The Pseudoscience Behind The ‘Sigma Male’ Explained


Are you fed up with reducing masculinity to the nonsensical, fabricated categories of “alpha” and beta males?

A viral tweet Monday brought attention to the term “sigma man,” an innovative and exciting way society can restrict masculine expression.

This Twitter post highlights media that reduces the wide spectrum of masculinity to a rigid hierarchy of “alpha,” beta, and “sigma,” so men can understand and accept their place in society without ever thinking of themselves as human beings with infinite potential.

What’s an Alpha Male?

If you are not familiar with manhood mythology, the idea of an alpha male is based upon the absurdly illogical belief in which groups of people resemble a pack of wolves. The leader of the group, AKA the “alpha,” will be aggressive and domineering.

This is not how humans function. It’s also not how wolf packs function. The now-debunked theory was founded on observations of wolves in captivity. Later studies of wild wolves revealed that wolf behaviour is far more complex than a binary between an Alpha and his subordinates.

The correction was too late. The idea of the alpha male remained firmly ingrained in popular culture. This ideology can justify oppressive hierarchies, and reduce people to stereotypes. The alpha male, a sign that is almost a celebrity, is imbued in a hint of incel ideology. It’s used to confirm poisonous views and exaggerate preexisting insecurities.

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What is a Sigma Male, and what does it mean?

A sigma male is essentially an introverted alpha male. It offers misguided men the chance to rise up the imaginary hierarchy without having the loud, boisterous personalities of an “alpha”.

John Wick is an example of a sigma male. After all, who wouldn’t like to be compared to a cool, composed assassin. Keanu Reeves is a great role model for a man who exemplifies an inexistent category of manhood.

Other made-up males include beta, gamma, and omega males. They are all placed at the bottom of the hierarchy meaning they are unlikely to attract a partner or find financial stability.

This reductive thinking is how pick-up artists see the world. It’s as intuitive as a Buzzfeed quiz that divides people into different types of Starbucks syrup.


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