Alpha Vs. Beta: The Great Man Debate
Written by
Charissa Weaks
June 2011
Written by
Charissa Weaks
June 2011

During my morning blog roll read through yesterday, I came across a comment about arrogant heroes in fiction.


The comment caused me to do a little research via Google and I was surprised by what I found.


1) Many female readers/writers say they dislike arrogance in the hero. This shocked me because of the enormously devoted readership of the Romance genre and the fact that Alpha's rule there. A little cockiness adds sex appeal. Doesn't it? It does for me, anyway. ;)


2) There are tons of articles teaching men how to be Alpha and how to avoid being Beta at all costs.


3) I found that there has been an upswing in Beta Male adoration in fiction.


For those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about, here are my definitions of both:


Alpha Male

Mr. Darcy from Pride & Prejudice


Jericho Barrons from Fever Series


Logan/Wolverine from X-Men


Beast from Beauty and the Beast (Hey..when he turns into the prince he's hot).


You get it. Characteristics usually contain some blend of arrogance, strength, attitude, aggressiveness, leadership, territorial, fearlessness, desire to win, and fierce loyalties just to name a few. Think PURE TESTOSTERONE. Now....




 Steve Carrell in anything


Duckie...Pretty In Pink


Michael Cera in anything


Okay...I had a hard time with the Beta's. Apparently none of the books I read contain Beta's or else I have completely looked them over, because I could think of none. Even Google wouldn't surrender any advice for fictional Betas. But Beta's are typically the guys you just want to be friends with. Think sidekick. Think passive. Think peacemaker. They are usually kind and sensitive. 


For me, the Alpha male wins, but I do think there can be hybrids. Writers can always blend characteristics as heroes don't have to be totally alpha or totally beta.


An alpha can be a complete jerk, but given the right redeeming qualities and a weakness for the heroine, he becomes irresistible.


A beta can be a complete turn-off. But, make him kind yet strong, sensitive yet confident, and attentive yet protective, and you've made him wonderful. 


So...though I love an intriguing, rough Alpha, I could swing for a hybrid.


What do you think? Alpha or Beta? Can you think of any famous Beta's in fiction? 

And check out this photo. You can automatically determine the Alpha and the Beta. Notice how the women respond.....

Let's be friends

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  • Kay Dee Royal

    I found your posting - it's great! I thought about a Beta...I think it would be the boy-man in the Sorcerers Apprentice (I don't recall the stars name who played the part). He's a real wimp, but comes around in a he's a little cutie, every girls friend.

    Nice post.