Scientific evidence for humans having Alpha males?

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Amaltheia
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20 Nov 2016, 7:16 pm

Aspie1 wrote:
The alpha/beta divide in males only applies to sexual selection in the same species.

Well, this is nonsense.

In other species, the alpha is the dominant member of a same-sex group and is identified by deference shown by the other members of the group. As such, it's a social position, not a biological one. The beta male is generally the second-in-command, and often acts as the primary enforcer of the hierarchy — which means that betas are generally tougher and more aggressive than alphas.

In terms of mating success, genetic studies indicate that among primates the alpha, beta and gamma males have about equal mating success. Mating success does go down with status, but it's not as sharp a divide as the above comment implies.

Among wolves, where the whole "alpha-beta-gamma" thing was first popularized, current research indicates that the so-called alpha is generally the patriarch of the pack. That is, a pack consists of a mated pair and their offspring of the last few years. So the alpha male does have exclusive sexual access to the alpha female in the same sense that in a human family the father and mother have exclusive sexual access to one another and the kids don't.

So, is there evidence that humans have alpha males? Sure. They're called kings, sultans, emperors, barons, lords, CEOs, etc. Humans form hierarchies and the individual at the top of the hierarchy is the "alpha". Does this lead to greater mating success? Well, yeah, in the sense that those who can command greater resources generally can provide better conditions for their offspring, so more of those offspring survive.



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21 Nov 2016, 6:23 am

Aspie1 wrote:
The_Face_of_Boo wrote:
I dunno if this guy is a true alpha with balls of steel or a moron or both.....an alpha moron!
(he actually acted as a beta, hence why the lion didn't attack him).
I don't think lions care if the man they eat is alpha or beta. (There is no alpha/beta in women.) All humans are made of meat just the same. The genetic divide in males only applies to sexual selection by females of the same species.


He was demostrating lion body language - showing the effect of the alpha/beta hierarchy.



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21 Nov 2016, 6:59 am

underwater wrote:
I usually don't post much in L&D, but I came across this article on a topic that keeps cropping up here:

https://www.theguardian.com/science/bra ... nald-trump

Does there actually exist any scientific evidence that alpha males/females exist in human society, the way it manifests in the animal kingdom?

I keep seeing people referring to alpha/beta males, but I keep thinking the world is a lot more complex than that - and that a lot of men - both autistic and NT - misinterpret women's behaviour because most women are extremely good at pretending to like someone they are scared of.

Secondly, if there are alpha males, where are the alpha females? In the animal kingdom these form pairs. Is that so in human society?


Not only is there no scientific evidence of humans having alpha males, it's scientifically invalid. Human society is not structured that way and they are pack animals.



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29 Nov 2016, 2:47 pm

Jono wrote:
underwater wrote:
I usually don't post much in L&D, but I came across this article on a topic that keeps cropping up here:

https://www.theguardian.com/science/bra ... nald-trump

Does there actually exist any scientific evidence that alpha males/females exist in human society, the way it manifests in the animal kingdom?

I keep seeing people referring to alpha/beta males, but I keep thinking the world is a lot more complex than that - and that a lot of men - both autistic and NT - misinterpret women's behaviour because most women are extremely good at pretending to like someone they are scared of.

Secondly, if there are alpha males, where are the alpha females? In the animal kingdom these form pairs. Is that so in human society?


Not only is there no scientific evidence of humans having alpha males, it's scientifically invalid. Human society is not structured that way and they are pack animals.


Yes. Very good point. I was just thinking, from an evolutionary viewpoint, we may have had more pack like family structures on the way to becoming humans. Comparing humans to bonobos is a reasonable exercise in that it can highlight both similarities and differences.

Also, I think there is a huge variation in gender roles depending on culture. I keep seeing variations on "men are from mars, women from venus". There is some Western consensus that men are supposed to be unemotional, aggressive and childlike, but I know a bunch of non-western men who never got that memo.

Sorry for posting and then going AWOL, guys. Life happened, and I was knackered.


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29 Nov 2016, 2:52 pm

underwater wrote:
Jono wrote:
underwater wrote:
I usually don't post much in L&D, but I came across this article on a topic that keeps cropping up here:

https://www.theguardian.com/science/bra ... nald-trump

Does there actually exist any scientific evidence that alpha males/females exist in human society, the way it manifests in the animal kingdom?

I keep seeing people referring to alpha/beta males, but I keep thinking the world is a lot more complex than that - and that a lot of men - both autistic and NT - misinterpret women's behaviour because most women are extremely good at pretending to like someone they are scared of.

Secondly, if there are alpha males, where are the alpha females? In the animal kingdom these form pairs. Is that so in human society?


Not only is there no scientific evidence of humans having alpha males, it's scientifically invalid. Human society is not structured that way and they are pack animals.


Yes. Very good point. I was just thinking, from an evolutionary viewpoint, we may have had more pack like family structures on the way to becoming humans. Comparing humans to bonobos is a reasonable exercise in that it can highlight both similarities and differences.

Also, I think there is a huge variation in gender roles depending on culture. I keep seeing variations on "men are from mars, women from venus". There is some Western consensus that men are supposed to be unemotional, aggressive and childlike, but I know a bunch of non-western men who never got that memo.

Sorry for posting and then going AWOL, guys. Life happened, and I was knackered.


I'm afraid that was typo. I meant that humans are not pack animals, in order to justify that it isn't valid that there's such a thing as an "alpha male", unlike wolves or dogs.



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29 Nov 2016, 2:55 pm

Jono wrote:
underwater wrote:
Jono wrote:
underwater wrote:
I usually don't post much in L&D, but I came across this article on a topic that keeps cropping up here:

https://www.theguardian.com/science/bra ... nald-trump

Does there actually exist any scientific evidence that alpha males/females exist in human society, the way it manifests in the animal kingdom?

I keep seeing people referring to alpha/beta males, but I keep thinking the world is a lot more complex than that - and that a lot of men - both autistic and NT - misinterpret women's behaviour because most women are extremely good at pretending to like someone they are scared of.

Secondly, if there are alpha males, where are the alpha females? In the animal kingdom these form pairs. Is that so in human society?


Not only is there no scientific evidence of humans having alpha males, it's scientifically invalid. Human society is not structured that way and they are pack animals.


Yes. Very good point. I was just thinking, from an evolutionary viewpoint, we may have had more pack like family structures on the way to becoming humans. Comparing humans to bonobos is a reasonable exercise in that it can highlight both similarities and differences.

Also, I think there is a huge variation in gender roles depending on culture. I keep seeing variations on "men are from mars, women from venus". There is some Western consensus that men are supposed to be unemotional, aggressive and childlike, but I know a bunch of non-western men who never got that memo.

Sorry for posting and then going AWOL, guys. Life happened, and I was knackered.


I'm afraid that was typo. I meant that humans are not pack animals, in order to justify that it isn't valid that there's such a thing as an "alpha male", unlike wolves or dogs.


Actually, I thought by "they" you meant wolves and dogs, so I understood what you meant.

What an unusual occurence; we did not misunderstand one another :mrgreen:


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29 Nov 2016, 5:28 pm

^ Sorry but all this is false.

Most primates, including high apes like gorillas and chimps (who are both close cousins to humans) in the wild do have "alpha males" and this is well proven and documented that no primatologist would deny.

It is the wolves in the wild who don't have the alpha male thing (yet in captivity it's a different story).

But remember alpha-deniers: Humans are primates, not canines.
Wolves and dogs are more biologically egalitarian than most primates, including humans, they exhibit less sexually dimorphic, female wolves are as strong as male wolves - which isn't the case for most primate species (yeah yeah I know except the bonobos; I hear you already - yet it is said that bonobos are descended from a patriarchal chimp species as well).

There are compelling examples of alpha males or at least alpha-like males in human history.
In some hunter-gatherer societies a better hunter often have the polygyny privilege(more than one wife) - of course at the expense of a loser male hunter who wouldn't be allowed to marry any. Polygyny was always far more common than polyandry in human history (yet both were limited).

In dating sites' stats are showing how by far a minority of males are seen as attractive by a majority of females. On okcupid 80% of males are seen as significatly less than average by females.
On tinder women swipe right in average about 14% compared to over 50% by men.

Whether this male alphahood
was cultural/circumstancial driven or biological doesn't make any difference, they affect each other - it's an egg or chicken question

Just deal with it, humans are closer to apes - and your dog is more naturally egalitarian than your species.



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29 Nov 2016, 7:05 pm

The_Face_of_Boo wrote:
^ Sorry but all this is false.

Most primates, including high apes like gorillas and chimps (who are both close cousins to humans) in the wild do have "alpha males" and this is well proven and documented that no primatologist would deny.

It is the wolves in the wild who don't have the alpha male thing (yet in captivity it's a different story).

But remember alpha-deniers: Humans are primates, not canines.
Wolves and dogs are more biologically egalitarian than most primates, including humans, they exhibit less sexually dimorphic, female wolves are as strong as male wolves - which isn't the case for most primate species (yeah yeah I know except the bonobos; I hear you already - yet it is said that bonobos are descended from a patriarchal chimp species as well).

There are compelling examples of alpha males or at least alpha-like males in human history.
In some hunter-gatherer societies a better hunter often have the polygyny privilege(more than one wife) - of course at the expense of a loser male hunter who wouldn't be allowed to marry any. Polygyny was always far more common than polyandry in human history (yet both were limited).

In dating sites' stats are showing how by far a minority of males are seen as attractive by a majority of females. On okcupid 80% of males are seen as significatly less than average by females.
On tinder women swipe right in average about 14% compared to over 50% by men.

Whether this male alphahood
was cultural/circumstancial driven or biological doesn't make any difference, they affect each other - it's an egg or chicken question

Just deal with it, humans are closer to apes - and your dog is more naturally egalitarian than your species.


Actually we are as close to bonobos as we are to chimps. In fact we are less related to gorillas. Therefore it makes sense to look at our closestate relatives the bonobos and the chimps who both have very different methods. It would not be unreasonable to thing humans come somewhere in the middle

And there is indeed alpha males and females in these groups



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29 Nov 2016, 7:18 pm

The_Face_of_Boo wrote:
It is the wolves in the wild who don't have the alpha male thing (yet in captivity it's a different story).
Actually, they do. Just not the way humans have them. In a wild wolf pack, there's no alpha male, but an alpha pair: they're parents of the rest of the pack.
Next in the hierarchy is the beta male; again, not like the human variety. He acts as a "vice president" of sorts, and mates with the alpha female, if need be. (Like if the alpha male is killed in battle; he does not, however, try to "help him along".)
Farther down are the gammas, wolf teenagers. They know how to find food, but still need help with hunting.
Farther still, the deltas, are the young pups who are unable to fend for themselves.
At the very bottom is the omega; this can be a male or a female. It's the wolf equivalent of a human "orbiter"; it stays with the pack for safety, at the expense of being abused by other wolves.

We humans have alpha males, who make up 20% of all men. All other men are beta males. There is no genetic divide in women. The Greek letter ranks among humans refer to one thing and one thing only: ability to procure sex. Also to a lesser extent, physical strength. It does not refer to social rank in a group, as it does in wolves.

The_Face_of_Boo wrote:
In some hunter-gatherer societies a better hunter often have the polygyny privilege(more than one wife) - of course at the expense of a loser male hunter who wouldn't be allowed to marry any. Polygyny was always far more common than polyandry in human history (yet both were limited).
I keep remembering this theory about a connection between polygyny and terrorism. After all, alpha males have sex with 80% of all women. Lucky beta males pair up with the remaining 20%. This leaves 60% of men without a partner. Which leads to anger and frustration on their part. Suddenly, Extremist Group (name irrelevant) comes on the scene, and provides a powerful outlet for that anger, making them at least feel like alpha males. So they start committing violent acts. And with weapons and explosives, they don't even need to be physically strong (like true alpha males) in the first place.

Can you shed some light on this? Would say this theory is true? You don't have to, if you're not comfortable doing so.



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29 Nov 2016, 7:48 pm

Just to show my evidence

Image

Image



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30 Nov 2016, 2:35 am

Aspie1 wrote:
The_Face_of_Boo wrote:
It is the wolves in the wild who don't have the alpha male thing (yet in captivity it's a different story).
Actually, they do. Just not the way humans have them. In a wild wolf pack, there's no alpha male, but an alpha pair: they're parents of the rest of the pack.
Next in the hierarchy is the beta male; again, not like the human variety. He acts as a "vice president" of sorts, and mates with the alpha female, if need be. (Like if the alpha male is killed in battle; he does not, however, try to "help him along".)
Farther down are the gammas, wolf teenagers. They know how to find food, but still need help with hunting.
Farther still, the deltas, are the young pups who are unable to fend for themselves.
At the very bottom is the omega; this can be a male or a female. It's the wolf equivalent of a human "orbiter"; it stays with the pack for safety, at the expense of being abused by other wolves.

We humans have alpha males, who make up 20% of all men. All other men are beta males. There is no genetic divide in women. The Greek letter ranks among humans refer to one thing and one thing only: ability to procure sex. Also to a lesser extent, physical strength. It does not refer to social rank in a group, as it does in wolves.

The_Face_of_Boo wrote:
In some hunter-gatherer societies a better hunter often have the polygyny privilege(more than one wife) - of course at the expense of a loser male hunter who wouldn't be allowed to marry any. Polygyny was always far more common than polyandry in human history (yet both were limited).
I keep remembering this theory about a connection between polygyny and terrorism. After all, alpha males have sex with 80% of all women. Lucky beta males pair up with the remaining 20%. This leaves 60% of men without a partner. Which leads to anger and frustration on their part. Suddenly, Extremist Group (name irrelevant) comes on the scene, and provides a powerful outlet for that anger, making them at least feel like alpha males. So they start committing violent acts. And with weapons and explosives, they don't even need to be physically strong (like true alpha males) in the first place.

Can you shed some light on this? Would say this theory is true? You don't have to, if you're not comfortable doing so.


Alpha pairs in wolves are parents , the pack = family unit.

I do not live in a polyandrous community, so I don't observer if there's link - but in Saudi Arabia it is common and it's where terrorist groups find most recruits.

It makes sense, if the poorest men there can't get married (due to polyandry), living in a society where premarital sex is criminalized and get brainwashed of getting 72 virgins in heaven if they kill....then...you get crazies.



Last edited by The_Face_of_Boo on 30 Nov 2016, 6:15 am, edited 1 time in total.

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30 Nov 2016, 2:38 am

Alliekit wrote:
The_Face_of_Boo wrote:
^ Sorry but all this is false.

Most primates, including high apes like gorillas and chimps (who are both close cousins to humans) in the wild do have "alpha males" and this is well proven and documented that no primatologist would deny.

It is the wolves in the wild who don't have the alpha male thing (yet in captivity it's a different story).

But remember alpha-deniers: Humans are primates, not canines.
Wolves and dogs are more biologically egalitarian than most primates, including humans, they exhibit less sexually dimorphic, female wolves are as strong as male wolves - which isn't the case for most primate species (yeah yeah I know except the bonobos; I hear you already - yet it is said that bonobos are descended from a patriarchal chimp species as well).

There are compelling examples of alpha males or at least alpha-like males in human history.
In some hunter-gatherer societies a better hunter often have the polygyny privilege(more than one wife) - of course at the expense of a loser male hunter who wouldn't be allowed to marry any. Polygyny was always far more common than polyandry in human history (yet both were limited).

In dating sites' stats are showing how by far a minority of males are seen as attractive by a majority of females. On okcupid 80% of males are seen as significatly less than average by females.
On tinder women swipe right in average about 14% compared to over 50% by men.

Whether this male alphahood
was cultural/circumstancial driven or biological doesn't make any difference, they affect each other - it's an egg or chicken question

Just deal with it, humans are closer to apes - and your dog is more naturally egalitarian than your species.


Actually we are as close to bonobos as we are to chimps. In fact we are less related to gorillas. Therefore it makes sense to look at our closestate relatives the bonobos and the chimps who both have very different methods. It would not be unreasonable to thing humans come somewhere in the middle

And there is indeed alpha males and females in these groups


After full mapping, Gorilla's DNA showed to be closer to humans than what was previously thought.

Here: http://www.scientificamerican.com/sciam ... 583B34.png



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30 Nov 2016, 2:58 am

I've read of a theory that pro-Bonobos (their ancestor chimp species) developed their matriarchal society after a major drought in their area - the rival gorillas died in their area so there was no more need for male power - hence this shift in behavior (which probably one of the factors led to the evolving to bonobo species).


Something similar was observed in a Baboon troop recently, start watching 44:30:



This just proves that nothing is written in stone - species do whatever it takes to survive.



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30 Nov 2016, 3:31 am

The_Face_of_Boo wrote:
I've read of a theory that pro-Bonobos (their ancestor chimp species) developed their matriarchal society after a major drought in their area - the rival gorillas died in their area so there was no more need for male power - hence this shift in behavior (which probably one of the factors led to the evolving to bonobo species).


Something similar was observed in a Baboon troop recently, start watching 44:30:



This just proves that nothing is written in stone - species do whatever it takes to survive.


Um even the diagram you shared proves my point. The evolutionary tree shows we are more closely linked to bonobos and chimps

Each split denotes a common ancestor and the closest ancestor we share with alive apes is the pan prior

And that is unlikely as bonobos ans chimps split from a core ancestor therefore it would of have to be a difference between gorillas and the ancestors of the chimp and bonobo. This would therefore not count towards the societal differences. The thing with evolution is it is completely random. Things don't develop for a species to survive. In fact it's just that animals mutations that don't work die. Theit society evloved randomly and it worked for them and cause them to thrive so it remained

Lastly you have to be careful when looking at genomes as different size genomes can skew results. Apes have larger genomes therefore they have more or a random chance of being similar. Instead it's better to observe genetic divergence

Here is a lovely little paper that talks about when gorillas split from the human, chimp, bonobo ancestor

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/ar ... 9707640968



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30 Nov 2016, 3:50 am

Alliekit wrote:
And that is unlikely as bonobos ans chimps split from a core ancestor therefore it would of have to be a difference between gorillas and the ancestors of the chimp and bonobo. This would therefore not count towards the societal differences. The thing with evolution is it is completely random. Things don't develop for a species to survive. In fact it's just that animals mutations that don't work die. Theit society evloved randomly and it worked for them and cause them to thrive so it remained

Isn't drought too short to cause mutation?



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30 Nov 2016, 4:08 am

314pe wrote:
Alliekit wrote:
And that is unlikely as bonobos ans chimps split from a core ancestor therefore it would of have to be a difference between gorillas and the ancestors of the chimp and bonobo. This would therefore not count towards the societal differences. The thing with evolution is it is completely random. Things don't develop for a species to survive. In fact it's just that animals mutations that don't work die. Theit society evloved randomly and it worked for them and cause them to thrive so it remained

Isn't drought too short to cause mutation?


Climate change is the right term for it.

Like how the Sahara desert was a green land.