In observing the biological and sociological nature of animals, one will often observe that there is a predominant member of the pack of group and it is a male. This animal is often the strongest of the pack and can dominate the other males and females of the group. This is called an alpha male.
An alpha male is the dominant male of that particular species of animal. This holds true for almost all mammals, such as lions, wolves, dogs and even human beings. Alpha means one or first, so it translates to number one male.
In the animal kingdom, the alpha male is determined by the physical structure of the animal, as well as its ferocity, especially in engaging another animal in battle. For lions, the alpha male usually has the largest mane or is the one with the biggest body frame. In the wild, the alpha male is the male animal that can attack and defend its prey from other encroaching animals. Other animals of the same species are then naturally drawn to the alpha male for protection. In animals, the alpha male is selected by the female as a mate because it ensures the biological continuation of the species. By selecting the strongest male, the female thinks its offspring will also have the best advantage in the wild and that the alpha male will be able to protect her and her offspring.
Other males may occasionally try to test the mettle of the alpha male to see if he still has what it takes to lead or be the alpha. Other animals may engage the male in aggressive fights. The winner at the end is the alpha male.
In human beings, there is also an alpha male although it is more subtle than in the animal kingdom. There are several stereotypes with this image, such as a man who is a jock, player or muscle bound. He is usually the strong, attractive, charismatic man with strong leadership skills. Other men and women are naturally drawn to him. He is usually physically strong and tall and has a commanding presence. He may have an aggressive personality. In today’s society, the alpha male is also one who has money.
Women are drawn to an alpha male because he exudes such masculine potency. The evolutionary biological instinct of the female is at work when she is attracted to the alpha male. The instinct to find the strongest mate to produce the strongest offspring and to have the best protector and provider is ingrained in females.
However, an alpha male may be too domineering for other personalities and may not always work well with a group. Being used to being the center of attention and the leader, an adult alpha male in the work place may be insolent or insubordinate. He may not have many male companions since other males may be intimidated.
In the animal kingdom or in humans, an alpha male has attributes that can help its group or society. However, certain precautions must be kept in mind when dealing with him.