“Alpha Males” Aren’t a Real Thing so Stop Using Pseudoscience to Justify How Much You Suck

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If you’ve spent anytime around the internet, you’ll probably recognize the language of “alpha/beta male” that often gets thrown around to praise aggressive, dominating, and inconsiderate misogynistic behavior and insult anyone man who has the audacity to show any amount of common decency or consideration. In a new Adam Ruins Everything that tackles the messy and complicated world of dating, the host tears apart the notion of the alpha male as completely fake.

In other words: stop using pseudoscience to justify acting like a fucking caveman. You don’t need to punch a hole through the wall because you were mildly inconvenienced! There’s nothing manly about yelling abusive slurs at women who don’t agree with you! Stop repeating sexist pick-up-artist sayings just because they rhyme! Disparaging any kind of emotional vulnerability or kindness is a symptom of toxic masculinity, and resisting that should be praiseworthy rather than something to insult!

In the clip, Adam goes back to the notion of the “alpha wolf,” popularized by L. David Mech in 1977. However, when Mech tried to replicate his studies 20 years later, he realized that alpha wolves are just … devoted parents. The scientist renounced the term “alpha wolf” and fought to take his writing out of circulation, but the term persisted and evolved into the social phenomenon it is now. The host also goes into other biological misconceptions, like the idea that chimps are our closest relatives and their alphas win the position through aggression. (They aren’t, and they don’t.)

He also points out, “Human social hierarchies are constantly in flux … Unlike animals, no one is the same type of person in all situations. Human society is much more complicated than that. So to say that this guy is an alpha male or that guy is a beta male makes straight up zero sense.”

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