and demands must travel up and then back down the chain of command, slowing things down. Bureaucracy is particularly damaging in fast-paced commercial situations.
Things to learn from Male Hierarchy ?
While the male hierarchy is nonsense, the categories can teach you a few crucial lessons that might help improve your life.
First and foremost, if you want to achieve big things, you must be disciplined. Vox’s “alphas” and “sigmas” stereotypes have one thing in common: they are both disciplined. Most people who promote the male hierarchy champion discipline as a virtue even if they aren’t really disciplined themselves. True, continuous effort over time is more likely to produce results than working on something only when you feel motivated.simply turning up wins half the battle.
Don’t be a pushover
You don’t need to be an aggressively assertive jerk but it’s good to have a backbone. It’s important to have morals and lines that you won’t cross no matter what but it is equally important to voice your opinions and to express your feelings.
Don’t blindly trust what you read
Nothing you read on the internet can be trusted. The male socio-sexual hierarchy is one of a million myths propagated on the internet. Many of these theories are utilised to gain money by exploiting your insecurities. Pay attention and take what you read with a grain of salt.