Well, yes, OK

Gender inequality and sexist behaviour is prevalent in almost all workplaces and rampant in online environments. Although there is much research dedicated to understanding sexist behaviour, we have almost no insight into what triggers this behaviour and the individuals that initiate it. Although social constructionist theory argues that sexism is a response towards women entering a male dominated arena, this perspective doesn’t explain why only a subset of males behave in this way. We argue that a clearer understanding of sexist behaviour can be gained through an evolutionary perspective that considers evolved differences in intra-sexual competition. We hypothesised that female-initiated disruption of a male hierarchy incites hostile behaviour from poor performing males who stand to lose the most status. To test this hypothesis, we used an online first-person shooter video game that removes signals of dominance but provides information on gender, individual performance, and skill. We show that lower-skilled players were more hostile towards a female-voiced teammate, especially when performing poorly. In contrast, lower-skilled players behaved submissively towards a male-voiced player in the identical scenario. This difference in gender-directed behaviour became more extreme with poorer focal-player performance. We suggest that low-status males increase female-directed hostility to minimize the loss of status as a consequence of hierarchical reconfiguration resulting from the entrance of a woman into the competitive arena. Higher-skilled players, in contrast, were more positive towards a female relative to a male teammate. As higher-skilled players have less to fear from hierarchical reorganization, we argue that these males behave more positively in an attempt to support and garner a female player’s attention. Our results provide the clearest picture of inter-sexual competition to date, highlighting the importance of considering an evolutionary perspective when exploring the factors that affect male hostility towards women.

Alpha males are fine with women turning up ‘coz they’ll still be on top. Beta males not so much…..

48 comments on “Well, yes, OK

  1. So if females continue with this new craze of dissing males at every opportunity, us poor betas will withdraw from society or the situation will get even worse than that?

    Is that what I am supposed to take away from this?

    Just as well I tricked Mrs bilbaoboy into marrying me when she did! Ha!

  2. Worth noting that it is the uber-Alphas who commit the most egregious abuse thoughs. The Weinsteins, the Spaceys, the Clintons of this world. Because they can do what the fuck they like and laws are for the little pepole. The little guys may be rude and snide and dismissive – but they’re not raping or groping or career blocking. So to my untrained eye this lefty thesis looks to be worth precisely diddly squat.

  3. Although there is much research dedicated to understanding sexist behaviour

    Really? Actually _understanding_? Or merely fitting some anecdata in to some previously written feminist narrative.

  4. Uber Alphas do what they like because they can. Most of the girlies are hot for Alpha males.

    If Beta’s turned into Beaters their success rate would likely go thro’ the roof.

    What is more likely to annoy betas tho’ is not being shaded by the marvellous-ness of the female–for the most part a myth–but being overlooked and sidetracked by bullshitting, networking, back-stabbing, brown-nosing femmis helping each other up the ladder while others do the actual work. There are women with real skills and merit but nothing like so many as the HR wasters and bullshit “managers”.

  5. Skills at first person shoot-em-up computer games pretty well defines Beta, doesn’t it? Particularly CARING WHO WINS.

  6. From the little I’ve seen of gamers, there is quite a pronounced hierarchy. And it is generally to do with skill & commitment to the game, although level plays a significant part.

    Although anybody assuming a female identified character in a game is actually anything approaching female is probably in for a shock.

  7. A corollary of this is that male-exclusive organisations such as the Freemasons exist primarily to give beta males a “safe space”.

  8. Andrew M;

    Looks suspiciously like;

    A corollary of this is that male-exclusive organisations such as the Freemasons exist primarily to give women a “safe space”.

    Which is hilarious, considering.

  9. Historically, we have ‘Txokos’ or ‘sociedades gastronómicas’, male-only gastonomic clubs. Mine is a bankrupt restaurant we bought out (50 of us) and we’ll have paid it off next year!

    Well, we let women in now, but they still can’t be members nor work in the kitchen which is our true safe space (that’ll be declared illegal soon, except then we will go after the women only gyms…).

    We’ll stop wearing bearskins soon, and start using money instead of beads and I started leaving the club at home not that long ago!

  10. Bilbo

    I well remember the days of my youth when in certain spit and sawdust establishments women (it was difficult to tell what actual sex the specimens in question were) were confined to the snug, not the main bar.

  11. ‘Gender inequality and sexist behaviour is prevalent in almost all workplaces and rampant in online environments.’

    Liar.

    ‘Although many scientific discussions explore how we can overcome gender inequalities’

    Men and women are different. Overcome that, idiot.

    Men and women is sex, not gender, idiot.

  12. @BF

    I’m just a bit too young to have been drinking when most places had a proper saloon/snug.

    I remember many pubs that still had the physical spaces, but the formal division was no longer there.

    I think it set communities back years: Saturday nights with couples going out, drop the missus off in the snug to talk with the other women, blokes in the saloon, smoking and bonding with guys who could sort you out a car, a plumber or whatever.

    Instead we’ve got the (toxic) school gate for the women and fuck all for blokes- as pubs generally are closing or becoming restaurants with no ‘just here for drinking’ space. Honourable exceptions are wetherspoons, but those are Friday night charnel houses, staffed by customer service advisors, rather than barmen/maids.

    I reckon the nearest proper boozers are two to three miles cross country from my village. And there’s no point going if you want to have more than a pint because of drink driving

    And all this thanks to politicians and the MOH for ever increasing beer prices and ending indoor smoking.

  13. Of course, when a man turns up in a female dominated workspace, things are all fine and dandy and they are welcomed with open arms and never belittled or harassed or treated with suspicion.

  14. BiS: Skills at first person shoot-em-up computer games pretty well defines Beta, doesn’t it?

    I was thinking along the same lines – to what extent can the experiment allow for certain types feeling that the game wasn’t worth the candle.

    JuliaM is, I think, keen on computer games and not only would she doubtless beat me into a virtual pulp but I would accept my digital fate with perfect equanimity.

  15. Bullshit research like this is why we aren’t wearing silver jumpsuits and living on the Moon with robot butlers and food in pill form like we were promised in the 70’s.

  16. John Square,

    The men only bar was called the tap room and generally speaking they were scruffy rooms for men to go in wearing their working clothes.

    My father barred anyone who swore (and that meant as long as his name was above the door) anywhere except the tap room. After the law was changed he advised any woman that went in their that he wouldn’t accept any complaints against swearing.

  17. Tell me abaht it BraveFart

    I went to ‘ull University in the 70’s. No ‘umber Bridge back then.

    A trip into town for a drink was enlightening. My Da’ reckoned it was 30 years behind the times, i.e like the 40’s.

  18. I got news for the two beta males who published this shit…

    Most alpha males don’t play video games. They’re too busy being alpha. You know, making money, starting businesses, developing a career, etc.

    What you’re testing is a population of pimply teenagers and those assorted losers still living in their parent’s basement.

  19. I wistfully recall men-only establishments. When pubs were closed on Sundays (grim times). Those rooms reserved for the Ena Sharples//Martha Longhurst/Minnie Caldwells of the world. Given the state of contemporary sexual politics, maybe the old days will make a comeback?

  20. @BinD
    “The men only bar was called the tap room and generally speaking they were scruffy rooms for men to go in wearing their working clothes. ”

    Never heard tap room- but don’t forget: I was only a nipper at the time, and thus my experience was limited to a handful of pubs in my village on the Isle of Wight, and even those I was staring into from the ‘garden’ with a panda pop and a bag of salt and shake.

    When I was old enough to go into pubs (in 1990 or so), the distinction between lounge/saloon had vanished- through not being observed, more than anything else. Pubs still had a couple of rooms, by and large, but the old lounge was often deserted, or had had a pool table dropped in there.

    Saturday night was still ladies night, though. And yes, as Bernie says- Ena Sharples etc.

    It’s sad that the pub just isn’t the centre of places any more.

    Nowadays, it seems that younger people don’t know how to behave in one: the days of pub/drinking etiquette (which was drummed into me by my dad much more forcible than anything else I can recall) are probably now lost. Probably as a result of the proper boozer vanishing. Lord knows, the chain pubs don’t generate the kind of rules that pubs used to.

  21. John Square: if I recall the Brading Arms used to have saloon/snug/lounge bar in the early 90’s. Yelf’s in Union Street in Ryde still does have multiple bar areas with a different ambience (and clientele) in each.

  22. @BiCR

    Are you an expert in small Islands?

    ( I think that the Brading Arms is now the Kynges Well, after being Foxes for much of the 90’s. The only clear memory I have of that place is ducking out the back door* with a girl, when her dad came through the front door, looking for her…

    *no comment required, Mr Sifredi)

  23. “Most alpha males don’t play video games. They’re too busy being alpha. You know, making money, starting businesses, developing a career, etc.”

    Who is an alpha male depends on the interests of the relevant women. If she’s a gamer, she’ll go for the dominant male gamer. If she’s academic, she’ll go for the alpha academic. If she’s in business or politics….What excites and attracts women is dominance in a sphere that at least interests them.

    Btw, Weinstein doesn’t strike me as alpha. Alphas don’t have to bully, because they are dominant already. Weinstein strikes me as the fat and ugly kid with poor social skills who was ignored or mocked by girls. When he grew rich and powerful in the film industry, he took his revenge.

  24. “And all this thanks to politicians and the MOH for ever increasing beer prices and ending indoor smoking.”

    I agree about the price of beer, but the ending of indoor smoking now has little effect on the viability of a pub, as less than 17% of UK people smoke (excluding vapers).

    Here, in East Anglia, I have a traditional (Greene King) pub just over the road. No food; just sandwiches, nuts and crisps. A pleasant smoking area for the minority who need it, too. And I can enjoy a pint without my eyes watering from the smoke. Moreover, my wife doesn’t smell smoke on my clothes and so realise where I’ve been for the last hour…

  25. Btw, Weinstein doesn’t strike me as alpha.

    Eh. I think the sociosexual hierarchy is useful, but sometimes/often overblown.

    Human beans are a squirming bag of appetites and moods so nobody’s alpha or beta or whatever 100% of the time, except Sean Connery.

    It’s also situation-dependent. The sales director might be a domineering sex god in his own little fiefdom, but put him at a table with Conor McGregor, Rocco Siffilusi, and Attila the Hun, and he’ll seem less so.

    Alphas don’t have to bully, because they are dominant already.

    No, bullying is very much an alpha trait.

    Frodo, a large-bodied chimpanzee with a recognisable grey streak, would later become the alpha male of his group in Tanzania’s Gombe Stream National Park. The primatologist Jane Goodall called him a “real bully”. She had even predicted his rise back in 1979, writing: “In about twenty years one of these two brothers probably will become the alpha.”

    All the other chimps feared Frodo, which helped his rise to the top. He even pushed himself on his own mother, and fathered a sickly infant with her, who would not survive for long.

    “He was aggressive towards all of the other chimps,” says anthropologist Michael Wilson of the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, who first met Frodo in 2001. “A lot of the other males had a bare patch of fur on their lower back side from where Frodo would bite them.”

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/earth/story/20160822-why-bullying-is-such-a-successful-evolutionary-strategy

    Now, it’s true that we are not chimps. But we’re not as far from the chimps as we might like.

  26. All the other chimps feared Frodo

    Today’s Favourite Phrase of the Day.

    If chimps were a bit cleverer they could have got together and arranged for Frodo to be part of the foundations of the new multi storey car park gong up nearby.

  27. The whole alpha/beta thing has changed anyway. The rise of alpha females with real ability puts it on its head.

    Most alpha females don’t want a beta, because it makes them look bad if nothing else. They can’t live with an old-fashioned alpha, as that would clash too badly.

    There’s still some powerful men who think a trophy wife is the pinnacle of achievement, but it’s getting fewer and fewer.

  28. Chester – No. By definition, women aren’t alpha. I think what you’re describing is hypergamy, which was previously kept under control by sexual mores, religion, and the economics of family life.

    Since women figured out how to get men’s resources without committing to a monogamous relationship with a man, the feminine id has been unleashed. Which is why TOWIE and depressing news articles about single mums with twelve kids by fourteen different fathers exist.

  29. A true social sciences “experiment”.

    Start from the conclusion. Then decide how to achieve the conclusion. Then work out the experiment and lastly choose the method.

    Thus you get the beginning and the very biased choice of a first person shooter as the scene for the experiment.

  30. @ Solid Steve
    Rubbish!
    “All bullies are cowards” is a generalisation and, like all generalisations, can easil be disproved but my personal experience supporyts the view that *most* bullies are cowards and, ipso facto, beta or gamma males. I was, at 20, 56 kilograms so, in my youth, I used to attract the attention of bullies for brief periods after each change in environment: not one of them was an alpha male and none of them enjoyed being hit back.
    In one of my schools there was an anti-bullying policy led by the Captain of Football and of Cricket.

  31. John Square: sad news about the Brading Arms. They used to keep a superb pint of Goddard’s. And the pub quiz was very good. Used to go there with my mate from next door c. 1992 when I was back home working in Ryde in between B.Sc. and M.Sc.. My after-work local was the Simeon then; my team got banned from the pub quiz for winning too often.

  32. John – most bullies are not alpha males, but most alpha males will bully when they feel like it.

  33. Theophrastus,

    “I agree about the price of beer, but the ending of indoor smoking now has little effect on the viability of a pub, as less than 17% of UK people smoke (excluding vapers).”

    But based on my local, pub regulars were heavily smokers. And there’s also create network effects. If you go down the pub a few times, you get to know regulars. Have a chat. If they leave, it’s less fun. So, you go too.

    The pub is mostly dead because the smoking ban killed them, and then, people figured out other ways to do similar things. Pick up girls? Use Tinder. Hang out with mates?Play Call of Duty.

  34. Patrick – “Worth noting that it is the uber-Alphas who commit the most egregious abuse thoughs. The Weinsteins, the Spaceys, the Clintons of this world.”

    No it isn’t because it isn’t true. The Alphas of the world do not commit the most egregious abuses. Weinstein bullies young women and then whacks off into the ficus? Not Alpha. Some lower ranked male with issues and hence a need for revenge.

    Clinton, as much as I loathe the man, is closer to an Alpha. Because most of the time he f**ked them and got away with it. As Trump said, Clinton could grab them by the p*ssy and they liked it. He gave Monica nothing at all. She licked his ar$ehole in return. She was happy to and still defends the man. That is gross but pretty Alpha.

    The problem with Hollywood is that they put the fat weird kid with glasses in charge and then they act out. Not even Beta.

  35. When I started drinking in the mid-70s, there was no segregation in the Home Counties. When I went oop North in the late 70s, segregation was very much enforced in Yorkshire. Men sat in the tap oyle, women and courting couples went in the best end.

    My wife to be and I would often be down the same pub as my future father-in-law and not see him all night, but when I went to the bar, occasionally I’d be told “Lewis has paid these on for you.” My wife never went to the bar in those days and still refuses to buy drinks at a bar, but she will buy food.

    What used to amaze me about Yorkshiremen was their ability to eff and blind every other word down the pub or underground, but never utter the slightest profanity in front of women or children. Sadly, those days are gone.

  36. Docbud,

    I can vouch for that. My father’s first pub when men only bars were banned was in Huddersfield, ’68 – ’71 and then he moved to a pub in Pickering to ’77 and in both cases swearing was definitely not done in from of women, hence the comment about them going in the tap room.

  37. There’s alpha, and there’s alpha.

    I’m middle-aged, overweight, not especially extrovert, and I don’t chase after totty (as I’m in a long-term stable relationship.)

    In my domain however, if I cared I could probably claim alpha-ness: whenever I start a contract in a new location I very rapidly become the go-to bloke for questions about Linux, or best ways to fix a particularly tricky bug, or opinions about the design of the next feature.

    Being alpha doesn’t have to mean being a cunt, either!

  38. I have myself down as a pretty solid beta because I am introverted. I don’t want, or need, to be the biggest man in the room (real or virtual) and I don’t seek validation through competition or feedback.

    But I’m smart and confident. I was a director of a respectably sized company in my early 30s. I lead when I need to lead. I’ve managed never to sexually assault anyone nor be a mysoginist pig online. I reject the sweeping characterisation of betas as losers who lash out at women who threaten them. I think we’re less predisposed to feeling threatened by anyone.

    I know plenty of people who have issues with women. Some are resentful betas, some are aggressive alphas. I see no correlation at all.

  39. BiW, Thought Gang – Sure.

    But this is what I mean about the limitations of the sociosexual hierarchy. It’s a useful concept in understanding sexual attraction, but it has nothing to do with morality or not being a cunt. So when I say bullying is an alpha trait (it is), that’s not to say it’s a good idea to go out and pinch fat kids, or that bullying is always useful or appropriate (because it ain’t).

    FWIW, there’s nothing wrong with being a beta (or whatever) male. We can’t all be Conan the Barbarian, not even Arnie managed that in real life. A world full of alpha males would be like Mad Max.

    Conversely, the typical fedora-tipping internet alpha strikes me as more of a “smell my finger” sort of chap.

  40. “FWIW, there’s nothing wrong with being a beta (or whatever) male. We can’t all be Conan the Barbarian, not even Arnie managed that in real life. A world full of alpha males would be like Mad Max.”

    Alpha only works as a successful trait against a background where the majority are ;beta’.

  41. @ Solid Steve 2
    “most alpha males will bully when they feel like it” – that is incorrect
    The correct statement would be “all alpha males *can* bully *if* they feel like it. BUT the large majority of alpha males never feel the need to bolster their egos by bullying. One of the many benefits of a good education is that I have known hundreds of alpha males and met many thousands of them – so if your statement were correct I as a not over-large beta male would have expected to suffer from it. I didn’t. Claim refuted.

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