From Alphas To Betas: “Science” Says There Are Three Types Of Masculinity

Is your man kind of “trad”? What if he leans more liberal? Or does your man’s masculine persona sit somewhere in the middle? Researchers believe that all men fit within three types of masculinity, but here’s why only two of them are conducive to a strong society.

By Andrea Mew7 min read

You can’t have your cake and eat it too. Liberal women are taking to social media, like TikTok user Petra, known as @Ms_Petch, to air their grievances about how all the men they feel attracted to just so happen to be conservative.

“As a liberal woman, it is really hard to find a man who is willing to play the more traditional masculine role in the relationship in today’s day and age who is not a conservative,” Petra said. “A man who wants to pay on the first date; who wants to open your door; who has that want and desire to take care of you and provide – who is not a conservative.”

What women like Petra likely desire is a man who can tap into actual alpha energy, but frankly, they probably surround themselves with beta males who check their privilege and have been whipped into self-flagellation by an overbearing henhouse

Some may say that masculine and progressive values are mutually exclusive, but in all honesty, there’s much more nuance at play here. Masculinity, like the sexual orientations of the progressive men these liberal women probably come across in the dating sphere, exists on a spectrum – and researchers believe they can diagnose three specific “types” on this range.

What’s Your Man’s Masculinity Style?

The University of British Columbia (UBC) in Canada released results from a recent research study led by their men’s health expert John Oliffe. He recruited 92 heterosexual men between the ages of 19 and 43 from a diverse range of cultural backgrounds to see the different ways in which men harness their masculinity to navigate intimate relationships. 

After in-depth interviews, Dr. Oliffe came to the conclusion that there are three types of masculine styles: neo-traditionalists, egalitarians, and progressives.

Of those 92 participants, half of the men were categorized as egalitarians, while 26% were progressives, and only 24% were neo-traditionalists. Here’s a little look into what each of these masculinity styles reportedly look like, as explained by UBC:

  • Egalitarians, the researcher’s largest cohort of men, seek a more equal partnership with their woman. They purposefully distance themselves from several traditionally masculine gender norms, idealizing reciprocity and 50-50 contributions. 

  • Progressives, which were second in frequency, focused on social justice and fairness, “checking their own privilege” in order to operate justly within their relationship. 

  • Neo-traditionalists, the smallest cohort of men participating in the study, were reliant on traditionally masculine gender norms, preferring “breadwinner” and “protector” roles for themselves while assigning domestic roles as feminine.

Expanding on That Sadly Small Sample Size

Let’s be real though, 92 participants is hardly a wide sample size, despite the researchers' caveat that they selected participants to fit a “diverse” range of cultural backgrounds. So, I thought it would be worthwhile to run my own poll on X and see which “type” of masculinity the gents self-identified with. 

Granted, I knew ahead of time that the circles I run in online would tend to skew “neo-traditionalist.” After all, one of my X mutuals Jonathan Wong, the lead producer at Lotus Eaters, responded to my tweet introducing the concept of these three distinct types of masculinity by saying, “That's like saying there are three types of swimming, and the other two do not feature water.” And I had accounts that leaned slightly right-of-center sharing the poll, as well as those that skewed farther right, and those that are more libertarian leaning. 

My own polling of 642 men resulted in 83.3% of respondents saying they are neo-traditionalist, 15% saying they’re egalitarian, and 1.7% saying they are progressive. 

Now, there’s no way to know if the people who voted were actually men and if they actually do fit into the categories, so my own data should be taken with a grain of salt. But here’s why my arguably unscientific “research” is still important: Mainstream media controls all narratives. They have a stranglehold over them. But, as alternative media and social media have grown, the end-all-be-all narratives we’re typically spoonfed are now challenged and, in some cases, disproven. 

One New York Post writer who analyzed UBC’s research explained that the reason less than one-quarter of the test subjects were considered neo-trad is likely because younger generations of men are “actively trying to move away from any association with ‘toxic masculinity,’ which includes the suppression of emotion, the assertion of dominance and the reluctance to partake in household chores, such as cooking and cleaning.”

Perhaps this is the case for single Redditors or men whipped by fourth-wave feminist type women who believe that being a divorcée by age 30 is “chic,” but there’s a significant group of men who are being overlooked. 

What caused such a stark, sudden rise in the interest for a “manosphere”? Why are polemical voices like Andrew Tate or even the voices of those who are arguably tamer in tone and teaching like Joe Rogan, Jordan Peterson, Chris Williamson, or Andrew Huberman booming in popularity? I’d wager that more men are jaded by the shift in gender roles than they’d like to admit and even if they did, the mainstream media doesn’t want to appear accommodating to “traditional” masculine values. 

UBC Overlooked One Type Of Masculinity – “Toxic Masculinity”

Does it ever feel like the predominant narrative surrounding masculinity is mostly negative? The cultural zeitgeist that is “toxic masculinity” began to rise long before the #MeToo movement picked up steam and has now casually expanded in its definition to not just include genuinely problematic behaviors, but normal, masculine traits as well. 

Media and scholars alike deliberately promote negative elements of masculinity while ignoring all of the amazing things that men have contributed in crafting our modern world. This ideology then trickles down to the masses, who spread misconceptions from friend to friend.

Since we’re treading new, increasingly egalitarian waters, there’s very little research done on non-traditional frameworks of masculinity and how they could affect men over time. Whereas the feminist movement served to house non-traditional women, there’s not exactly a one-for-one movement for non-traditional men to develop a collective, progressive male identity. Instead, progressive masculinity is less of a movement and more of a learned reaction to being treated as the enemy.

A study published by the Journal of Gender and Power, titled “The elusiveness of progressive masculinity,” sought to better understand the nature of this new concept. Researchers asked men to recount times in their lives when they had acted progressively in regard to their sex. They found that most men who self-identify as progressive instead recounted experiences that reflected traditional understandings of masculinity. Interestingly, only 17% of men interviewed who fit into the progressive masculinity camp actually had experiences to share that reflected progressive values. Because of this, the researchers felt that there’s not a solid understanding of progressive masculinity. They even pointed out how some may be more likely to act progressively due to peer pressure, whether that’s in the presence of a progressive woman or another man.

Again, feminist theory has been budding since suffragettes started social action in the mid-19th century. That laid the foundation for female-focused psychological research to take off part way through the 20th century, but any sort of male equivalent was mostly ignored until the late 1990s.

One paper discussing the taboos of masculinity asserted that successful progressive men share a “love of learning, connection to the community, critical thinking skills, love for the people, and creative courage to say and do the right things as often as members of movements, teams, or groups.” Maybe I’m missing something here, but I don’t see how these same values couldn’t just as easily be assigned to a neo-traditionalist man.

If I were to conjure up poster children for progressive masculinity, I’d look to men like Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau or California Governor Gavin Newsom. They both shill for an increasingly burdensome, oppressive nanny state and prioritize failing social credit scoring systems like DEI and ESG over actually governing in a manner that increases the freedom and well-being of their constituents. 

These men epitomize the male cohort of the progressive left, and time after time, their behavior signals submission and subservience to special interests and globalist ideological dogma. Politicians aside, we’ve also witnessed a rise in “soft boys” like Harry Styles or Timothée Chalamet, who appear to reject their masculinity while embracing feminine traits to deconstruct our notion of gender in all respects.

Finding a Reasonable, Realistic Compromise

But what about men who believe in genuine egalitarianism? Egalitarianism is supposed to encompass the philosophy that all humans are equal in the eyes of God and the law. Americans instinctually prefer equality of opportunity instead of institutionally mandated equality of outcomes, but it’s a slippery slope that can easily lead right back to progressive gender equity.

In America’s Judeo-Christian tradition, men and women have complementary roles to one another since our brains and bodies fundamentally operate in different ways. Sure, we share a lot of similarities in day-to-day function, and we’re still the same species (hence why we’re afforded equality, not outright equity), but there are specific things we’re naturally inclined to excel at. This lays the groundwork for “traditional” gender roles.

Women have been found to feel happier when their man takes a leadership role in terms of power dynamics and when they themselves embrace marriage and motherhood. It’s built into women’s DNA to desire men who are good providers and protectors – even progressive women typically prefer men who exhibit more “trad” dating and courtship behaviors. What’s more, the General Social Survey recently published research showing that women married with kids have been linked to the biggest happiness dividends. In that same study, they found that married men report being twice as happy as their unmarried male peers.

Allowing men to have a bit more breathing space where they can embrace positive, productive aspects of masculinity and encouraging women to consider a more nurturing, maternal path in life could indeed contribute to better mental health outcomes. Though there are a lot of factors at play with deteriorating mental health in the West, it’s fascinating that soundness of mind appears to be on a downward trajectory while enforced equity is trending up and up.

Based on research and observations, it’s my opinion that we best thrive under the egalitarian-to-neo-traditional side of the masculinity spectrum. Once we hit the progressive end of the spectrum, we begin to socially castrate men. In order to better understand the trad-adjacent masculinities, I spoke with some of the men who voted in my poll and reported identifying mostly as egalitarian but with several neo-traditionalist traits.

Traditional Values Are Vital to a Functioning Society

Phil Labonte, lead singer of the metalcore band All That Remains and contributor at Timcast, calls himself an anti-communist and counter-revolutionary. He’s certainly not a “right-wing extremist,” but online users slander him as such and misconstrue the freedom-focused principles he espouses on Tim Pool’s shows and on social media, where he is quite outspoken on current events. 

Labonte, 48, a proponent of reviving rock music’s formerly anti-authoritarian messaging, leans libertarian in his personal politics. When presented with the UBC “types” of masculinity, he said that his gut instinct was to self-identify as egalitarian. Despite running in alternative crowds, Labonte shared with me in an interview that he actively seeks out more traditional gender roles.

“Most of the people I associate with think traditional values are vital to a functioning society,” Labonte said. In his view, the system humans created by making distinctions between masculinity and femininity “go beyond one society,” and the resulting power dynamic became so ubiquitous because of their utility to create functional families capable of producing children and making for more meaningful lives.

“There’s not a future with men or women in it if the progressives get their way,” Labonte continued. “Eventually, the gender abolitionists will attempt to do away with any distinction at all. Which, in my opinion, won’t happen because society will fall entirely apart on the way, long before gender could be abolished.”

Next, I spoke with a 32-year-old Eastern European male immigrant from the former Soviet Bloc who wished to remain anonymous. He shared his perspective on how his cultural heritage and immigration status greatly inform his masculine identity. According to him, men in Eastern Europe would typically fit in the neo-traditional camp while the progressive masculine identity is more American. 

But, in this man’s opinion, America is at risk of great instability because of how off-balance our gender roles and expectations have become. Having lived in a post-Communist country where his own bloodline experienced Communism firsthand, the man warned about efforts to chip away at traditional gender roles.

“Women were effectively second-class citizens but also expected to work. So, the idea of starting a family was very much frowned upon by the government while being a good worker was very much promoted," he said. 

He explained that his own views regularly feel conflicted because “old-school” Eastern European tendencies were disturbed by a totalitarian regime where family was heavily criticized, but now that his family lives in America, he observes growing instability from us reversing our own gender roles. 

“It makes me feel like a boomer or a geriatric Gen Alpha because the more conservative friends I have feel a bit too ‘trad,’” he noted, referencing one friend of his who leans so heavily into “trad” culture that this friend would consider a woman wearing a dress above her knees to be promiscuous. “But on the other side, I have friends that are a lot more liberal, like they’re into polyamory, and that’s where I feel like an out-of-touch boomer.”

Another impactful perspective this man emphasized was that men and women in America may feel so miserable about their interpersonal relationships with one another because they insist they don’t know the cause of their misery, when in fact they do. There’s a misalignment of gender roles through the proliferation of progressive masculinity and femininity. This misalignment acts in direct conflict to how we’re biologically built and how we instinctively act after thousands of years of evolution.

“I’m actually a bit optimistic about the future being more temperate and nuanced,” he said. This man doesn’t see an outright return to “trad,” but feels hopeful that there may have to be some sort of compromise. He concluded, “There are some aspects of the liberal way which are good, and we should adopt them. But, there are also certain aspects of our instincts that are our bedrock. Both are okay, but there needs to be this compromise. I don’t know if that will be in the next five years or 10 years, but it’s inevitable because you cannot cheat how you were built and you cannot breed that out of people or nurture it out of them quickly.” 

Closing Thoughts

It’s no secret that women, by and large, find more traditional elements of masculinity to be sexier. Many progressive “masculine” traits demonstrate inherent weakness or a lack of ability to protect and provide. But our understanding of old-fashioned gender roles is unfortunately colored by a static image of the 1950s nuclear family that simply cannot be reproduced today. “Traditional” families existed for centuries upon centuries before that, where women did in fact work to feed and clothe their families while also embracing their nature and raising children. Even staunch feminists can’t resist their instinctual love for chivalrous mates, so if “the science” says there are three types of masculinity, we should encourage the behavior that promotes positive – and not progressive – masculine virtue.

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