The Alpha Male History And Facts

The alpha male status is attractive because you heard it commands respect and grants you easy access to women and other privileges in life. But is that truly the case? Find out!

Young men are inundated with alpha male contents on how they can exert manliness and be seen as the real men who can have influence and control.

Though this is usually an effect of testosterone, but it usually spills over and become a problem for the youth and society.

This post is handy to expose everything surrounding the alpha male rhetoric including its history and how it has transited through the modern age.

Young man! After reading this post, you have to beware on the pieces of advice you receive on how to become and alpha male.

This is going to be a long post, so brace up! It’s worth it. You may want to use the table of contents to navigate the subheadings.

Alpha male definition and meaning

The Alpha male rhetoric has infiltrated the affairs of humans

The alpha male is the dominant male in a group of animals who call the shots and enjoy the best resources there can be, including females.

He has the foremost right to pass on his gene to as many generations as he can remain the savage in the group.

He attains this status though through risks in aggression, violence and intimidation.

Some alpha male-wannabes in animals have been mauled to death or sent packing from groups in the quest to become the topmost male in the group.

In humans, the alpha male is the man who imitates the replica in animals and yearns to be at the topmost hierarchy in human society.

RELATED: What Is An Alpha Male Like In Bed?

The alpha male has some characteristics that make him fit to contest for the topmost spot. He must be healthy, strong, brutal, and ready to unleash aggression and violence at any time.

His leadership is a forced one and the rest don’t have a choice. His status also automatically makes him the defender of the group’s territory from imminent attack from intruders.

However, some studies have shown the alpha male concept is not entirely applicable to all animals, especially primates.

In fact, some primates have allies and coalitions that are political in nature through which they produce their leader or what could be described as the alpha male.

In humans, the alpha male is a phrase of controversy as many meanings have been allocated to it depending on the intention of the players.

Though there is no scientific support for the human alpha male, it has become widespread, especially among young men who are still unsure of their masculinity.

History and origin of the alpha male concept

The concept of the alpha male came from ethology – the study of animal behaviours and has been studied and documented by different biologists since the 1800s.

The study was conducted on many different social animals including chickens, wolves, walruses, fish, and primates (gorillas, bonobos, and chimpanzees)

Pierre Huber, an entomologist, appears to be the first to connect the concept of alpha male dominance to the social behaviour of bumblebees in 1802.

Also Read: Alpha Male Weakness And Challenges

The study of dominance as an integral part of social behaviour was developed in 1900s by ethologists while using the terms ‘dominance and alpha to describe the strongest member in a group of animals.

According to anthropologist Monika Sumra, ‘alpha’, the first alphabet of the Greek alphabet was first used in 1900s in academics to designate dominant chickens by a zoologist on the hierarchies of chickens in an order known as pecking.

The pecking order of chickens indicates hierarchy

The chicken pecking order was first discussed by a zoologist and psychologist, Thorleif Schjelderup-Ebbe when he immersed himself in the observation of chickens on a farm.

He observed that hens have well-established social order that determined who was to peck who in a fight.

According to him, this order of pecking culminated in rankings that emerged from fights over food, and when a chicken is defeated, it submits forever to the winner.

Though the pecking order was not specific to males or females, the focus of this article is on the human alpha males.

The wolf pack behaviour

Wolf was the lead experimental animal in the study of alpha males in animals
The wolf pack

Coming to wolves that were popular on the study, alpha males do not exist in their pack contrary to earlier study in 1948 by Rudolph Schenkel who thought an alpha pair would fight for dominance to win exclusive rights to mating and territory.

The wolf pack is a popular example of alphadom in animal literature, which Rudolph Schenkel popularized as he brought together, wolves in captivity to study their behaviour.

In his study, he found that wolves squabbled just like the hens to gain dominance either for food, sex, or other needs which created an order or hierarchy in the group.

The topmost male and female member wolves were named the alpha pair who claimed exclusive sexual rights among the pack.

The wolf pack alpha male debunked

A wolf researcher with the United States Geological Survey, David Mech debunked the idea of an alpha pair of wolves fighting for dominance for winning mating rights among the group.

But his debunking was not without writing in favour of the research of Schenkel in a book in 1968 – “The Wolf: Ecology and Behavior of an Endangered Species.”

He said that the ‘alpha wolf’ behaviour as observed and reported by Schenkel only appeared in wolves in captivity brought together from different backgrounds.

He went ahead to opine that the true wolf pack begins with a male and female producing offspring and exhibiting the truest wolf behaviour, where the parents are the dominant pair.

In Dave Mech’s words

“The concept of the alpha wolf is well ingrained in the popular wolf literature, at least partly because of my book “The Wolf: Ecology and Behavior of an Endangered Species,” written in 1968, published in 1970, republished in paperback in 1981, and currently still in print, despite my numerous pleas to the publisher to stop publishing it. Although most of the book’s info is still accurate, much is outdated. We have learned more about wolves in the last 40 years than in all of the previous history.

One of the outdated pieces of information is the concept of the alpha wolf. “Alpha” implies competing with others and becoming the top dog by winning a contest or battle. However, most wolves who lead packs achieved their position simply by mating and producing pups, which then became their pack. In other words, they are merely breeders, or parents, and that’s all we call them today, the “breeding male,” “breeding female,” or “male parent,” “female parent,” or the “adult male” or “adult female.” In the rare packs that include more than one breeding animal, the “dominant breeder” can be called that, and any breeding daughter can be called a “subordinate breeder.”

Dave Mech – Alpha Wolf Concept

Watch Dave Mech debunk the alpha male concept:

Dave Mech debunks the alpha male concept in wolves

Instead of living in packs that have no filial relationship while fighting to dominate for food and mating rights, it turns out that wolves are family oriented with the hierarchy starting with the parents down to the offspring.

The young leave the pack when they are old enough to start their own family.

Mech has debunked the alpha concept in wolves, but the concept could very much be true in some primates, who are the closest relatives of humans.

Also, in another interesting video clip I found, Adam puts it clearer by tackling the intricate world of dating, the man’s behaviour towards the woman and debunking the alpha male rhetoric as completely fake.

Adam clarifies the debunking of the alpha male concept

Adams also goes into other biological misconceptions, like the idea that chimps are our closest relatives and their alphas win the position through aggression. They aren’t, and they don’t.

The video goes on to point out that human social hierarchies are constantly changing, unlike animals whose behaviours are fixed and born out of instincts. No human is the same kind of person in all situations.

Alpha male in primates

Primates have the next organized community next to man

According to a primate behavioural ecologist at Tulane University, Kathy Jack, who studies alpha male behaviour in capuchin monkeys;

“it won’t take you a few minutes to identify the alpha male monkey if shown a group of monkeys in a Costa Rica Forest.”

The capuchin alpha eats first, others make way for him, and he lies in the choicest place for others to get him groomed, an attribute of a dominant member.

In many primates’ literature, the alpha is pictured as a dominant, strong, aggressive, emotionless member of a group with priority access to the choicest resources including females.

He is considered attractive, desirable by females, and probably more sexually active

Another researcher, Maslow thought that the dominance of males in primates was similar to the pecking order in chickens and an integral part of all relationships of primates for social cohesion.

Maslow continued that the hypothesis from the study of primates on dominance and ranking could be applied in the study of human social behaviour.

However, in another different research with a deviating view, Carpenter C.R found a positive correlation between rank and sexual behaviour among a group of howler monkeys.

These monkeys maintained social cohesion through cooperation and mutual interest and not through competitive group members or males.

This is an indication that the alpha male concept is not stable or constant with every species.

Importation and the evolution of the human alpha male

The alpha male has come a long way and continues to evolve especially in the affairs of humans.

The importation of the term into human affairs has been widely criticized by scientists.

Inasmuch as it is okay to compare human and other lower animal’s behaviour for sake of reference or to drive home a point, as there are intelligent animals.

I am sure it is not right for the ‘alpha male’ rhetoric to be imported into the affairs of humans as the alpha behaviour is more of instinctive than reasoning, reptilian than modern.

The term ‘alpha’ started being applied to humans with the publication of Frans de Waal’s Chimpanzee Politics in 1982, which compared humans and chimpanzee behaviours including the dominant behaviour of males who can fight to the death for food, sex, and territory.

Frans De Waal did not out rightly imply there are human alpha males, but his book gave the term a new leap and meaning that got people’s interest.

Since then, alpha male rhetoric has spread with different meanings attached to it, especially among people who are trying to identify with their masculinity.

Among young men, thumbs up are given to men who are dominating, aggressive, and misogynistic as these are the assumed characteristics of the masculine man.

RELATED: 8 Reasons To Jettison The Alpha Male Personality

The alpha male badge is slapped on these characters as a badge of honour for being masculine while encouraging others to join the bandwagon.

To be masculine enough is the aspiration of every young man as it is believed to be the secret to have any woman at their beck and call and to be respected by both men and women.

The elusive alpha male fantasy has driven a lot of people, especially young men on the path of misogynism – prejudice or hatred for women.

Searching about the human alpha males on the internet would inundate you with articles that teach how to intimidate others and let them know you are the boss who shouldn’t be messed with.

There is no doubt the term has been accepted by many even with its many flaws and lack of scientific support, but its foundation would not hold it for too long.

In the course of discussing the alpha male, it is important some areas are mentioned as they are bits of the alpha male status. Masculinity is one of them.

RELATED: The Toxic Alpha Male Strategies Can’t Woo You A Woman

For reasons that are obvious, ego-protecting men have decided to continue with the alpha male rhetoric, trying everything possible to give it a different meaning to make it more appealing.

What remains glaring, however, is that the alpha male mantra is pushed by men who are hurt, lack a general sense of living, and are seeking validations from here and there to become relevant.

No thanks to the alpha male crusaders who will stop at nothing to push their rhetoric, tweaking the intention and meaning along decades of transition.

The truth is, the alpha male rhetoric in the animals’ social behaviour is riddled with doubt and many discrepancies making it discouraging and scientists are weary to have much to do with it. But this is not to be for the alpha male crusaders.

Watch the video about how the evolution of the alpha male is disturbing by Casey Aonso:

Evolution of the human alpha concept – Credit: Casey Aonso

There is also another term used for the second-ranking male in the hierarchy, the beta male.

The beta is seen as the weaker male who gets what the alpha overlooks, but we are not going to dwell on that. I just felt it is right to mention it.

Others also see the human alpha male from the original meaning – the bullies who get what they want from intimidation, violence, and dominance.

There is however another disturbing meaning given to the alpha male that somehow is true as a result of observable trends and conducts of the crusaders of the term.

Most see alpha males as women haters, misogynists who live to dominate women or fear ceding the slightest power to the opposite gender.

Whatever unsettled scores they have with the female gender are yet to be known.

There are also people who think the human alpha male concept is a combination of some or all of the above definitions.

32 Observable alpha male signs

Signs of the human alphas
Alpha male signs

Young men and women are the most concerned when it comes to looking for the alpha male signs in men. Do you know why?

Becoming a grown-up man is the best transition a young man can hope for instead of looking for the alpha male signs.

A grown-up man is a confident man who has all it takes to be on his way up the social ladder.

Also Read: How To Be Masculine Without Becoming An Alpha Male

All your fantasies about becoming an alpha male that would commandeer women’s attention, and be the envy of other men might not be achievable.

That fantom image you have been having about being the center of attention, succeed in everything you do is good, but you don’t have to attach it to being an alpha male.

However, I will go ahead and list the signs of the alpha male, but I have to give you my advice first.

You have to let go of these thoughts or they will make you miserable because you are thinking way too much and giving yourself high expectations that would mess with your mentality.

Our young people have been so bombarded with the alpha male rhetoric that they now see it as a standard for dating in the case of the ladies or a standard for manliness for the young men.

On social media, you hear about alpha males – how to be him, how to date him, and all sorts of energy around the alpha male.

You are bombarded in the media – blogs, books, television, and even word of mouth.

It makes you insecure and apprehensive about this imaginary, godlike image of the ungraspable alpha figure.

Also Read: How To Be A Real Man At Home, Workplace, And Social Circles

You might not have known any history of this so-called alpha figure, or if actually, the concept is attainable. See the extensive article on alpha male history and all the facts.

Well, I am here to tell you that the alpha male rhetoric is a huge myth.

It only exists in some animals and in the heads of the alpha male crusaders, but whether ‘alpha male or female’ is even the appropriate phrase to describe the dominance and behaviours that can be observed in the animal kingdom is left for further research.

For now, we are focusing on how the concept has taken everyone by storm, and the bandwagon does not want to know if the term should be applied to humans or not.

This article is focusing on the perceived signs of the human alpha male if it was to be applied to humans.

The video below shows 5 compound signs of the alpha.

The core alpha male traits

The core alpha male traits cannot be separated from the animal behaviour in the wild. The human alpha male claimant remains the student of the animals.

However, the pro-alpha male would make you believe the alpha male is a refined, benevolent, easygoing and sanctimonious man who can’t hurt a fly.

You my reader would begin to wonder if the alpha male in the wild should be different from the human alpha males.

It is below the dignity of man to be dragging the ‘alpha male’ status with animals in the quest to be respected in society and admired by the ladies.

What’s the need to create a lofty image for men to fit in when it could be as simple as being the confident gentleman?

And to think that the alpha male rhetoric has been debunked is a reason you should not give heed to the rhetoric.

There are hardworking men everywhere who mind their businesses, are successful, prestigious and therefore admirable in society; does it mean they are the elusive alpha male, since they share the same purported traits with the elusive alpha male?

If the alpha male people worship is the same who shares the same traits as the everyday man who is strong-willed, makes money, a leader and has his way with women, so what’s the fuss?

Below are some of the key real alpha traits:

  • Strength
  • Dominance
  • Intimidation
  • Aggression
  • Instincts
  • Violence
  • Pride

1. Strength

Since the strongest or the bravest in the case of the primates comes out a winner as the alpha male in the animal kingdom, then strength is an important factor for the alpha male to be successful.

Not just emerging as the alpha, he has to defend it until the day he is dethroned. Because of his strength, he is able to wade off attacks from other animals and protect the pack, if not, the pack would be overrun.

He also uses his strength to subdue the females for sexual activities.

Strength is one of the traits of the human dominant male

2. Dominance

Dominance is the act of controlling, prevailing, or powerful position over others, especially in a social hierarchy.

The alpha male does not leave a level playing ground for everybody. He is greedy and only shares because he wants to, not because others need it.

This attribute can still be seen in some animals today who in the presence of food chase away other animals because he is the strongest and can dominate.

ALSO READ: The Origin Of The Chicken Pecking Order

Human alpha crusaders know this is not a good attribute of man, and you might not see it as one of the traits of their alpha rhetoric in recent publications.

And when you see it among the list, it is painted in the softest way, trying to give it a safe, healthy meaning.

Dominance in its truest form is not a good attribute in human society and is met with stiff resistance.

3. Intimidation

Intimidation means to coerce, deter, and make afraid as with threats to have another do a biding.

It is a behavioural response in animals as a result of a threat to their food, territory, or other resources.

The display involves a posture that makes it appear aggressive and bigger to inflict fear and flight. Every animal uses these tactics to get what they want.

Also Read: What Is Toxic Masculinity? Why You Should Be Concerned

They employ a tactic after another fails until they resort to fighting and violence.

In the activities of man, intimidation is not a positive trait. It’s a sign of disrespect and most times leads to violence.

They like to intimidate their victims either by aggression and creating fear

4. Aggression

Aggression is a spoken or physical behaviour against another that is threatening and mostly involves harm. It is a readiness to attack.

Animals in the wild have this as a daily routine. They constantly show aggression which almost always culminates in violence.

It is a trait of the alpha and works for him most times.

Dominant male wannabes hit their woman and the vulnerable

5. Instinctive

Animals are instinctive which means an innate, fixed pattern of behaviour. They act on impulse without reasoning.

When the alpha animal sees an intruder, his instinct kicks in for intimidation or any other defensive attitude.

Man is instinctive, but he employs reasoning in his dealings to gauge situations and the best possible approach to issues.

6. Violence

Violence is the last resort for the animals when all other measures fail. It is a physical behaviour involving physical force with the intention to hurt, kill, or damage.

Alpha animals are ready to go to this length with an intruder or an opposer. This is also how they are dethroned from their high position, sometimes mauled in the process.

The above traits are the original traits of alpha males and if humans should be given the alpha badge, these traits should accompany it.

Also Read: Fragile Masculinity Vs Toxic Masculinity

You cannot claim to be an alpha without the animalistic alpha male traits.

If we want to talk about men being masculine in a healthy way, we should describe them with the appropriate adjectives with clear meanings.

The alpha male crusaders are responsible for the spread of the alpha male rhetoric in humans and are championed in the PUA community.

They like to be violent and toxic

Toxic pride

Toxic pride is a disdainful behavior or treatment the alpha male carries with him to as he sees some behaviours as weakness.

The human alpha is so pompous that he lose out on important liaisons and relationships.

He treats his fellow men who share different views with him with disdain and contempt. Toxic pride leads to toxic masculinity.

Yes! You want to see the alpha male signs in you

I know! You want to be described with the alpha male signs, to be one of the alpha guys out there.

It is not bad to desire to be the best or stand out among mediocre people and be respected in society.

That’s a healthy aspiration, but you should not go about it in a way that would hurt your ego and mess everything up for a long time.

Carrying yourself like James Bond and acting out what you have read about dominance and getting all the girls would be counterproductive and a long pain.

As a man, you already have the signs of manliness in you. All other things you need are the will, confidence, and goals to achieve and you would learn every other thing along the way.

Why striving to be an alpha male would mess you up

The concept of alpha is self-defeating because it is comparative. When you compare yourself with a lofty image you don’t know how it came about, you start acting like it and when things do not work out as you expect, you are frustrated.

While trying to be an alpha, you compare yourself with others, you are not sure you are doing enough of the alpha posturing because you are out of your natural self, trying to please a phantom castle-in-the-air image.

This will develop a sense of obsession in you that would lead to long-term effects which include constant anxiety, disappointment, depression, and the risk of substance abuse.

ALSO READ: Self Management Skills, Definition And How To Stay Organized

Most of the alpha male signs – physical attributes or behaviours that are indicative of alpha are seen as haughtiness, pride, and disdain for other people, and these are negative impressions you are creating about yourself through this forced status.

Of course, it is not wrong to integrate new healthy behaviours into your existing ones to improve yourself, but the manner you go about it would make the difference.

Here are the signs of the human alpha male:

Negative and positive signs of alpha male

Both the negative and positive alpha male signs are derived from the core alpha male traits we discussed above. They are as follows:

The below signs of the alpha male are not exclusive to the alpha male. In fact, some of these signs also describe the average male.

The key difference is that in alpha males, the signs are too strong and consistent and driven by an agenda – to dominate.

Signs of alpha male swing in both ways – negative and positive signs.

Negative signs of alpha male

Most of the alpha male signs are negative and his positive traits are also drawn from this negative traits. Below are some of the negative signs that give him away.

1. Alpha males have fragile egos/masculinity

The human alpha male has a terrible fragile masculinity/ego. He tries all he can to hide this insecurity because it would be a blow to this super-hard shell.

His masculine fragility is however perceivable by his overbearing actions through which he cloaks his weaknesses.

When his ego is bruised, he even doubles his efforts to redeem it. By so doing, he might hurt people, and be violent and aggressive.

Haughty men have fragile ego that makes them insecure

2. He’s not a committed partner in relationships

The alpha male posturer does not commit to relationships. He is a truant in relationship matters. This is because he detests confinement, he wants freedom and is not bound by any relationship rules.

Most of the single mom out there today were abandoned by mostly alpha male posturers who can’t take responsibility.

Dominant males do not commit to relationships

3. Mask is his everyday companion

It is not a small task to be able to live a fake life of the alpha male on daily basis. No man is born without weak emotions, but the alpha male only chooses to amplify only strong emotions like anger and rage.

However, he masks his true self by posturing as the strong man in the hood while becoming a different person entirely at home.

This somewhat heavy mask he chooses to wear weighs him down even though it might earn him some respect.

This means he is under continuous pressure to maintain his alpha male status or risk falling off the pedestal.

To notice this sign is tricky unless you spend more time with him.

Mask is the companion of alpha males

4. He’s unnecessarily stubborn and rude

Stubbornness is the natural trait of the human alpha male. He does not conform to rules and always seems to have his own methods of doing things.

As audacious as it may seem, it earns him so much contempt and disdain from people but he does not care one bit.

This explains why he is constantly at loggerheads with colleagues, family members, and friends.

This may also explain why he seldom remains in one job for a long time.

5. He’s highly insecure

Another secret sign of the human alpha male is that he is highly insecure under the hard posture he presents.

He is so much not comfortable being weak or seen as not man enough. This is why he is scared of women surpassing him in earnings.

As he uses the alpha male status as a standard for a man, he tries to live up to the image. His insecurity keeps him unnecessarily on his toes to keep watch on his fragile ego.

6. He’s a misogynist

The alpha male does not feel comfortable with women in authority. His traditional rigid masculinity detests women to have some kind of power.

They believe women should be at home cooking meals and taking care of kids. This is one of the reasons why the alpha male concept is an offshoot of toxic masculinity.

This is also a reason for many divorces in the world today. For instance, an alpha male thinks when his wife makes more money, she can cease to be under his control.

He would try to exert his power on her by making unnecessary rules which the wife might find ridiculous and boom! There is trouble. This almost always leads to separation or divorce.

7. He does not care about people’s opinion

When the human alpha male posturer sets out on a plan, he does not care what anybody thinks.

This is an appendage to his stubbornness, but being insensitive to others’ opinions or advice is the height of rudeness.

Sometimes he succeeds in his quest and other times he flops, but this attitude of his threatens teamwork and stresses bonds between people.

Stubborn males don't care about the opinion of others

8. He hates being a subordinate and sabotages his superiors

The human alpha male might be happy with a new position, but this happiness is always short-lived as he would find faults with his superior and find a way around usurping him.

This lofty ambition always puts him in a precarious situation which either results in axing him or punishment. However, this doesn’t stop him from doing the same in a short while.

He can sabotage his superiors just so he can take their position. This owes to his excessive.

9. He bullies his way through

An average alpha male is a bully. That’s a fact, irrespective of what people who are trying to make the alpha male look good are saying.

Just like the alpha male in the wild, the human alpha male is a replica. He does not like competition, even though he can participate if he has no choice. He can employ any means to be at the top to enjoy the worship.

They are unrepentant bullies

10. He frequently gets into a fight

Because he is a bully and foments trouble, he is always in one brawl or another. When his dominant behaviour collides with his type, who can’t contend with his position, a fight ensues.

11. He’s not loyal

An alpha male can be loyal temporarily because of what he has to gain, but cannot remain so after he gets it or if he fails. He is not consistent with his loyalty.

This means his loyalty or humility is always tied to something he has his eyes on and would not bat an eyelid to run off when he is satisfied.

12. He argues to win and not to add value

The ego of the human alpha male comes into play in always everything he does. He wants to be at the top in everything he engages in.

Inasmuch as this is good to an extent, knowing when to pull back or be the spectator is key.

He argues to win and not to have a consensus. It doesn’t matter if his takes are daft. He must engage you in an argument until it degenerates into an altercation.

They argue to win and not to add value

13. He’s in his early 20s and below 40s

One obtrusive fact researchers and observers have observed is that most of the alpha males are below 40 years of age, with a majority of them in their 20s.

This means while not being a child or juvenile, he is not fully yet mature or has as much experience in life to give him an all-inclusive perspective of life, especially as it concerns man’s relationship with women.

RELATED: How To Be An Alpha Male In A Relationship And Ruin Everything

His testosterone is still at its highest and is the major driver of his thoughts and behaviours.

Most alpha male crusaders have different opinions when they are 40 and above.

14. He can’t handle rejection from women

Another reoccurring sign of the alpha male is his penchant to become hurt and animated when a woman rejects his advances.

He is too full of himself that he takes himself as a god who should be revered and worshipped by women.

All he has to do is point and boom, she’s his. Some even go to the extent of hurting a woman who didn’t accept their advances.

15. He has unhealthy pride

The alpha male is a proud guy and it reflects in his every move and behaviour. He does not have a spirit of sportsmanship and talks to people condescendingly especially people he feels better than.

Anyone who presumably is a rival to him will be ready to be attacked either verbally or in any other way he finds satisfying.

Because of his bloated ego, he does not participate in situations that would expose him for who he is.

They have unhealthy pride that cloaks insecurity

16. He’s almost always a cultist or a gang member

Though this is not a very strong sign of the alpha male. But in my part of the world, the alpha male posturers are always a particular kind of people – violent, aggressive, bullying, and women-beating kind of men.

These are the kind of traits they parade as manliness. Physical strength and power. They never apply emotional or social intelligence, only instincts, and medieval entitlement.

Positive signs of alpha male

Yes! There are positive signs the alpha male possesses and guess what? They are drawn from the positive side of his flaws.

17. He’s courageous and motivated

The alpha male is very courageous because he has a lot to protect – his pride, ego, and emotionless disposition.

He is courageous because he wants to live up to the fake life he has always projected. This makes him achieve more and break a lot of barriers.

The human alpha male has an uncanny kind of motivation because he does not want to fall short of expectations. He set the bar so high for himself that he has no option but to impress.

They are tenacious in the pursuit of their objectives and never give up.

Even if they trip or fall along the route, they get back up and continue. They don’t use the word “quit” in their language.

If they are passionate about anything, they will overcome all obstacles to achieve it.

18. He’s bold

You cannot take away the boldness of the alpha male. This should not be mistaken with courage as courage is an organized boldness while boldness itself is spontaneous.

His boldness is almost inborn and driven by the same ego and pride. He can confront his boss, or any man for that matter who threatens his ego.

His boldness is not just with humans, he also confronts his fears and challenges head-on and almost always wins.  

19. He always has a goal

At every given time, the alpha male has an agenda. He schemes, plans, and projects his agenda whether beneficial to him or not, but he always has a goal.

The goals in their lives are quite obvious to alpha males. They put a lot of effort into achieving the objectives they have set for themselves in either their personal or professional lives.

Every choice they make and action they do is done with the end in mind. They never lead meaningless lives, therefore you never will.

Also Read: The Origin Of The Chicken Pecking Order

The second quality of an alpha male is that he has a clear sense of his priorities in life.

Maybe you’ve talked to him or connected with him in some way. Does he appear to have a strong passion for something in his life that he is actively pursuing?

They are in fact putting these pieces together by acting and moving about. Yes, they could make errors.

They might not always exist. They might occasionally have setbacks. In fact, they are working to make it happen.

20. An alpha male has high standards

However, having extremely high standards for both himself and other people is another indication that a guy is a pro alpha male.

An alpha male has a strong sense of what he wants. Therefore, he won’t encircle himself with a group of people who will bullshit him, tell him what he wants to hear, and then be all, “Oh yeah, isn’t that cool?”

Now, just because an alpha has high expectations for both himself and other people doesn’t necessarily indicate that he will be a stickler for perfection. Being a perfectionist and having high standards are two different things.

21. He’s not driven by sentiments

Alpha males as stoic, rigid humans who are averse to emotions. Right beyond his expressions, he might have a whole lot of emotions welling up inside of him, but because he must be a man and not appear weak, he hides all of that to become stoic.

22. An alpha is not afraid to take the lead

The alpha male, because of his ambitiousness, always wants to be at the forefront. He yearns to be the leader of any group he finds himself.

In a dating situation, he always dictates and does not want to be boxed in a situation where his cover would be blown.

23. He is in control of his emotions

Because of their stoic mentality, alpha males hide their emotions. They don’t love their emotions showing, so they have a measure of control.

An alpha male rarely becomes anxious when faced with challenges. Expect him to maintain his composure even though others are already stressed out over a chaotic circumstance.

But that does not imply that he is not at all terrified or concerned. He simply understands that in order to think clearly, he must constantly practice mind over matter. He also takes decisions with objectivity since he controls his emotions.

ALSO READ: Reasons To Jettison The Alpha Male Personality

24. He can manipulate situations according to his plans

Men who are alpha can also be deceptive. They can use manipulation to their advantage since they constantly want control over others and their environment.

Additionally, because they are strategic, they can organize or arrange situations to get the outcomes they want.

25. He is competitive

Competition comes naturally to an alpha male. Alpha guys aren’t scared to compete, much like alpha animals in the wild battle to rule their group.

In fact, they enjoy competition since it inspires them to put in more effort. As a result, it is common for alpha males to excel in school, take first place in competitions, and advance in their careers.

26. He protects people around him

An alpha male develops a natural sense of dominance. He believes it is his duty to defend everyone who is connected to him. He will use all means required to protect members of his family, friends, or coworkers.

Additionally, this explains why people seek him out. When he is around, he emits a sense of security that makes people feel secure.

27. He is a role model to people around him

Because of his leadership abilities, desire for excellence, and dependability, most people admire an alpha guy. He serves as a role model for many young people, especially if he is affluent and prosperous.

It is not surprising that others desire to be like him because he frequently comes out on top.

28. He does not get intimidated by others

An alpha male cannot be intimidated. He rather gets defeated in a scuffle than back down from an altercation.

Because of his competitive nature, he thinks he has everything needed for a competition.

29. He faces challenges head-on

The challenges that life presents to alpha males are met with courage. In fact, they flourish in almost every challenge including their worries.

They continue to work even when the risks are great. Even though failures are a part of life for them, they never let them get the better of them.

They pick themselves up and give it another go.

30. He makes tough decisions

An alpha male is capable of making difficult choices under pressure. He evaluates the problem and makes a decision regarding what to do. He doesn’t agonize over his choice once he has chosen it. He acts with self-assurance and refrains from questioning his decisions.

31. He is physically strong

Alpha males are physically strong and that could be what makes them buy the alpha male rhetoric in the first place. They feel they are good candidates for the title.

They go ahead to maintain this physical strength by visiting the gym and building up more muscles.

This also explains why they quickly get into fights because they can hold their own physically.

They are strong and show it off

How the alpha male meaning has changed over time

A lot of people misinterpret the alpha male meaning, giving it different meanings according to their intentions and agenda.

Time has had a tremendous effect on the alpha male meaning and sadly, people are weary of reading up histories of terms including the alpha male to know more.

In this post, I am going to take you back to history a bit and the transition of the term ‘alpha male’, and how its meaning has been tweaked by many to suit their projects.

Alpha is a term used to designate the most dominant animal (especially male) who is mostly stronger, healthier, and has all the odds in his favour in animal groups.

The alpha term originated from the chicken pecking order as was studied by Thorleif Schjelderup-Ebbe in 1919.

Other researchers did more work on the subject with other animals including wolves and primates like chimpanzees and bonobos.

Most of the studies that supported the alpha male term were debunked and were the wrong description of how animals treated their subordinates.

What is constant with all the alpha males though in all the research is that he is dominant and achieves that by being aggressive and violent, fighting their way up the social hierarchy.

So it is safe to define the alpha male as the most dominant male in an animal group who is at the topmost spot of the hierarchy by being aggressive and violent.

However, the meaning of alpha male has been changing over time to suit people’s narratives.

The alpha male term is a hot topic, especially among young men who are still trying to be sure of their masculinity.

Smart writers latch on to the topic to make money off men who seek to be alphas.

The term initially was used only in animal ethology, the study of animal behaviour in the 1900s.

The most obvious characteristics of the alpha animals were mating rights and defending of territory and also access to food within the group.

Next to the alpha is the weaker male called beta who gets no opportunity for mating and only eats after the alpha.

Frans de Waal in his book – Chimpanzee Politics, observed that what happens in the chimpanzee colony could be replicated in humans.

In 1990s, some media houses made the term more popular by using it in media outlets for humans, describing manly men who were successful in business.

However, some journalists like Jesse Singal wrote in New York magazine with the attribution of the popularizing the term to a Time Magazine article in 1999.

In the article, Naomi Wolf, who was the advisor to Al Gore, the then-presidential candidate argued that Gore was a beta male who needed to assume the alpha status in the Oval Office so the public would see him as the man on top.

Also, Neil Strauss’s bestselling book in 2005 was about the pickup artistry or what is known as PUA, titled The Game helped in popularizing the alpha male term.

The stereotypes of “alpha males” leading the pack and “beta males” following have become commonplace.

The prevalent consensus is that beta guys are weaker and more subservient, whereas alpha males are powerful, strong, and excessively masculine.

If you search for it online, you’ll probably find articles that claim alpha males radiate confidence, are in charge of their lives, and can obtain any woman they want.

In general, manosphere societies think that women favor men they regard to be “alpha males” and that women take advantage of or overlook those they consider to be “beta guys.”

The manosphere uses phrases like “beta” as well as “good guy or nice guy,” “cuck,” “simp,” and “soy boy.”

We have a comprehensive post on Alpha vs beta male.

The human alpha male is not supported by research

The dominant hierarchy in humans consisting of the alpha and beta males is read in the media so also the claim about women being designed to be attracted to alpha males.

These claims are misogynistic and are not supported by research. Instead, there is a belief that humans climb the social hierarchy through prestige which also plays a big role in attracting women.

The misconception of the alpha male term is widespread online including on websites, blogs, and forums.

These groups churn out contents that promote masculinity, misogyny, and strong opposition to feminism.

The group includes movements such as Men’s Rights Movement, Incels, Men Going Their Own Way (MGTOW), Pickup Artists (PUA), and others.

Alpha male and masculinity

In humans, the alpha status is a subset of toxic masculinity and is exclusively reserved for men.

This is one of the reasons why the alpha male concept gained acceptance as it is a perfect path for the concept to sail.

It threatens the male psyche with the stereotype of the alpha male which is bent on brainwashing young men to be abrasive and unruly rather than composed and kind to exert their masculinity.

Since the alpha term became an important word for the modern man, it has assumed the meaning of leadership, strength and dominance.

But the modern man does not know that becoming a real man requires the skillful traits of emotional intelligence which is far beyond the physical, stoic display.

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: Challenges Of The Multitasking Mind

When personality takes centre stage, physical strength becomes obscure because the strength of character and kindly disposition always win.

I describe the alpha as a boy who is loud, mechanical, and full of himself. He thinks that with a muscular body and dominance he can win over women.

He has so convinced himself his antisocial behaviours would mesmerize the women who would respond with wonder and excitement just as he learns from the PUA community.

RELATED: Alpha Male vs Beta Male: The Animalistic Comparison Of Men

The alpha boy learns his lessons very much later in life very well into his 30s and beyond.

And that is why you hardly see older men brag about the alpha status because they know it’s almost a teen’s obsession.

It is in good taste to mention that the imposing silhouette of the old-fashioned masculinity will always be outranked by agreeable social skills driven by emotional and social intelligence.

Alpha male in the PUA community

Pick-up Artists (PUA) are dating coaches in the seduction community peopled by men (or women) who appear very bitter and express so toward the opposite gender.

PUA movement’s goal has always been seduction and conquering the opposite gender.

The community has its activities on blogs, and newsletters and they also offer one-on-one coaching.

I love the question and answer on Quora by some people about alpha male and the PUA community. Shots below:

Alpha in PUA community
The PUA community tries so much to promote the alpha male concept

The practice dates back to the 1970s with the popular “How-to Pick-Up Girls” by Eric Weber.

There have been workshops, and books, especially how-to books on how to get women you desire in bed.

The PUA community of recent has usurped animals in their alpha male position. They worship the alpha male and berate the beta who is perceived as weak, a nice guy, and the alpha’s subordinate.

This is how deep the alpha male concept has eaten deep into society causing distrust between femininity and masculinity.

Here is a video on the admission of Pick-up Artist of assaulting women by Rachel Oates

Alpha Male Pickup Artist admits assaulting women – Credit: Rachel Oates

The alpha male concept, a wrong way to exert manliness

Masculinity is simply the social expectations of a man in society. Social expectations are the roles and behaviours that are considered by society as appropriate for boys and men.

Many movements, societies, groups and even gangs have cropped up on the wings of masculinity to perpetrate evil, just like the ‘alpha male’ terms is trying to do.

What makes this concept and the term itself unfit for humans is that everything about it is wrong. Men are different from animals in many ways.

The reason why the term was used in animals is absent in humans. Humans do not fight for food, sex, or whatever makes the animals fight for the top spot.

Instead, they scheme, and employ creative ways to beat their opponents instead of violence for the sake of food.

It is also important to note that the animals in which the study was conducted had only one group and one alpha.

They don’t belong to other social groups where they may assume another different status.

Humans belong to many groups where they hold different positions. A man might be a cleaner in his workplace but the head at home, and a secretary at a neighbourhood organization.

Even if there were to be an alpha in human affairs, he would not be an alpha across all boards.

The crusaders of the term were too quick to run off with the term without knowing its true origin and implications and have been trying ever since to paint and repaint the idea of the alpha to be more appealing to intellectuals who see the movement as unintelligent and lack good strong base.

However, all alpha males are viewed, they are all wrong from the human point of view. The first mistake was bringing it into human affairs in the first place.

This is because whatever it represents in the definitions from different players has already been in existence in human social behaviours.

From the alpha being successful and having everything figured out, to being a woman impregnator and abandonment, to the bullies and misogynists.

All these were well described in human nature and didn’t need any other description or complication.

The alpha male crusaders reek of insecurity

What we can deduce is that the human alpha male crusaders see the alpha male concept as a vehicle to convey and vent their hurt, anger, or whatever unhealthy notion they have against women, and society.

They look like insecure people who gain validation by riding on the baseless alpha male concept.

It is quite a kind of a shame to be in conflict with the opposite gender because of whatever reasons. It shows weakness, lack of emotional intelligence, and over-active instincts.

These implications are not healthy for society, and if the alpha male crusade festers, a lot is going to change about how the man approaches society.

A confident man would not throw tantrums about how women want to usurp their position, or how he would have the choicest woman to himself, neither would he see a fellow man as weak, who prefers a life different from his.

It is only a man who is emotionally daft that would use those as criteria to measure superiority and masculinity.

Also, it’s only an insecure man that is threatened by women gaining high positions in society. He encourages a level playing ground for all to express their competencies.

Watch this video on the insecurities of the alpha male by alpha m:

Insecurities of the alpha male – Credit: alpha m

Rebranding of the human alpha male

It gets messy when they list the attributes of the alpha male which are the same attributes of the average man in society.

If being an alpha is being successful, getting a woman, being focused, dressing like a man, going to the gym, then what is the preaching all about? Everyone is an alpha male then.

In recent times after realizing the wrong connotation of the alpha male concept, most crusaders are beginning to retract or rebrand the meaning.

In their lack of concrete points to validate their obsession with the alpha male concept, they tag the successful in the society to have something to be identified with.

What is behind the alpha male validation is what has bewildered many for a long time as I can’t find any correlation between the theoretical alpha male and the alpha male portrayed by the alpha male crusaders.

I wonder if they have been able to read deep into history to see the folly being represented.

Yes! Men are ego-driven, but there is an extremely dangerous ego that shouldn’t be allowed to fester.

In most of the articles, books and speeches I have read and heard in PUA communities, especially online, they try hard not to associate the alpha with the horrible attributes it is known for.

It might fly or may not. The problem is not whether these characters exist in society, they do. The actual problem is the term ‘alpha’.

The term should be absolutely discarded, there is no amount of rebranding that would be done to whitewash it to make it absolutely acceptable to all.

It can be popular with insecure men who see it as something to take pride in, and women who believe they should seek men who portray these attributes just to feel trendy and among.

But it remains a hoax and source of amusement to the true masculine and confident persons.

The myth of the alpha male concept

Alpha male is a myth

Though the alpha concept has been debunked both in human and some animal species, the term is still a thing in human affairs and is the subject of many articles, books, and discussions.

However, we are going to thoroughly look at many reasons why the alpha male concept is a myth.

We will look at the alpha male and beta male dichotomy and also the links between the alpha male behaviours and dominance, status, respect, and attractiveness.

These are what make the alpha male concept thick and attractive to the young man as they are believed to make him successful in society and also put him in a better spot to mesmerize women.

Apart from simplifying the multi-dimensionality of masculinity, the alpha concept grossly underestimates the capability of man owing to reasoning and logic.

Also, it does not really give a good argument on what women really want in men.

The alpha and beta designation of men

Alpha vs beta male

The alpha and beta designation in humans has been a source of argument and confusion since the concept of alpha males got enough traction.

The beta is believed by the alpha male crusaders to be subordinate to the alpha male because of his weakness and does not stand a better chance with women.

They also believe he is less assertive and does not ask for much in life, making him less of a leader and less successful which explains his position below the top of the social ladder.

It’s quite parochial to have just two designations for human males because of social behaviours and preferences.

It is misleading to young men into acting in predefined ways that do not naturally resonate with them.

The concept is flawed further when you consider that men belong to several groups, from their family to their workplace, to their circle of friends, and every other interaction he has in society.

He must not be the leader in all of these groups. He might be a leader at home and a subordinate at his workplace and in a different position in other groups.

On the other hand, the beta male could just be an introvert who keeps to himself and doesn’t find being loud and proud attractive, and this does not mean he is timid as portrayed.

When viewed properly, the dichotomy is actually a denigration of masculinity with the complexities of human society.

See full article on alpha male vs beta male.

EQ and IQ knocks off the alpha concept

The advent of the discovery of emotional and social intelligence has made a lot of studies and theories obsolete, including the alpha male concept.

Emotional and social intelligence is the ability to know yourself (emotions), your environment (social space), and how to navigate your way with people at home, at work, and every other place you find yourself to your advantage while not putting people at disadvantage.

Since our everyday life and interactions are with our fellow humans, we have evolved many ways to communicate and get things done without exerting a physical force which is what the alpha thrives on.

ALSO READ: How To Not Be The Nice Guy

This skill has proven to make the alpha male concept look mechanical and prehistoric in a fast-moving world driven by intellectual strength and intelligence.

The world has left the muscular man and his abs and chasing the man who can communicate effectively with emotions, and words and can use self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management to manage himself and people for mutual benefits.

So, suppressing emotions and imposing oneself on people instead of appealing to their emotions will elicit undesired outcomes that are antisocial.

More on emotional and social intelligence.

The implications of the alpha male concept

Below are some of the implications of the alpha male concept:

  • The alpha concept creates an imaginary war between men and women as every move of the woman is interpreted as a scheme to usurp the position of the man.
  • It also puts the young man on the wrong path in society by encouraging him to focus on his physical strength while ignoring the inner strength of character and aggregable conducts in society.
  • The alpha male obsession makes a man appear more feared than loved and this makes him not have good friends and enjoy a good relationship.
  • The alpha is like a mask that must not be taken off so people would not see the wearer for who he is. The need to keep the mask in place always is a challenge.
  • The alpha male has a ton of bottled-up emotions as a result of the stoic nature he has assumed and it’s detrimental to his mental health.
  • Because of the alpha male’s antisocial, demeanour, he is always on the wrong side of the law. They populate the mental health institutes and prisons.
  • Trying to become the elusive alpha male will put you in constant altercations with people and you are not going to win all the time.
  • The eulogy and worship the alpha get, encourage bad behaviour and all the negativities associated with the alpha concept while putting men who have less outgoing personalities as abnormal or unmanly.
  • The human alpha male misunderstands the woman and sees all her moves as an intention to usurp his position as the man. He also always wants to subdue the woman and give her few options to operate. This is a misogynist approach, but unfortunately, this is the position of most human alpha male crusaders which puts has always put women at risk of violence.
  • The alpha male concept has distorted the meaning of masculinity, putting young men under confusion and pressure to act in ways that are not in line with their personality in the quest to appear as a real man.
  • It makes young men feel inadequate about themselves and unsure of where they belong. It rips them off their confidence and self-esteem while complicating their already bruised ego.
  • It reduces men and undermines what they are capable of doing. Classifying men into various strata according to how they go about their businesses is in excessively bad taste.
  • It makes women appear as objects of romance that do not have any other value. The alpha crusaders who see women as their problem spread hate and misinterpretation of women.
  • It paints a wrong view of women and what they find attractive in men.

Bringing everything together

From all of the above, we can see that human society is a complex one where there is no fixed way to navigate.

Its fluidity makes it pertinent for prestige which is embedded in emotional and social intelligence be the most appealing way to get by.

Dominance and prestige are two different ways to move up the social ladder and attain status. It’s important also to state that most of the qualities in both can overlap.

It is very possible to have a dominant person who is aggressive and also kind but shows these qualities in different circumstances.

That’s why the alpha-beta rigidity and strict categorization do not apply as the dichotomy belittles what man can become.

In a few situations, the dominant person might have a leeway temporarily, but the prestigious person would be more valued, respected and accepted in almost every situation due to his authentic pride and quality.

To put it succinctly, dominance is a short-term strategy while prestige is a life-long strategy. Dominance can help you win temporarily but cannot keep or govern what you won.


The alpha male is a concocted concept that serves a parochial purpose that does not benefit anyone. In fact, it destroys more than it builds and create a confusing identity for the young man.

Masculinity is not a stoic medieval figure who feels no pain and conquers by clubbing down an entire community. The modern masculinity is intelligence and prestige.

It is time to embrace the complexity of human behaviour which is mastered and navigated by emotional and social intelligence.

The most attractive masculinity is a blend of attributes like confidence, assertiveness, kindness and generousity, social skills and a good sense of value to the world and your community.

The human alpha male signs and traits are derived from the core alpha male traits in the wild which are connected to unreasonable instinctive behaviours.

Every young man who is an alpha male posturer would wake up one day and see he has been under the influence of testosterone and would discard the idea.

But before then, the above signs are recognizable signs in the behaviours of the alpha male and are lifted from the alpha male behaviour in the wild.

These signs are not rigid, in fact, they overlap with the alpha male and the average man out there.

Thank you for reading this long piece. If you are pleased or not, please let’s know your opinion by using the comment box. We value all opinions and they tailor our subsequent articles.


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A Personal Development Content Creator and an author. I write about life ethics and love to document and share life hacks and experiences of people to help others make good life decisions.

Every content published on The Conducts Of Life is well-reviewed by experienced professionals in the field. Contents are fact-checked for accuracy, relevance, and timeliness and we include links to sources at the bottom of every article for more insights.

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