Notes from a Sigma Male

When it comes to male archetypes, the sigma male is the most mysterious there is, mostly because people don’t even know it exists.  Of course, the alpha on the other hand is extremely well known, perhaps the most famous of all the archetypes which include the second most well known archetype ‘the beta’, then we have ‘gamma’ ‘omega’ and ‘delta’ males with the ‘sigma’ male being the rarest type of all.

The archetype of the sigma male is shrouded in mystery not only because of how rare he is, but also to the nature of the sigma male himself. This doesn’t mean he’s some kind of shady criminal mastermind or anything like that, it just means that he operates outside of the mainstream, going against the grain and dismissing the traditional roles and expectations that society forces upon us from an early age.

But what is the science behind the sigma male archetype… just how real is the sigma male?

Being so mysterious and rare it comes as no surprise that this archetype is commonly misinterpreted and as a consequence is often made fun of by internet culture, generally being shunned as something that either doesn’t exist or doesn’t matter, sometimes even being viewed as some kind of ‘astrology’ for men. Here we’re going to be looking at why this isn’t necessarily the case as we discuss the science behind the misunderstood sigma male.

There isn’t much scientific literature out there on this topic at all, but there are many theories and concepts which strongly support the existence of the sigma male.

Firstly, just because you don’t put a name to something doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist, and of course this happens in science all the time; and the sigma male is a powerful example of this, as most people aren’t aware that this archetype has existed since historical records began.

Throughout history all the way up to the present day, people have been aware of what ‘the alpha’ is in both animal and human hierarchies. It is widely understood that he is the leader of the pack; the strongest male in the group who provides and protects and who wields all the power. It’s just that no one ever thought to give a label to the males who are equal to the alpha in many ways but instead choose to roam, wander and stray away from the social group. But in the end this archetype was finally assigned a name that we now know as the sigma male, despite existing for as long as we have had pack dynamics, in other words, for as long as humans have existed.

Considering the similarities between the alpha and the sigma in terms of dominance, authority and the way they conduct themselves and take on challenges, it’s easy to see why they can be confused. It’s really when we analyse their separate behaviours in a group setting that it’s much easier to see scientific differences.  It’s important to remember that the sigma male is essentially just the introverted version of the alpha; he has similar qualities with one major difference that sets him apart – and that’s his desire to be more reclusive and to operate alone, without being held down by a pack; whereas the alpha sees value in building a strong tribe and maintaining it in order to reap what he considers to be the benefits.

What we have to keep in mind when considering the primary reason as to why sigma males are real, is that whether we want to believe it or not, the social hierarchy does indeed exist. You don’t have to believe in it or support the idea of it to know that it exists, either. It’s an undeniable fact that virtually all animals conform to some kind of social hierarchy. Take almost any species in existence, as a fair example how about the ones that share most of our DNA: monkeys. We share an incredible amount of DNA with monkeys yet they have a very clear social hierarchy as other animals do: so taking all of this into consideration, why is it so unfathomable to believe that this kind of social structure exists for humans too?

And for that matter, why would so many people aim to be at the top of it to reap the benefits that come with that position of power if it doesn’t exist in the first place?

We then have to consider the fact that some people are naturally designed to break the rules. Most people jump to the conclusion that while the alpha male exists at the top of the hierarchy, the sigma male is nothing more than a myth. But think about it this way – sure, being at the top of the hierarchy means the alpha naturally has to conform to societal rules, but what about alphas who don’t conform, preferring to play by their own rules? We can’t deny they exist and must respect the fact that they are just as imposing, dominant and clearly at the top of the hierarchy as alphas are; but at the same time recognising they are non-conformist free thinkers, mavericks, and rule breakers. The difference here is so huge between the two that we can’t simply chalk these instances of ‘lone-wolfism’ that occur throughout the natural world up to also being ‘alpha’. And this is where the idea of the sigma male really grew legs. The introverted version of the alpha is the lone wolf who goes against the socio-economic grain and lives life by his own standards, under his own conditions.  He totally disregards the common standards for alphas whilst still remaining just as dominant and commanding in any situation or social interaction.

To further support the existence of sigma males, there is a scientifically valid personality test called ‘The Big Five’ and it is very useful in proving that these social archetypes do exist.

It works by breaking personalities down into five different aspects, and these are often completely independent of each other. This means you could have someone complete the test who is a total recluse, who barely leaves the house or interacts with anyone who happens to score high with emotional stability and in other areas such as leadership that demonstrate their ability to assert dominance in their personal and professional relationships.

This is an important point to consider as it shows that the specific personality type that a sigma male would conform to does in fact exist – the type that has masses of self-confidence, self-reliance and self-belief but which disregards the social elements of daily life and prefers to distance themselves from the pack.

But the answer to the question on the existence of sigma males doesn’t only exist within the pages of a book or within the text of website articles and studies; there are plenty of real-life examples including famous ones that very obviously conform to this archetype.

As some examples, just take a look at Elon Musk, Keanu Reeves, Steve Jobs, James Dean and even Kanye West. They are all considered to be sigma males which fit perfectly with the definition – you can’t deny that they are just as dominant and imposing as the alpha male but with clear differences in the way that all operate exclusively under their self-obsession, confidence, disregard and dismissal of the social hierarchy whilst being super successful in their respective fields.

We hope this post has given some clarification to the myth on the existence of sigma males.