Who coined the term alpha male?

Of alpha animals and alpha people

It would be wrong to claim that ancient Greek is booming today. A "dead" language that does not reveal any immediate usefulness has a hard time in the education system. Nevertheless, the letter names of the Greek alphabet enjoy great popularity, one can assume, even with people who are otherwise absolutely ignorant of this language. Business and advertising are teeming with omega-3 fatty acids, Delta Airlines, Kappa sportswear, etc.

The first letter of the Greek alphabet is the alpha (α), which is currently found in particularly large numbers, in additions that were originally coined in behavioral research. In animals living in social groups, there is often a "head of the family," and biologists call that an alpha animal. This can be an alpha male, an alpha female or an alpha couple.

This actually scientific term, however, has managed in numerous variants to establish itself outside of a biological area in the narrower sense. In 2006, for example, on the occasion of the state elections in Berlin, Spiegel Online ran the headline of a TV duel between Klaus Wowereit and Friedbert Pflüger: "Alpha animals against dog eyes," which meant the two politicians in the order listed. In 2005, Die Zeit declared the feminist Alice Schwarzer an »alpha female«, and the Berliner Tagesspiegel used this very word to write an article about this year's International Women's Day. In all of the cases mentioned, the "alpha" is intended to indicate superiority in a certain group and dominance of the person.

Only with the word Alpha male the transport doesn't seem to be going very smoothly. This word is also used not only to refer to animals, but also to people, but almost always with a strong tendency to make fun of the person referred to. The song with the title »Alphamännchen« by the German pop group »Wir sind Helden« is by no means an homage to an admirably assertive man, but a rough reckoning with a horrific boring who, however, considers himself an irresistible guy. The problem here is clearly the diminutive. Apparently you can't find a man who you seriously wanted to testify that he was strong and assertive male not even in combination with alpha.

This doesn't seem to be equally problematic for women, considering the alpha females or a whole new species that Spiegel created this summer, namely the Alpha girl, allegedly a whole generation of women who "overtake men". Some representatives between the ages of 18 and 27 will be introduced, and perhaps it can be doubted that z. B. a 27-year-old university professor called herself girl would denote; that she has overtaken many men (and many women) with this career, on the other hand, is undisputed. In any case, the word creation shows Alpha girlthat the alpha in German enjoys a high level of vitality, a small piece of ancient Greek in everyday language.

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