Alpha and Beta Males

If you should peruse the manosphere you will find the terms alpha and beta thrown about. Simply defined, an alpha male is the one who gets the chicks, and the beta is the one who doesn’t.

Of course it is more nuanced than that. The alpha male is strong and assertive, the beta weak and indecisive. The alpha understands female psychology and exploits it to his advantage, the beta is mystified by women. The beta idealizes the woman he is attracted to, puts her on pedestal and worships her from afar while (unbeknownst to the beta) the alpha is actually having sex with her (which reminds me of the sad case of a buddy of mine in highschool… poor kid.)

This is based in something called evolutionary psychology which tells us that women are hardwired by evolution to dig jerks, who in turn are hardwired by evolution to spread their seed far and wide.

The discipline of evolutionary psychology works like this: first you pick a behavior you fancy, then you make up stuff about cavemen to justify it. Invoking evolution to explain “how the alpha go his game” is about on the same level as invoking an old wives tale about “how the cat got his tail”, because 1) you can’t attribute to evolution (which means “stuff randomly changes”) a quasi-providential role in shaping human behavior, and 2) since you know almost nothing about early human culture you can’t extrapolate contemporary behaviors from it.

This doesn’t mean there isn’t something to the whole alpha-beta concept. You don’t need to make up just-so stories about the distant past to see that women by and large prefer confident men to insecure ones. Just like men tend to like more womanly women, women tend to like manly men. No big mystery there.

And what is a manly man?

Now there is a mystery.

Primitive societies often had clear rites of passage between boyhood and manhood, which usually revolve around some mastery of the essential virtues that society associated with being a man. If you can navigate to this distant island and pluck a flower, or if you can go out in the woods and stalk and kill a lion, or if you can do a commentary on the Torah, you have mastered the essential art of manhood and are now a fully functional member of society.

Obviously we have nothing of the sort in our society, and our unofficial “rites of passage” are anything but an introduction to responsible manhood.

Modern manhood is less defined, and in a way perhaps less cultured (i.e. cultivated) than previous versions of manhood. That may be why there is such discomfort among men. They just aren’t sure what to do with themselves.






  1. Well said. I really believe this modern crisis of manhood is the root of all that ails us right now.

    1. Are you having a crisis of manhood? Is it like the War on Christmas?

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