Do humans have their Alpha Males?

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Winternight
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15 Oct 2009, 6:28 pm

Someone in another thread is making the argument that:

- Humans are not pack animals.

- There are no Alpha Males in human groups.

Both of which to me are extremely ludicrous. I'd like everyone's thoughts on this.



Willard
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15 Oct 2009, 7:09 pm

Whoever makes that argument has never spent time around hunters, rednecks or most middle-management personnel with Corporate office aspirations.

And who says humans are not pack animals?

Just look around any office and see how many people have their noses in the bosses' crack. Tell me you don't see an Alpha dog and a bunch of cowtowing little b*tches.



LiendaBalla
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15 Oct 2009, 7:12 pm

Winternight wrote:

- There are no Alpha Males in human groups.


I think it depends on how you define "alpha". I don't care for men who call themselves Alphas.



Last edited by LiendaBalla on 15 Oct 2009, 7:18 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Myrridias
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15 Oct 2009, 7:16 pm

A lot of that is just perspective. In the familial groups, in a snse, we are based around a "pack." but, no real alpha male there. The head (typically male), might be considered an alpha, but there is n struggle for power, and in atleast mine, the children are larger than the parents. No struggle for dominance, and, praise be to God, no winning the "mate." The others are societal, and have no reference point among the low beasts to compare "alpha males" or packs.



Winternight
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15 Oct 2009, 7:19 pm

^ There's struggles for power all the time in humans. That's the only thing teenage rebellion could be (whether justified or not). and guys fight over girls all the time too.

the exact same dynamics are there.



Greatsharkbite
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15 Oct 2009, 7:25 pm

Humans aren't animals, as far as labeling goes. Although we copy virtually every freaking function and method animals do. On the presumption animals can't think on our level we have more choices and more freedom. If you go on a biblical kick we also have souls where as animals don't--that is if you believe that sort of thing.


Now why I disagree with the fact people are equal, I do and I repeat do believe people are of equal worth.

As far as Alpha Males go, I don't even understand the term. Alpha being dominant? I suppose there are. I flat out know people who aren't as funny or as entertaining than I am and will make less of an attempt than me and get left in the dust. On the other hand, I'm still in the minority of people who grab the attention of others and demand respect. In some cases its because i'm anxious in groups, in other cases i'm just way too lazy to care.

Practically tho, alpha males only exist depending on how far you define the potential of people. If someone can step their game up, force themselves to be social--then no matter the background or their ability, they are the alpha male for the moment. My problem is being alpha male for longer than a moment, because I get tired of people quickly or they get tired of me. Or I run out of things to talk about.

I've seen what is your stereotypical alpha male (By my definition) Extremely confident, obnoxious, gets girls, sweet on the opposite sex yet playful, plays sports or in some other highly physical activity, speaks up, decides where the group goes a lot of the time.

Its just a conglomerate of certain traits so practically there is no alpha male. Shoot, i'm a complete nerd and i've had 30 minute intervals of being the alpha male.



arielhawksquill
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15 Oct 2009, 7:55 pm

Yes, humans have alpha males. We call them "leaders".



AceOfSpades
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15 Oct 2009, 9:06 pm

Humans do have Alpha Males. The only part of our brains that are different from animals is the prefrontal cortex. I don't know what definition of Alpha Male has an actual basis in biology though. Could be the knight in shining armour, could be the sociopath.



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15 Oct 2009, 9:30 pm

Of course - we have alpha men, alpha women, and the denial that we're pack animals is purely disdain for the throught - an emotional objection, not a rational one. We have a few more logical checks and balances to what animals have, this is true, but it means that we articulate it in a way that we find more appropriate way - ie. the social heirarchical structure as it is now. Its a constant tug of war and interplay between our animal nature, which is what we truly are, and the needs that our intelligence gives us. And yes, I say this as a theist.



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16 Oct 2009, 4:32 am

we're not really pack animals. there's no designated alphas. though it's true some have characteristics which we in our folly and categorization nightmares, might extrapolate as far as to call "alphas" with wolf packs in mind. but i think labeling people as such is silly. and people who do are just trying to find a place and explain either their own seeming superiority or lack thereof in society.

would you call bill gates an alpha just because he reeks of huge societal success? according to your typical "alpha" criteria, prolly not. in that sense anyone who can get their hands on a few million dollars or write some good computer programming is an alpha, our criteria goes out the window, and we ultimately feel foolish.

even some now famous actors were never considered the alphas of their day.
something to consider in your "equations".

just my thoughts. i'm not infallible in my reasoning however, i welcome oppositional debate on the subject.


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0_equals_true
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16 Oct 2009, 8:40 am

Seanmw go it in one. great example.

here is the thread in question so you can decide for yourself:
http://www.wrongplanet.net/postp2422923.html#2422923



0_equals_true
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16 Oct 2009, 8:53 am

techstepgenr8tion wrote:
Of course - we have alpha men, alpha women, and the denial that we're pack animals is purely disdain for the throught - an emotional objection, not a rational one.

Actually I was saying the opposite. Those that bang on about alpha males are stuck in this hero/anti-hero mentality rather then being objective.

But emotions can be stuck in either agenda that is why you have to struggle to stay objective.

If you want a biological example of alpha males look at deer. The objective of the rut is for a clear alpha to come out on top and have access to all the females.

It is really easy to go on about rednecks, etc in a stereotypical fashion but these are really flawed examples under scrutiny.



0_equals_true
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16 Oct 2009, 9:09 am

Status is very important to humans. Don't confuse status and social climbing with alpha behaviour. They aren't interchangeable terms. Alpha Behaviour is a very specific behaviour, which is logistically infeasible in humans due to numbers, among other things.

It is interesting because occasionally you get posts about pick up artist. What is the point of a pick up artist telling another person how to pick up women (assuming that he/she has this ability)? Isn’t this counter productive to them? Well the fact of the matter it is no skin off their back that other people are told, if anything it may help their social standing within their group. Do these have real alpha dominance? Of course not. Do they have qualities that some people find attractive? Probably yes. Are people different people from different walks of life sex and forming relationships? For sure.



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16 Oct 2009, 9:09 am

I think the Alpha Male types you find in great apes is not really akin to the human experience.
I strongly suggest folks look into the recent "missing link" skeleton find they did in Africa. What they found was that many human behaviors evolved from when women started turning thier back on dominating alpha males, and started to turn thier attention to fruit carrying (ie supportive) beta males. Its actually very interesting.

The truth is human beings cannot be turned upon alpha/beta types based on the animal kingdom, because we in many ways evolved past it. Life is more complex than that, and humans are honestly creatures of complex social evolutions, that in many ways differentiate ourselves from other species. We are actually evolved from beta-male apes, but we evolved where we have much more complex social structures, and this evolution is ever changing.



Last edited by starygrrl on 16 Oct 2009, 10:47 am, edited 1 time in total.

0_equals_true
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16 Oct 2009, 9:31 am

starygrrl wrote:
We are actually evolved from beta-male apes, but we evolved where we have much more complex social structures, and this evolution is ever changing.

I get you point but I'm not sure I completely agree with everything you said. I don't see "evolving from beta-males" as making complete sense as a statement as beta males are relative to alphas. Even in human now there is some evidence that women seek different sort of partners at different stages of their lives. This it is the same for men. Some people want to settle down and have a family, whereas others are not feeling that way.

Qualities like aggression and dominance haven't completely gone away. However it is the feasibility of alpha behaviour is in question. We just take very different approaches. Not at all my cup of tea: but the very fact the some groups of men go together out to a club or bar as 'wingmen', is clear enough example that pure alpha male behaviour has eroded.

Human status is quite complex, due to necessity.

We are so adaptable and not specialist animals like an Aye-aye, because we each have different skills abilities, and without this civilisation wouldn’t be possible. It is also questionable whether we would be able to live in the large numbers we do without the infrastructure that civilisation provides.



techstepgenr8tion
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16 Oct 2009, 11:58 am

0_equals_true wrote:
techstepgenr8tion wrote:
Of course - we have alpha men, alpha women, and the denial that we're pack animals is purely disdain for the throught - an emotional objection, not a rational one.

Actually I was saying the opposite. Those that bang on about alpha males are stuck in this hero/anti-hero mentality rather then being objective.

But emotions can be stuck in either agenda that is why you have to struggle to stay objective.

If you want a biological example of alpha males look at deer. The objective of the rut is for a clear alpha to come out on top and have access to all the females.

It is really easy to go on about rednecks, etc in a stereotypical fashion but these are really flawed examples under scrutiny.


I'd have to debate that. While our intelligence has diced up the blunt angles of natural law and we have a bit more in the way of individual emotional needs steering us away from adhering to natural law in an orthodox manner, its still there and its still very much part of the machinery - with animals its the code without much interference, for us its one of many just that it seems to be the most unconscious and the one that people seem to be the least ready to defend against - especially susceptible when they don't even believe it exists. An incomplete state of control does not by any means equal nonexistence. The topic seems to come out though much more in the relationship dialog just because, sex drive and attraction are a purely animalistic angle of us, both heavily instinct guided, and both quite vital for a healthy relationship (saving of course the extremities such as two asexuals becoming life-partners as not to die alone, different paradigm and a whole other issue).