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Unyoked Alphas and Bountiful Betas
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The GSS has a great question that, according to the Game narrative, gets right at a crucial distinction between alphas and betas: Alphas do not put the objects of their affection before themselves, while betas do.

The question asks the respondent if he agrees with the statement that he would rather suffer himself than have a woman he is in a relationship with suffer. Being openly willing to suffer for a lover is clearly the mark of a beta. If you’re engaged in pumping-and-dumping, the girl is in the process of suffering for your pleasure even as the GSS question is being considered. Your answer is obvious.

Responses are on a five point scale, from strongly agreeing to strongly disagreeing. Not surprisingly, a majority of men strongly agree–chivalrous ideals are not dead, and by definition betas outnumber alphas. Where the alpha-beta dividing line among the four other responses is placed is contingent upon what percentage of the total male population is alpha and what percentage is beta. Of course the Game narrative does not maintain that an absolute dichotomy exists, but for empirical purposes distinctions have to be made somewhere.

In his definitive post on what constitutes an alpha, Heartiste puts the low end (“lesser”) alpha at 7 on the 0-10 point scale, while Adonis (“greater alpha”) is obviously at 10. Since it’s actually an 11 point scale, the 0-6 beta and omega range comprises 64% of the population while the 7-10 alpha range comprises the remaining 36%. Separating the “strongly agree” beta response from the other four yields a 69.3%/30.7% split, corresponding very well to the chart included in Heartiste’s post.

As Heartiste is one of the Game narrative’s intellectual giants, this is how I’ll define the alpha/beta split for the purposes of considering differences in fecundity between alphas and betas. The following table shows the mean number of children for alpha and beta males. To avoid racial confounding, only non-Hispanic whites are included. To allow adequate time for procreation to occur, men aged 40-65 are considered. As the question was posed in 2004, it has contemporary relevance:

Status Kids
Alphas 1.68
Betas 2.08

Betas make more babies than alphas do. This should be warmly received by everyone! From the beta perspective, their chivalrous instincts are out propagating the caddish tendencies of alpha males, which presumably indicates a virtuous cycle of increasing chivalry in the future. From the alpha perspective, this portends a future where the jungle is increasingly populated by inept beta hunters, allowing alphas to poach kittens and cougars with ever greater ease.

Parenthetically, why is so much scorn heaped upon betas by alphas? The basic concept of supply and demand suggests that the relatively fewer alphas there are, the easier their pickings become. Every man may need a harem, but the math doesn’t work out for every man to have one!

Also, see here for a detailed look at the profile of today’s alpha male.

GSS variables used: AGAPE1(1)(2-5), RACECEN1(1), AGE(40-65), SEX(1), CHILDS

(Republished from The Audacious Epigone by permission of author or representative)
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  1. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    An alpha has the ability to do what he wants. A beta accepts whatever is given to him. That's the fundamental difference.

    What an alpha wants can vary alpha to alpha. On the statistical front we use generalities to make judgements, because that's all you've got with large numbers. So you make statements like, "most men want more sexual partners," and then judge alphaness by sex partners. It's imperfect, but it's good enough.

  2. I am a little surprised, sort of. I remember once a documentary on monkeys that noted female "alphas" had less reproductive success, but males had more. It was a reproductive advantage for males.

    So is alphaness hereditary or congenital?

  3. "Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets."
    Jesus, Matt 7:12
    (King James)

    "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."
    Jesus, John 15:13
    (King James)

    That is basically the center of Christianity so you are saying that alpha-ness and Christianity are definitionally opposites.

    Then I'd have to say you are off base about what alpha means. There is something called Christian manhood where the husband is the head and leader of his wife and family and she submits to him. But it is tied to caring, leadership and love, not abuse.

    An alpha is not an alpha because he abuses. An alpha is an alpha because of true positive and valuable and desirable qualities that make his position so strong and secure that he make mistakes or be impolite and not jeopardize that position.

  4. Let me rephrase that:

    An alpha is an alpha because of true positive and valuable and desirable qualities that make his position so strong and secure that he can ask for and get what he wants out of the relationship.

    A true alpha easily trumps a 'game' alpha because the 'game' alpha is bluffing. When it comes time to lay down the cards (what the actually has to give) the true alpha holds the high cards.

    The lesson? Game is a waste I think. Just concentrate on actually increasing the cards in your hand. Make more money. Build a better body. Take up leadership in actual things. Be a generous person. And then just get out there and try to claim your lovely future wife, balls to the wall.

    No cycling through trashy, low-self esteem women.

  5. Dan says:

    "The question asks the respondent if he agrees with the statement that he would rather suffer himself than have a woman he is in a relationship with suffer. "

    If there is a threatening situation, a real man fights in defense of his womenfolk. Even looking at gorillas and chimps, part of what it means to be alpha (according to the genuine anthropology where these words came from) is that you are called into battle when your female is threatened. Or actually you call yourself into battle in defense of your females. According to the actual law of the actual jungle, as soon as you are no longer willing to fight to defend your females, you can no longer be alpha and you will be out of there.

  6. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Yeah, the alpha is alpha vs. the other males not vs. the women. Also, in a fight, the strategy isn't really to lay down your life, it is to make your opponent lay down his. The idea is to win. A dead "alpha" is no different from a dead beta. He won't be siring any offspring.

  7. Dan,

    I assume contemporary Christianity is considered to be the ultimate in betaness among the PUA crowd, although I'm not sure.

    I'm using Game terminology without meaning to necessarily endorse or challenge it.

  8. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Promiscuity may not be the best proxy for alphaness in humans. In Plutarch's lives, there are a couple of high alphas that were not promiscuous. Culture plays some role, of course. Prince Albert, Queen Victoria's spouse, very alpha, but not promiscuous. To some extent promiscuity would be selected against because as a vector for diseases that compromise the viability of offspring. The highly sexed but totally monogamous would have the advantage in producing viable offspring. That together with high parental investment gives you those midwest Scandinavian farmers of the 19th century with 10 healthy kids not 20 syphilitic bastards.

  9. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:


    Game theory is based on evolutionary theory, not religion. In game theory Christianity was a control mechanism developed during the agricultural period which organized society in ways that worked during the agricultural period. Since that period is over it is no longer relevant.

    A man that defends his women AND WINS is an alpha. A man that dies defending his women can no longer reproduce, and is a failure in evolutionary eyes. Since there is always a more powerful force out there knowing when to sacrifice others to save yourself is an evolutionarily good trait. One should only make sacrifices when it increases the chance of his own genes surviving (through himself or children).

    Women respond to this. Thus why a mafia boss will have lots of women. Sure, he kills and takes from other men. But who cares about them. So long as those resources go towards the survival of her children who cares how he gets them.

  10. This reinforces my belief that modern birth control has reversed evolution (re: devolution), after many millennia of smarter alpha humans out-breeding dumber beta/omega humans via self-evident evolution. The opposite has been happening, as dumber humans began multiplying faster since the 1960s and '70s.

    It also explains the "income disparity" caused by self-inflicted underclass creating a glut in uneducated/unskilled labor at the bottom, and a shortage in high-paying skilled labor at the top. But businesses won't hire our underclass, they'd rather higher an illegal immigrant alpha who managed to cross the border. Dumb people do NOT tend to plan ahead, including using family planning, no matter how hard we try to instill it in them. They call in sick more often, or don't show up for work, tend to be unreliable. Smart people have no trouble planning ahead, it's part and parcel of being smart. It doesn't matter how hard the gov't tries to redistribute the wealth of alphas. The alphas will always out-smart the gov't and betas, omegas. Society implodes under debt as a result.

    I'm convinced our Constitution was designed with self-regulating freedom in mind. But gov't efforts to fix the "flaws" with the minimum wage, etc have prevented freedom from regulating bad personal decisions and habits, so poverty has only grown worse, not better.

  11. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Betas and omegas are not necessarily "dumber" than alphas from an IQ perspective, particularly if the analysis is expanded to all races surveyed. Using AE's defition of alpha from this post and referring back to his older post from July, 2011, the percentage of alphas among African-Americans is higher than the percentage of alphas among Whites. It's not proof, but it's suggestive.

  12. bgc says: • Website

    I really don't know why you give any thought to 'Game' from a evolutionary biological perspective – the ideas of 'Gamers' are so confused they are not-even-wrong, (that is – when they are not just plain evil in their motivation).

    Natural selection is about reproductive success – simple as that.

    NS is not about being happy, dominant, getting your own way, being respected – none of that. It is not about having sex, it is about making (viable) babies.

    Demographic change describes natural selection in humans.

    Under modern conditions RS is almost entirely a matter of fertility (since child mortality rates are now so low – everywhere -as to be almost insignificant, biologically).

    Therefore the most 'evolutionarily successful' humans are those with the highest fertility. In the modern world these include the poorest (and unhealthiest, and shortest-lived) people in the poorest countries, the least intelligent, the most chaotic and criminal – as well as the most orthodoxly religious.

    It is (almost) as simple as that.

    (And if maximum volume and variety of sex as such is *really* what is wanted, and fertility does not matter, then for a male there is no point in being heterosexual.)

    But really, the whole pseudo-intellectual elaboration of Game is a rationalization for effective exploitative selfishness – and it is this underlying dishonesty which renders the whole exercise incoherent and poisonous.

  13. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Being openly willing to suffer for a lover is clearly the mark of a beta. If you're engaged in pumping-and-dumping, the girl is in the process of suffering for your pleasure even as the GSS question is being considered.

    If you are "pumping-and-dumping", then the girl is not in any sense your lover.

    This entire alpha-beta construct is staggeringly inane. And holding it is the mark of a loser.

  14. I believe the question would innately be limited to children they know about.

    Also using the rough 10% number, .2 children of the betas will actually be the illegitimate alpha children the betas don't know about and think are their own.

    In all, not so telling as you might think

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