Tuesday, January 07, 2014

This is what a beta looks like

The post's title really isn't supposed to be ironic or snarky, it's genuine. The GSS previously presented a question that quintessentially distinguishes alphas from betas in the Game paradigm. Heartiste hasn't commented on it previously so far as I am aware, but I doubt he'd disagree. It asks respondents whether or not they'd rather suffer so that their loved one wouldn't have to. The GSS item breaks down 70% beta/30% alpha in terms of responses, roughly in line with real-world Game estimates among the male population. It was the impetus for a post a couple of years ago entitled "profile of an alpha".

Anyway, when it comes to my son, I'm beta all the way. After having a baby, everyone inevitably asks about it the first time they see you after the birth. After several polite but empty iterations about it being "great" or "awesome", I made a conscious effort to try to actually start providing a thoughtful response to the inquiries of friends and acquaintances who asked about it.

The most genuine one I'm able to offer is that as soon as I laid eyes on him I was overwhelmed with a sense of devotion stronger than anything I've ever felt for anyone or anything else in my life. If I met the devil in the wilderness, his efforts at tempting me with any combination of wine, women, and power in exchange for my little man would fall on deaf ears. There's no conceivable personal gain I'd exchange if it meant harm would come to him. Not all men have nurturing instincts, but most do--something that can easily be forgotten amidst talk of maternal instinct, mother-child bonding, etc. Humans are zoologically rather unusual in terms of the high amount of paternal investment in offspring we exhibit. Some men (and some races?) more than others.

Fortunately, so far it hasn't required anything near that level of foregone pleasure and enjoyment:


Anonymous said...

I think a more interesting question is not whether or not you would sacrifice or endure pain for a child (as a father of three it is a no-brainer that I would gladly and with satisfaction give my life), but what level of misdeeds would you perform?

That is a question that gives me unease.

EFTROM said...

I'm a little confused. Does it say beta males are more likely or less likely to sacrifice themselves?

Audacious Epigone said...


Yes, turning the question around like that forces one to reconsider the putatively inherent goodness that is affection for one's offspring.


More likely.

Dan said...

Having kids is emphatically not beta, if we use the terms alpha and beta according to their original meanings in primatology.

The original meaning is that the alphas got to mate and rear offspring while the betas did not. Modern so-called alphas are nothing of the sort, if mother nature gets the last word (and I kind of think she does).

Looking back into human history, historical alpha-dom was always all about offspring. Lineage was the central obsession of kings and sultans and khans. Those bona-fide alphas would laugh and the childless 'alphas' of today.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Dan, having children is the point of the actual transaction the Alphas game for, the carrot wet itself is not the point.

Ultimately skirt chasing is highly inefficient and expensive masturbation.

Go, Daddy


Anonymous said...

An alpha male is a male who is attractive to (and sleeps with) a large number of females. Parental investment has nothing to do with it. There are males who lack any desire to invest in offspring who are nevertheless unable to attract hordes of beautiful women, and vice versa.

Dan said...

"An alpha male is a male who is attractive to (and sleeps with) a large number of females."

To nature, alpha is tightly intertwined with reproduction and a non-reproducer can never be alpha.

And nature will not be persuaded otherwise, no matter what we mortals have to say about it.

Furthermore, the real, historical alphas, these kings and khans I spoke of, would scoff at any man whose partner was purposefully blocking his seed. ("What a sad excuse for a man he must be, that she blocks him with this so-called birth control!" he mocks, nearly falling out of his thone with laughter.)

Anonymous said...

"I was overwhelmed with a sense of devotion stronger than anything I've ever felt for anyone or anything else in my life"


Dying for them is a trivial choice.

Anonymous said...

and congrats btw

silly girl said...


Jack Burton said...

Other than cloning yourself, there's nothing more "alpha" than reproduction.

Ultimately the sacrifice you give is to further yourself, your DNA, so you do have a selfish motive after all.

The motivation for protecting females in your family is their genetic relation to you, and protecting unrelated females who are attractive and fertile is because deep down you have a reproductive motive. It's like playing the lottery, gambling, yeah your chances of winning might be slim, but it's still that minute chance that makes it a thrill.

The real difference to me between a beta and an alpha, is alphas have a choice, betas don't.

Betas are the lapdogs, who have no will of their own and follow women around and do their bidding like a lost puppy.

In street talk, "don't be pussy-whipped, whip that pussy!"

I find the majority of this "alpha/beta" stuff to be nonsense. "Alpha" is rather a euphemism and positive propaganda for narcissistic sociopaths to not only excuse but promote their anti-social behavior as superior.