There are many pseudo science theories floating around the internet which claim to be able to categorize men into positions in a dominance hierarchy. I label these theories pseudo science out of a sense of academic honesty, rather than due to having disdain for them. These theories stem from observing animal societies, with some evolutionary biology thrown in for good measure.
I’m sure you’ve seen the basic hierarchy many times on the internet, but here it is again.
- Alpha males
- Beta males
The alpha males are more dominant and fewer in numbers than the betas. Since dominance implies the ability to get what one wants, alphas are the prefered mates for women due to the perceived benefits women derive from allying with them. This is of course an imperfect and simplified model. Some men are dominant in some situations, and not in others. The hierarchy can be pretty fluid, and shifts based upon the group of males within which an individual finds himself. To give an example a man who is dominant within his primary social group may be fairly submissive within a different group of more assertive men.
In most writing about male dominance this is where the discussion ends. Other people have, however, identified that certain men exist largely outside of this hierarchy. These men are:
- Sigma males
- Omega males
Unlike alphas and betas who are drawn to the social hierarchy, sigmas and omegas actively try and avoid it most of the time. They are loners. I’d say the two groups combined represent the minority of men. Maybe only 10%. The difference between omegas and sigmas is how the mainstream hierarchy reacts to them when they interact with it’s members.
Omegas are shunned by the hierarchy. They are the cliched basement dwelling, WOW playing neckbeards. They generally hold much resentment towards those within the hierarchy and towards women. The way they dress, groom themselves and their poor social skills are what cause members of the hierarchy to instantly perceive them as low value. The are social outcasts.
Sigmas are generally well received by the hierarchy, and are often initially mistaken for alphas due to their confidence and good social skills. A sigmas social aloofness will often confuse people. People understand the fact omegas don’t seem to want to interact socially as it’s obvious they would be rejected as people won’t like them. On the flip side of this people often assume the sigma’s lack of socialising means the sigma doesn’t like them. The sigma comes across as always having somewhere else to be, or something better to be doing.
When it comes to women, omegas are right at the bottom of the pile, but sigmas do pretty well. This is due to the fact they have alpha traits. Although sigmas generally don’t feel the need to dominate others, they are capable of it, and they strongly resist when anyone tries to dominate them. This coupled with the air of mystery they display due to their aloofness attracts the women. Girls will often say a sigma intrigues them.
Socialising isn’t the beginning and the end of it. Sigmas often see the world differently. They fight any hierarchy that tries to include them, for example a workplace hierarchy. To them, any attempt to bring them into a hierarchy feels like the borg are attempting to assimilate them. Their values are very much their own, and offer differ from mainstream values. They tend to go their own way as they feel what most others are doing is ineffective or undesirable. This means they will generally attempt to break free from the standard western male life path.
If you want to see some Hollywood archetypes of sigmas, read Krauser’s post on what a sigma male looks like.
My previous blog was entitled BetaToPua, but the truth is I misclassified myself as a beta. I have always fought to free myself from any social hierarchy that tried to assimilate me. In the past this resulted in me being an omega. I had no friends, was fat, dressed badly and lacked social skills. I was trying to become and alpha but soon realised that this path was not for me. I have no desire to be part of any hierarchy and no desire to dominate groups of men. I view leadership as a burden rather than a privilege. I’ve now slept with too many women to be and omega, but yet my journey to becoming a sigma is not yet complete. My current life trajectory is too much in keeping with what is expected of a beta male for this to be the case, and I’m still not adept enough at dealing with alphas who cross my path. Over the lifetime of the blog you will see this change.
A few years back, before the develpment of awareness of Sigmas, i wrote my own theory on the unsrecognizef group. I labelled them “Wildboys”. The short paper is available to read at http://www.academia.edu. It provides deeper information on the development of the Sigma/Wildboy.
If you can’t access Academia, it is also posted on my blog: