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Every once in a while, I like to go browse through some various blogs, forums and subreddits specializing in men’s dating advice to see what theories are being espoused.

It’s not terribly surprising (to me) to see that the idea of “being alpha” is continuing to be tossed around as the end-all/be-all of dating; it’s a part of the DNA of men’s dating advice – the complaints of Nice Guys lamenting the popularity of assholes, nerds complaining about jocks getting all the girls and of course, the obsession in PUA circles with status games and “shit tests” – that is, acting in such a manner as to “test” a man’s status by trying to make him supplicate or otherwise disqualify a man from being a potential sexual partner.

Even amongst modern stone-age tribes, such as the ones in the Amazon and South-East Asia, parential lineage isn’t a strict binary; most believe in the concept of multiple fathers contributing to the creation of a child.

Sexual exclusivity and the obsession with genetic lineage didn’t come about until the development of agriculture – and with it, the idea of private ownership.

Yes, chimpanzees – our genetic near-relatives – have an alpha caste who enforce sexual restrictions through violence…but we’re a social hierarchy – are matriarchal, with relative status determined by age rather than muscle and violence.

Sex amongst bonobos is a free-for-all; males and females have equal access to one another and participate in sex regularly with both troop members and apes from other social groups.

The idea of the “high-value, alpha male” is a popular one – in fact, it’s one of the regular arguments in the comments sections, especially whenever I post about masculinity or what makes men attractive to women.