Is Masculinity The Same as ‘Alpha’? Not Necessarily

The term masculinity often gets conflated with being alpha. Is it the same thing? Is being an alpha male just a result of being very masculine? Or is it not related at all? There are a few things to say about this so let’s get into it.

Can you be masculine without being “Alpha”? Being masculine and being Alpha are not necessarily the same thing although there is a big overlap between the two concepts. Being Alpha does almost always make you masculine but being masculine doesn’t necessarily make you Alpha.

There is a whole lot more to it and it’s important to fully understand the two concepts before you can separate them and give them a proper place in your mind. Keep reading to find out more.

1. What is an alpha male?

In the animal kingdom the alpha male is the leader of the group. The strongest, smartest, most cunning of the bunch. These alpha animals get the best food or other desirable items as well as access to mates. They might get challenged from time to time by a competitor. Sometimes they win, sometimes they lose.

Does it translate to humans?

It’s accepted that there is such a thing as an alpha animal. But can you put humans into the same box?

Yes, but it’s a bit more complicated with humans. Everyone knows that guy that is the leader of the group. The man everyone respects and is an example for others. He is at the top of the hierarchy. Every man wants to be him and every woman wants to be with him.

It changes per in every situation however. Humans have hierarchies for different things. Someone can be on top of the hierarchy in one situation but not in another. The guy who is a ferocious and successful businessman might be the weakest man in the gym.

Men who are on top of more hierarchies than others can be said to be more alpha. The traits that make the rise to the top of one pyramid might also make them more likely to get to the top of another.

Where in the animal kingdom the top “dog” is just the leader of a single pecking order (his group), in human society, there are many more ways to rank.

Male lion
Is alpha and masculine the same thing?

2. Ways to define Alpha

As I see it, there are two ways to define alpha that cause some confusion.

  1. The alpha male is the man that’s on top of many hierarchies and is the leader people look up to.
  2. The alpha male is the man that everyone wants to be (with).

In many places on the internet, the alpha male is reduced to the second definition. There are many programs being sold to become that alpha male. Most of these programs just focus on one thing: Women.

You can’t pick and choose

Many men just want the sexual opportunities that being an alpha brings. In my opinion it doesn’t work like that however. You might be able to fake being an alpha but not really be one. Through mannerisms and behaviors you might get pretty far. But in the end you’re only mimicking a “real” alpha male.

A true alpha male is the first definition in my opinion. Being the best and the leader people want to follow, makes you an alpha. The second definition is the result of being the first.

That means that to be an alpha, you have to do a lot of work and take on a lot of responsibility. If the results of that work are positive, you’ll get the benefits of being an alpha. The “true” alpha put himself first without thinking of the possible benefits.

3. Is being masculine the same as being Alpha?

No, you can be masculine without being alpha. The traits that are necessary to become alpha are a part of masculinity. While a more masculine man is more likely to be an alpha, there is no guarantee that this happens.

You have to detach the two concepts. They are not one and the same thing. There are more factors that decide if someone is an alpha male than masculinity alone.     

Levels of masculinity
Does being the most masculine make you alpha?

4. Is being alpha a result of masculinity?

Being the alpha means you are at the top of one or more hierarchies. This often means the alpha has more power, women, money, things, etc. Is this the result of masculinity?

Yes, I think it’s not possible to be an overall alpha without being masculine. You might be on top of one hierarchy without showing much masculinity but being on top over a broad spectrum of hierarchies is very unlikely.

Being on top of many competitions is the result of a few masculine traits:

Other factors

There are some other factors that make a man an alpha male though. Masculinity and character is not the only thing that counts.

If you define alpha male as the person who is on top of the pyramid, that person also needs;

  • Intelligence
  • Health
  • Social skills

To be the best, you need to have the whole package. Just having the masculine traits isn’t quite enough. Many men have those traits but aren’t suitable leaders because they miss some other traits that aren’t necessarily masculine.

5. Can you be masculine without being alpha?

Yes you can. While all alphas are likely masculine, being masculine doesn’t necessarily make you alpha. It’s the classic: All raccoons have a tail but not all tails have a raccoon. All alphas are masculine but not all masculine men are alpha.

Many websites and guides list alpha traits that are a mix of masculinity and being alpha in my opinion. They are not the same thing. Having a masculine character increases your chances of getting to the top but it doesn’t guarantee it.

It’s also possible you have no interest in being the leader of anything. You just want to do your own thing and don’t care where you fall in the hierarchy.

6. Do you have to be an alpha male?

The person at the top is the leader. Not everyone wants to be a leader. Some people don’t have the capacity or the will to do what it takes to get there.

Many people want to get to the top just for the perks. The money, power, women, respect, etc. But they forget that there are responsibilities that come with these perks. They actually come BEFORE you get the perks.

If you want it, go for it

Some people are born leaders. They naturally fight to get to the top and possess all the traits a leader should have. He’s smart, socially capable, strong, people respect him and his judgment, etc.

Sometimes these people still don’t want to be the leader other people want them to be. That’s their choice.

If you think you should be the leader of a group or be the best in your field, go for it.

Suggested post: You can always be better.

Not everyone can be at the top

Some people are just better than you. Or maybe you’re just better than everyone else. Either way, not everyone can be the best at everything. Having strong masculine traits certainly helps in getting you to the top but if you lack the intelligence or social skills, it’s unlikely you’ll be there for very long.

You should strive to be the best at what you do

Don’t give up just because you think you can’t be/want to be on top. Giving up is absolutely an emasculated trait. Be the best you can be.

What makes you masculine is the drive, energy, risk taking and courage. That usually means you are aiming to be the best at what you do.

7. What’s the masculine alternative?

The image that has been created is that if you’re not alpha, you’re an emasculated waste of human flesh that everyone else would be happy to use and abuse as they see fit. Ok, that might be a bit over the top but, the general idea is: Alpha good, everything else bad. As you might have gathered by now, I don’t agree with that.


A lot of this confusion comes from the use of the word alpha. Alpha has gotten to mean the confident, muscular guy who gets all the girls.

In my opinion that might be related to being the alpha but that’s not the whole story. The leader or guy who’s on the top of his field is the alpha. The previous benefits might be a result of that role although sometimes it can also help to achieve the role of leader.

Being a beta male isn’t the only other option

Many people are afraid to be a beta male since that’s often quoted as the only alternative to being an alpha. The implication being that alpha is masculine, beta is emasculated.

If you make a distinction between being masculine and being a leader however, you can see that;

  1. It might not be so terrible to be a Beta
  2. There are other alternatives. You don’t have to be bound to labels.

It’s possible you’re not a leader but still a very masculine person. You just have no interest in having power over other people. You don’t care if people respect you or not.

8. Summary

Being masculine and being an alpha male is not the same thing. They should be viewed as different concepts. Being masculine doesn’t make you an alpha male although being an alpha male likely means you’re quite masculine.

Men that want to be alpha’s, usually only want the perks that it brings and are unwilling to do the work and take the responsibilities that would make them “real” alpha’s.

There are more ways to live a fulfilling, masculine life without being the leader. Having more masculine traits makes it more likely you can become an alpha male, but it’s not directly connected.

Still looking for a way to become more masculine? If this post isn’t enough, Check out the program “Masculine Core”. It’ll help you awaken the masculine that’s waiting inside of you.

More interested in looking masculine? Here are some posts for you.


Hi there. I'm BetterDaily. I'm a man in his early thirties that likes to travel, ride motorcycles, work out and write. Usually I write about men, things related to masculinity and things men like. Teacher by day, blogger by night.

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