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Changing social roles, and the decline of "alpha":

 1 Bonsai Forest, Wed, 19th Feb '14 12:10:25 PM from anywhere it rains
Living on the edge, of bonsai
I'm making a newer, narrower topic to address this.

Lemme start with this. While there is a pushback against social change by so-called "alpha males", from what I read, there are many studies showing the following: they make bad husbands, they make bad fathers, they're more likely to cheat on their wives, more like to be abusive, and at the same time... women are very strongly attracted to them. However, I think their pushback is nothing more than the angry grasping of a group of people who can't handle inevitable change. What are they pushing back against? Changing gender roles mostly - misandry (which is a problem) as well, but basically the most vocal of them appear to be just showy thugs.

Society is changing in many ways, and I think "alpha" may be reduced in importance (I won't say "on the way out" because it will always exist and have a role to play - for instance, the military).

See, a couple things are happening. There are changing gender roles, and related to it, an increase in egalitarian marriage (current studies on it are mixed - there are those that work out fantastically, and there are those where the spouses have difficulty with knowing how to relate. Apparently, the current ideal is to have the woman make 40% of the income and the man do 40% of the housework). But another sea change is coming: the rise of understanding of bullying.

Major social changes will probably be more successful if big corporations not only accept, but embrace them, as the thing is, studies are coming out showing not only the harmful lifelong effects of bullying on the victim (and the bully), but also how bullying can reduce the efficiency of a workplace by causing both victims and bystanders to be more likely to put less effort into work, more likely to quit (if that option is viable), and more likely to try to sabotage or "get back at" the workplace. Naturally, any employer would want to avoid this. Simple solution: don't hire bullies. And what kinds of people are most likely to be bullies? Probably "alpha males" and "queen bees".

Evolutionarily, traits that today would be considered negative or downright wrong, such as tendency to commit rape or cheat on spouses (and therefore abandon their kids to live with a single parent) would have been traits that helped propogate the species. Now, we have birth control. If a woman knows that a man might be a good lay, but a bad husband, she just takes the pill and doesn't pass on his genes.

Anyway, there's a lot more I could say, but I'll stop here. Whta do you guys think? Any other thoughts you have would be appreciated.
 2 Best Of, Wed, 19th Feb '14 2:24:04 PM from Finland Relationship Status: Falling within your bell curve
FABRICATI DIEM, PVNC!
I suppose this thread could do with a bump now that the old one is locked.

So, bump.
I'd take the awe of understanding over the awe of ignorance any day. - Douglas Adams
 3 Blue Ninja 0, Wed, 19th Feb '14 2:50:15 PM from The Middle of Nowhere Relationship Status: She's holding a very large knife
Slowly dying on the inside
Whta do you guys think?
I think you missed spellcheck. tongue
Now, we have birth control. If a woman knows that a man might be a good lay, but a bad husband, she just takes the pill and doesn't pass on his genes.
I see one problem with this. It's been demonstrated that women are attracted to different men based on their fertility. Specifically, the same woman on birth control has different taste in men than when she's not on birth control. So it's not just a matter of going on birth control, because that doesn't seem to be when she's attracted to him, he's only attractive when she's fertile. Which encourages those genes.

That said, I don't think that being an "alpha male" is completely controlled by genetics. I think it's also partly learned socially from other people and media as well. The problem is that "alpha" behavior is often rewarded on television and in movies and books, which helps continue to propagate it. Now, its popularity does seem to be down some compared to media from, say, 30 years ago, but at the same time it's not gone, and often times it's rewarded. Whether a certain behavior is "bullying" often relies more on the viewpoint; people like Tosh.0 make their careers on behavior that's IMO bullying, and yet they get fame and popularity for it.
Once the avalanche has started, it is too late for the pebbles to cast their vote. - Ambassador Kosh
...can still bite
Evolutionarily, traits that today would be considered negative or downright wrong, such as tendency to commit rape or cheat on spouses (and therefore abandon their kids to live with a single parent) would have been traits that helped propogate the species.

I partially disagree with this. Rape and cheating would further propagate and individual man's genes, but the practice wouldn't necessarily mean propagation of the species as a whole. While it would mean more offspring, historically children living only with their mother might not get as much care or provision as opposed to if they had a father around.

Now if you replaced rape and cheating with polygyny, then you would have a point.

Exactly how are we defining an "alpha" male?

edited 19th Feb '14 2:57:53 PM by shiro_okami

A little divine intervention
Heh, i got fired due to workplace bullying, but the bully was a fat, maladjusted older woman.

So it certainly goes beyond the alpha male concept.

...can still bite
[up] Holdup. You were fired, but the bully wasn't?

 7 Bonsai Forest, Wed, 19th Feb '14 5:19:10 PM from anywhere it rains
Living on the edge, of bonsai
[up]That sounds so much like, well, school. I guess school really does reflect aspects of broader society after all.

[up][up][up]Good question. The people who tend to call themselves "alpha" are the ones I'm referring to. The types of snobbish, cocky, arrogant people who social their way through society.

edited 19th Feb '14 5:21:23 PM by BonsaiForest

...can still bite
[up] So basically, the ones who act like they are at the top, rather than the ones who actuall are at the top?

A little divine intervention
Actually i don't know what became of her. I never thought to ask. She wasn't there the day i got fired, so they may have suspended her or something (because her picking on me occurred right in front of management in one case), or it was just a coincidence. I never inquired, because I felt it was best to make a clean break, after sending them an e-mail stating my side of the story ('cuz they hustled me out quick).

The company is getting sued by the government for massive fraud now, and they'll all likely be out of a job very soon (soon, unfortunately, being the speed at which the courts work), so it was my win in the end smile

edited 19th Feb '14 7:00:15 PM by Ogodei

 10 Radical Taoist, Thu, 20th Feb '14 1:29:04 AM from the #GUniverse
scratching at .8, just hopin'
This is relevant to the thread topic.

It may simply be that "alpha male" behaviour was well adapted to an ancient environment, and that alpha males then shaped our environment to remain effective. It may be that it is no longer an optimal strategy despite our efforts to maintain it as such.
I want Kat's glasses!
our efforts? My first instinct would be to say theirs. I have no interest in alpha males being on top of society.
They Called Me Mad!! I decided to show them all; but when I looked on my works, oh mighty, I despaired: for it made me realize they were right.
 12 Bonsai Forest, Thu, 20th Feb '14 6:35:48 AM from anywhere it rains
Living on the edge, of bonsai
Tumblr's blocked at work, so is there a better link for the "Universal Equality is Inevitable" article?

"Equality" has two different meanings. People might say it really has only one meaning, but the way the word is used, does it refer to everyone having equal rights and attempts to create equal opportunity, so people can then try to make the most of what skills they have? Or does it mean that we're all identical - which is definitely not true?

And yes, having people who can social their way through society but otherwise have little to contribute, being at the top is, well, a lot like high school. It shouldn't be the case in the real world.

edited 20th Feb '14 7:58:52 AM by BonsaiForest

 13 Blue Ninja 0, Thu, 20th Feb '14 8:02:15 AM from The Middle of Nowhere Relationship Status: She's holding a very large knife
Slowly dying on the inside
[up] New York Times article. Or google up "Keekorok baboon troop."

But again, you are making the mistake of assuming that people with social skills have no other inherent skills or value. And that social skills themselves are of dubious or negative value overall, and they're not. Particular actions might be, but simply having the skills to know how to put people at ease or make comfortable small talk are not, in and of themselves, negative utility. The problem is when you take someone with those skills who also has a tendency towards sadism and selfishness. The problem isn't the fact that they have social skills, the problem is that they're using those skills to act as parasites towards others.
Once the avalanche has started, it is too late for the pebbles to cast their vote. - Ambassador Kosh
 14 Bonsai Forest, Thu, 20th Feb '14 8:04:27 AM from anywhere it rains
Living on the edge, of bonsai
I probably should have been more clear - it's selfishness and being stuck-up and thinking highly of yourself that will be less valued. Being able to get along with others or work together will be more valued.

That article on baboons is incredible. For those who can't read it or just want a recap, basically what happened is that in one group of baboons, all the alpha males died. They died from tuberculosis that they caught by eating tainted meat that they fought over. With the bullies gone, the baboon society in that area became more peaceful and friendly. What's more, newcomers who joined them learned that being a thug wasn't accepted, and they joined the new peaceful ways, proving that diplomacy isn't just something for humans, but also showing that societies can change drastically depending on conditions. And that a society doesn't necessarily need alphas.

edited 20th Feb '14 8:14:21 AM by BonsaiForest

 15 Xopher 001, Thu, 20th Feb '14 1:53:34 PM from 38.5061 N, 76.5177 W Relationship Status: In season
As seen in the background of TOME Season 2
Don't baboons change appearance of they become the alpha ?
3DS friend code:4940-5537-4719; skype- crucifixal-burden; twitter- @pricekr; Steam- x0ph3roo1; Youtube- Xopher000
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[up]Yes, though I'm not sure cheek-pads and a gigantic, swollen red ass are explicitly mentioned as recruitment criteria for business executives.
Freedom of speech includes the freedom for other people to call you out on your bullshit.
 17 Tobias Drake, Thu, 20th Feb '14 3:23:37 PM from Colorado, USA Relationship Status: Married to my murderer
Black Dragon
They do improve your chances, though.
 18 Radical Taoist, Thu, 20th Feb '14 3:25:21 PM from the #GUniverse
scratching at .8, just hopin'
More like an expectation business executives have of members of Congress.

Sorry for not posting a good summary of the baboon study when I linked it; I was in a hurry. Thank you for the good writeup!
...can still bite
Does everyone think that socializing your way through society and bullying is the only way to become an "alpha"? I'm asking because the question I asked earlier was ignored.

A little divine intervention
Alpha i had always associated with the so-called Type A personality (a term i hate to use, as i'm not one, and it feels like self-labeling inferiority), which is more just about assertiveness in general. This can come through as socializing, bullying, some mix of the two, or manifest itself in more legendary qualities like "leadership" and being inspirational.

Magnetism is another good way to describe it. Neither bad nor good at its most fundamental level, but not inherently inferior or superior to the type B personality either.

...can still bite
But the thing is, that label is rather broad, and a person may have some of those traits, but not all of them. My point is that when I think of an "alpha", I usually think of a charismatic, leader type individual, who gains power by inspiring devotion, or fanaticism, in others. A bully only gains social status by putting others down. While there may be some overlap between the two, they can't really be viewed on the same level.

I want Kat's glasses!
The baboon text seems to show baboons are better than rats. According to the six-rats experiment, there's always two bullies in the group, even if you stick six previous "victims" together.
They Called Me Mad!! I decided to show them all; but when I looked on my works, oh mighty, I despaired: for it made me realize they were right.
 23 Bonsai Forest, Fri, 21st Feb '14 11:10:30 AM from anywhere it rains
Living on the edge, of bonsai
A leader that inspires confidence and treats others with respect is indeed a very good thing for society.

I suppose by "alphas" I should have meant "cocky pricks". "Queen bees" would be included in this as well.

But we are living in a time in which many people are starting to use the terms "alpha" and "alpha male", as the terms enter the mainstream, as a synonym for unlikeable cocky jerks who womanize and think of themselves as heroes for doing so.
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Total posts: 23
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