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The Gamma Male Explained: Are You a Gamma? Does It Matter?

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Joshua Sigafus

Dating, Relationships

Joshua has 15 years of writing experience within the complex territories of dating, masculinity, and relationships. His own personal life journey was kick-started by a pivotal marital breakdown of his own and led him down a path of self-discovery and masculine transformation, culminating in him developing a career as a men's dating coach. Read full bio.

Last Updated: Jan 5, 2024
20 min read
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Key Takeaways

According to Vox Day’s Socio Sexual Hierarchy, gamma males are intellectual, highly romantic, ideologically driven men who hold a lower-status position in the social dominance hierarchy—though they desire to be leaders and are envious of the rank and privilege that comes natural to the alphas and betas.

Vox Day’s socio sexual hierarchy divides men into status-groups, based on their behavior and where they stand in relation to other men within the social dominance hierarchies. 

The gamma is the fourth rank in the socio sexual hierarchy, beneath alphas, betas, and deltas

But what exactly does this mean? 

Is it possible that you’re a gamma? Are you unsure of your place within the socio sexual hierarchy and you’re looking for answers?

In this post, you’re going to get the in-depth scoop on exactly what a gamma male is, and why it matters. 

But first, I want to make one thing clear:

The Socio Sexual Hierarchy Isn’t the ‘End All’ When it Comes to Defining You as a Man

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Keep in mind that the socio sexual hierarchy is just another ideological construct. It serves as a tool that we can use to better understand ourselves, our place in the dominance hierarchies, and our relationships with women and other men. 

With that being said, it’s also important to keep in mind that even Vox Day himself described the hierarchy as ‘fractal’ and heavily context-dependent. 

Delving too deeply into this rabbit hole can be confusing, discouraging, and downright frustrating for some men. 

The ‘gamma male’ is also probably NOT the archetype that any man would hope to be labeled with. 

If you start connecting the dots and realize that you embody many of what I am about to describe as ‘gamma male’ traits, please don’t think that you’re being attacked or that this means you’re just a low-peg loser on the socio sexual totem pole.

Instead, think of it like this. 

We are all men who are trying to level-up in life and better ourselves. This is the ultimate mission of this site—to help men level up their lives and find greater success and happiness.

In other words, we are all on the same side here. And if you believe that you may embody some of the less desirable gamma traits, this could be a great opportunity for self-inflection and personal growth. 

Where Does the Gamma Male Fit on the Socio Sexual Hierarchy?

The Socio Sexual Hierarchy

First and foremost, “Gamma” is a male behavioral pattern. You are a Gamma to the extent that you behave in accordance with that pattern. One’s socio-sexual rank can be reliably ascertained by one’s behavior, and one’s rank is conferred by the behavior of others, but the core element is always the behavior. Vox Day

Gamma males tend to be lower status men.

They tend not to chalk up many ‘wins’ with the ladies, so they have a bitter or negative attitude toward the women who scorn them and the men who bed those women. 

In fact, many gammas see themselves as alpha males, thanks to what’s known as the secret king delusion trait. Gammas have lofty illusions of their own grandeur, and (erroneously) see themselves as deserving of the top-spot in the hierarchy.

They reject the notion that their low status stems from their negative behavior traits. They choose, instead, to believe that the rest of the hierarchy is wrong, and that they (the gamma) should be in charge. 

They also tend to ‘posture’ themselves as being higher in status than they are. But gamma males aren’t altogether ostracized from the hierarchy, either. 

They tend to be useful for their highly-developed areas of knowledge. They’re kind and empathetic, and make good friends and colleagues. 

They’re also adept problem solvers. Gamma males are highly intelligent, and often become experts at their chosen interest or subject. 

That guy who knows everything there is to know about a certain video game, welding, biology, or chess—he may be a gamma male. 

In fact, if you encounter any sort of ‘nerd-level expert’ who doesn’t seem successful with women or particularly respected among other men—odds are good that you’re looking at a gamma. 

They tend to be overly excessive and obsessive about their hobbies and the topics that interest them—and they usually excel at them. 

Where Do You Rank? Take This Simple Quiz

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Gamma vs Sigma Male

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Gamma males may see themselves as sigma males in their own fantasies. They do this to escape the reality of their lower station in the dominance hierarchy. 

Sigma males are men who intentionally walk away from the status hierarchy. They don’t value the hierarchy, its structures, or the benefits that come with it. 

This stands in stark contrast to the gamma male, who actually does care about those things. 

In fact, one of the defining characteristics of the gamma male is a deep-set, unsatisfied desire for the power, sex appeal, and status that comes with the title of ‘alpha male.’ 

But since gamma males are almost always unsuccessful in the dominance hierarchy, especially where women are concerned, they like to think of themselves as sigma males. 

This fantasy helps them to come to terms with their lesser success in the hierarchy. They tend to think of themselves as superior geniuses who shun the rest of the hierarchy, instead of facing the reality—that they’re social outcasts who struggle to fit in.  

Gamma vs Beta Male

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Beta males are the ‘lieutenants’ of the socio sexual hierarchy. They’re similar to alphas, though they lack the ambition and the ‘status consciousness’ that it takes to become a true alpha. 

The gamma-beta relationship is one of the most unique relationships in the socio sexual hierarchy. 

Personally, I’ve spent a lot of time among gammas. And in high school, I actually had a lot of gamma traits—so I can bring a unique perspective to this. 

Gammas who are striving to change their station will usually try to climb to the beta rank, underneath an alpha. 

Since they lack the status consciousness required to see exactly how the status hierarchy works, they sometimes see alphas as someone who could potentially give them the power and higher status they crave. 

In their fantasy, receiving this power would make them an alpha—when in reality, if they were to be taken-in under a true alpha-male’s wing, they would actually become betas. 

And so, gamma males may not get along very well with beta males, depending on the dynamics of the specific group. In some cases, gammas who are trying to change stations may challenge a beta (or in some cases, the alpha himself) in an attempt to usurp him—resulting in conflict. 

Of course, the biggest differences between betas and gammas exist because they occupy different ends of the socio sexual spectrum. 

  • Betas are near the top of the hierarchy – gammas are near the bottom
  • Betas tend to win with women – gammas don’t
  • Betas have power and status – gammas don’t 
  • Betas are close to the alpha – gammas aren’t
  • Betas are feared, respected, and powerful – Gammas aren’t

Are You a Gamma? 10 Traits of a Gamma Male

Gamma males are pretty easy to spot once you understand their most common traits. 

1. They’re Highly Intelligent

The main strength of the gamma male is his intelligence. 

Gammas tend to be experts in their chosen fields of focus. 

In fact, most ‘nerds’ who are highly effective at one or two specific skills would tend to fall into the gamma category. 

2. They’re Kind and Empathetic

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Another positive gamma male trait is kindness

They are good at treating people well, and are also good at picking up on how other people feel. 

Unfortunately, they often go too far with this—and many gamma males suffer from nice guy syndrome

And guess what? Women aren’t too fond of nice guys. 

In fact, if you think you may suffer from ‘nice guy’ syndrome, I would suggest you check out the book No More Mr Nice Guy: A Proven Plan for Getting What You Want in Love, Sex, and Life, by Robert A. Glover. 

No More Mr Nice Guy: A Proven Plan for Getting What You Want in Love, Sex, and Life

Dr. Robert Glover is a certified marriage and family therapist and also a former "nice guy." In his book, he describes what he calls "Nice Guy Syndrome" and why it's so damaging to a man's life and all of his relationships. Inside, you'll learn how to stop seeking approval from others and start getting what YOU want out of life, male friendships, and relationships with women.

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Being a nice guy is a two-edged sword for the gamma. He tends to have good friendships, but suffers on the sexual marketplace. 

Gamma males are also highly sensitive to criticism and praise. They LOVE being praised—and are highly sensitive to the criticisms of others. This stems from their lack of self-confidence, and the fact that they rely on others for validation. 

3. They’re Hopeless Romantics

Gamma males have a really hard time attracting women. 

They tend not to be in the best physical shape. They’re not usually objectively ‘sexy’ by society’s standards. And they also have a hard time understanding women. 

Because of this, gamma males are especially prone to ‘hopeless romantic’ ideas—the stuff of rom-coms and romantic fairy tales. 

They’re big on grand romantic gestures. 

The guy who got down on one knee, offering up a rose in a grand gesture to ask a girl to the dance, only to be turned down and told that she ‘didn’t want to ruin the friendship…’ That guy was probably a gamma male. 

4. They Believe That the Depth of Their Love Should Hold Value to the Women They Pedestalize

Since gamma males tend to hyper-romanticize and pedestalize women, they operate with a warped sense of how attraction and reciprocal attraction should work. 

They tend to believe that the more they love a woman, the more likely she should be to love him back. 

This comes from the fantasy of the gamma believing that his affection for the woman he pines after is worth more than the affection of an alpha or a beta. He sees his affection for her as being real and pure. 

He believes that he conceptualizes her as a whole person—not just a sex object. 

But this stands in stark contrast to reality—and serves as the primary reason for why women are so turned off by gamma men. 

This self-perceived hyper-inflation of the value of the gamma’s romantic feelings toward the woman also makes him feel entitled to her love and affection in return. 

Since his affection is so valuable and worth so much, she literally lacks intelligence if she doesn’t reciprocate (at least, this is what the gamma believes).  

Gammas either don’t see, or refuse to acknowledge, that their adoration of the women they love is actually rooted very firmly in an attitude of entitlement—wherein they feel entitled to sexual access because of the intensity of their romantic feelings toward her. 

The gamma is jealous and envious of how alphas, betas, and even sigmas are able to pull high-value women with surprisingly little effort—and this materializes into a sort of resentment

This resentment may be aimed at alphas, betas, sigmas, the woman who scorned the gamma, or maybe even all women in general. 

This makes the gamma even less desirable to women, and has the potential to set off a negative cycle of rejection, bitterness, resentment, and low-value that can repeat itself ad nauseam

5. They Struggle to Succeed on the Dating Marketplace

Gamma males struggle on the sexual marketplace for a few different reasons. 

They lack the status and power of the alpha. They lack the ‘mystery’ of the sigma. 

They’re intelligent, which is appealing to some women. But women are usually quite put off by the entitled attitude of the gamma. The gamma sees himself as being higher-value than he actually is, and believes that he’s entitled to more than his lot in life simply because he’s intelligent—and this is an attitude that can easily be projected onto the women in the gamma’s dating circles. 

This shows up as a massive red flag to high value women, who avoid the gamma like the plague.

6. They Adopt “Secret King” Delusions of Grandeur

Gamma Male Secret King Delusion of Grandeur Nerdy Man Pretending to be Strong

One of the most interesting attributes of the gamma male is the manifestation of what’s called the Gamma Delusion Bubble, aka the Secret King Complex, characterized by ‘delusions of grandeur’ that help the gamma to deal with the reality of his lower status within the hierarchy. 

To put it simply, gammas often create a false narrative and reality around themselves to help them feel better about being constantly rejected by women and overlooked/dismissed by other men. 

They may see themselves as the ‘true’ alphas of the group—except that the group is too ‘unintelligent’ to realize the scope of their genius. 

They may see themselves as ‘martyrs’ to the cause they believe in—and believe that the constant rejection and disregard they experience makes them ‘morally superior’ to those who have a better experience within the hierarchy.

They may even go as far as to believe that anyone who is having a ‘good experience’ on the dating marketplace must be a useless ‘player’ or ‘slut,’ thereby cementing their belief that they’re actually better than the people who are more successful than them.  

7. They’re Conflict Avoidant

One of the most fundamental differences between an alpha male and a gamma male is the fact that gammas are conflict avoidant

Conflict makes them uncomfortable, so they usually resort to using passive aggression and ‘jabs’ to strike back when they feel that they’ve been slighted or wronged. 

8. They’re Failure Avoidant

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Another difference between alphas and gammas is that gammas are extremely hesitant to put themselves at risk, and have a very vivid fear of failure. 

As a result, gammas tend not to score many big ‘wins’ in life. This mechanism keeps them from succeeding/advancing with women, in business, in the workplace, and in their social circles. 

No risk, no reward. 

9. They Lie to Themselves

One fundamental attribute of the gamma is that they aren’t content with their place in the hierarchy. So they lie to themselves about the reality of their position to feel better about it, instead of trying to fix it. 

Gammas may lie to themselves about being a true alpha, a true sigma, that all women who reject them are ‘sluts’ or ‘prudes’ and not worth their time, etc. Whatever they need to tell themselves to mask the shame they feel at not being more successful. 

10. They Fail to Understand Women

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Some people have referred to gamma males as ‘female brains trapped in a man’s body.’ 

Vox Day himself pointed out the irony of this sentiment: 

There are some who actually describe the gamma as a female mind in a male body. So it is a little bit strange that they seem to be so inept when it comes to understanding and anticipating women. Women tend to be a vast mystery to the gamma. They don’t know how to behave around women—especially women they are attracted to.  Vox Day

As a dating coach, I can see how the intellectual gammas tend to be more linear thinkers than most men. This would account for why flirting, engagement, connection, and sexual escalation with women would be so problematic for them. 

Sexual escalation, connection, and flirting are subtle games of nuance. There’s more that is spoken ‘between the lines’ than is actually spoken verbally. 

This kind of ‘unspoken language’ would definitely be more difficult for linear-thinkers (like gammas) to decode. 

Drawbacks of Being a Gamma Male

Lonely Student Gamma Male with Friendship Circle Behind Him in Background

The biggest drawback to being an archetypal gamma male lies in the challenges they face on the dating marketplace. 

While their tendency to hyper-romanticize and pedestalize women may seem sweet in the context of a romantic comedy, it actually does very little to help the gamma win with real women in the real world. 

In fact, quite the opposite is true. Women see this as entitled behavior, and they shun the gamma for such grandiose romantic ideologies. 

The second biggest drawback to being an archetypal gamma is the fact that they possess very little status or power within the hierarchy. 

This can be frustrating for the gamma, who believes that they should be in charge due to their higher-than-average intelligence. 

Are There Any Benefits of a Gamma Male Lifestyle?

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One advantage that gammas bring to the table is a higher-than-average level of intelligence. 

In fact, some of the more intelligent gammas even beat out alpha males when it comes to mastering a particular skill, craft, or school of knowledge. 

If applied properly, a gamma could use their intelligence to climb the social dominance hierarchy quite effectively. 

As a dating coach, I see massive potential in the ‘gamma-type’ men who talk to me about their dating problems. 

Gamma men also tend to be highly empathetic and thoughtful. Unfortunately, however, this can lead to nice guy syndrome, which doesn’t help their plight on the sexual marketplace. 

Gamma Potential for Growth

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The main problem with the gamma archetype is that their own self-imposed delusions of grandeur hinder them from bettering themselves. 

In truth, many men who fall into this archetype are almost too prideful and ‘stubborn’ to study things like game, pickup, etc. They seem to believe that women ought to love them exactly as they are—which goes back to that attitude of entitlement. 

It’s actually quite ironic—but in the end, the gamma’s refusal to acknowledge his status and the reasons for why he exists at the lower end of the hierarchy are exactly the factors that tend to keep him from moving upward. 

But even Vox Day himself has said that men can change their place in the socio sexual hierarchy. They just need to change their behavior patterns. 

Yes, it is obviously possible for Gammas to stop being Gammas. They merely have to permanently change their behavioral patterns. But this is considerably harder than it sounds, as anyone who has ever tried to lose weight, stop smoking, or start working out knows. Vox Day

Gammas Aren’t Doomed to Stay at the Bottom

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It goes without saying that this description of the gamma seems to contain more bad than good

But make no mistake. There’s great potential in the gamma male archetype.  

As men, we aren’t confined to just one archetype in our lives. 

We may be alphas in our hobby groups, deltas at work, and gammas when we try to hang out with our ‘clubbing’ friends on the weekends. 

So when I look at the negative traits and challenges of the gamma, I see tremendous potential for personal growth. 

I once heard it said that the best way to stop being a gamma is to stop lying to yourself and everyone else. 

Radical Honesty: How to Transform Your Life by Telling the Truth
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I love this quote from Radical Honesty: How to Transform Your Life by Telling the Truth by Brad Blanton:

Politeness and diplomacy are responsible for more suffering and death than all the crimes of passion in history. F*ck politeness. F*ck diplomacy. Tell the truth.

Here are some other steps you can take to step out of the ‘gamma’ frame of mind, starting today:

  • Stop avoiding conflict
  • Start taking some risks
  • Start taking a good, honest look at yourself—and level-up the areas of your life that don’t seem to be working


Hopefully this post has helped you to understand what a gamma male is, and what role he plays in the socio sexual hierarchy. 

I also hope that we can all agree that the primary reason for learning about these things is to become better men. 

Always strive to be better than the man you were yesterday. Always strive to work hard and improve your lot in life. 

Make sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more tips, tricks, and advice. 

Go with grace, gentlemen. And never give up your power!


Can alpha women love gamma men?

Alpha women will usually overlook gamma men, except for those rare occasions where they are specifically looking for a subordinate partner

Usually, alpha women desire men who are at least as alpha as they are

Alpha women don’t usually want to waste their time on men who are less effective—and gamma men tend to be less effective than alpha males in the overarching scheme of life.

What is gamma personality?

A gamma male’s personality is conflict avoidant and risk avoidant. He will tend to fall into the ‘nice guy’ category, and may also spend time in intellectual circles. 

Gamma males also tend to hold a sense of entitlement, due to their higher level of intelligence, which is often over-inflated—giving rise to the Secret King, Delusions of Grandeur trait.

What does it mean to be a gamma?

To be a gamma means to be an intellectual, ideological, romantic man who struggles with women and suffers from chronic ‘nice guy’ syndrome.

Gamma males exist at the lower end of the socio sexual hierarchy. They do, however, long for the power, status, and benefits that come from being in the alpha-male position.