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LINK Alpha Male Are A Myth That Hijacked Modern Masculinity

What does it mean to be a man? More specifically, what does it mean to be a man in the U.S.? In Spain? Among Native American communities? There are so many different factors — both cultural and otherwise — that are embedded in this question. But what does masculinity look like around the world and what similarities present themselves? And, more importantly, what does how we talk about it — and attempt to explain away behaviors using biology or speak of men in terms of Alpha and Beta — say about us?

In, Are Men Animals? How Modern Masculinity Sells Men Short, anthropologist Matthew Gutmann, a professor of anthropology at Brown University who has spent 30 years exploring notions of masculinity across the United States, Latin America, and China, describes how the ways society can speak about men and explain away their behavior through bad science — such as when, during the Brett Kavanaugh hearings, testosterone was associated with negative male behavior — limits men’s emotional expression and denies them agency and accountability over their actions. For Gutmann, using such terms and phrases as “testosterone,” “boys being boys,” and “just being a guy” is tantamount to when doctors 30 or 40 years ago would say that women can’t be leaders because their periods made them too unpredictable. In other words, he says, such talk paints men into a corner.

"There is a widespread tendency to say, well, boys will be boys. So in the Brett Kavanaugh Supreme Court justice hearings, it was remarkable how many times I read the word ‘testosterone’ associated with male teenage behavior. As if other boys didn’t have testosterone as teenagers; as if testosterone surging through your blood, if you’re a teenage boy, accounts for sexual assault against women. That, to me, is very disturbing, when we assume that teenage boys almost can’t help themselves from assaulting."


[This is not yet another tract explaining how put-upon men are; it's a discussion of how society tends to pigeonhole men in gender roles just as it does women, and pointing out how both have been & are being sold short by these stereotypes.]

Paul4747 8 May 24

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NOT ONE WORD about religion???!!! OK. I get it. Religion is a third rail, especially for an academic. But honestly, garbage in, garbage out. One cannot write about toxic masculinity, machismo and abusive patriarchy without admitting the most of this BS came from Western religion.

Judaism, Christianity and Islam all preach utterly depraved notions of sexuality, repression and pathological aggression. AND, they plainly platform the most destructive messages to women as well. Both sexes lap it up to their detriment, and we see the results; we have a society and culture of pervasive sexism, cruelty and sociopathy.

The only new issue here is how the religionists misused the findings of science the same way that Christians adopted eugenics, scientific creationism, etc. for their own perverse purposes.


"If you have ask you can't afford it" if you have to constantly remind people you're alpha you shouldn't bother.


Disappointingly the article hinted at the alpha male mythology but didn’t go far enough in exploding it with : “I read an article recently that said that there’s no real concept of an alpha wolf in the wild, but it exists in captivity. What does it mean that men have totally taken on this identity, as being the ‘alpha’ or the ‘alpha wolf’ or ‘alpha male’ when it doesn’t even really exist in nature? That that’s the gold standard of being a human man — being an ‘alpha’?” They even attribute it instead to females or extol the virtues of being so-called “beta”. Pop ethology gone wild.

The alpha terminology has largely fallen out of favor. The person who coined it in the first place has regretted it:

“Mech, like many wildlife biologists, once used terms such as alpha and beta to describe the pecking order in wolf packs. But now they are decades out of date, he says. This terminology arose from research done on captive wolf packs in the mid-20th century—but captive packs are nothing like wild ones, Mech says. When keeping wolves in captivity, humans typically throw together adult animals with no shared kinship. In these cases, a dominance hierarchy arises, Mech adds, but it’s the animal equivalent of what might happen in a human prison, not the way wolves behave when they are left to their own devices.”


And see also: []

Humans are using an obsolete concept and projecting it as a social construct to not only explain, but condone such things as natural hence good. This is wrong on so many levels, not just factual, but employs the “appeal to nature” fallacy.

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