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It’s an appealing idea in many ways; it provides the gloss of an appeal to nature- it nicely coincides with the macro perception of human sexual interaction and provides justification for promiscuous male behavior and an explanation for hypergamous females. The narrative that men are naturally promiscuous (the better to ensure the survival of their genetic line) while women are naturally monogamous is the result of a cultural fallacy dating back as far as Charles Darwin; scientists and anthropologists of the time tended to use Western cultural morality as the prism through which they viewed natural discoveries – a problem that occasionally crops up today, as a matter of fact.

Every once in a while, I like to go browse through some various blogs, forums and subreddits specializing in men’s dating advice to see what theories are being espoused.

It’s not terribly surprising (to me) to see that the idea of “being alpha” is continuing to be tossed around as the end-all/be-all of dating; it’s a part of the DNA of men’s dating advice – the complaints of Nice Guys lamenting the popularity of assholes, nerds complaining about jocks getting all the girls and of course, the obsession in PUA circles with status games and “shit tests” – that is, acting in such a manner as to “test” a man’s status by trying to make him supplicate or otherwise disqualify a man from being a potential sexual partner.

Even amongst modern stone-age tribes, such as the ones in the Amazon and South-East Asia, parential lineage isn’t a strict binary; most believe in the concept of multiple fathers contributing to the creation of a child.

Sexual exclusivity and the obsession with genetic lineage didn’t come about until the development of agriculture – and with it, the idea of private ownership.

More often than not, it gets mixed in with evolutionary psychology – the idea that men and women act a specific way because of evolution.

According to the standard script, women are attracted to “alphas” because they are looking for prime genetic material who can also protect and provide for them, thus ensuring the continuation of their genetic line.

Unfortunately once again: this is an an intellectual fallacy, an attempt to use nature and evolution as a way to justify the way one things to be.

The idea breaks down as soon as you take the most cursory look at actual evolution.

The idea of the “high-value, alpha male” is a popular one – in fact, it’s one of the regular arguments in the comments sections, especially whenever I post about masculinity or what makes men attractive to women.

The problem, unfortunately, is that the cultish worship of “alpha” is incredibly toxic, poisoning interactions between men and women and actually making it It’s tempting to ascribe behaviors to “nature” as a way to give the the gloss of authority and excuse one’s desires with “we’ll, this is just how it’s supposed to be, can’t do nuthin’ about it.” But if one is going to attempt this, it helps to actually understand what the real natural behavior is instead of making assumptions based on what we WANT to be true and ultimately begging the question.

Is the more dominant partner presumed to be the masculine role and the submissive one the feminine?