What are the characteristics of an alpha male? How does an alpha male behave? These questions came up in another thread, and I thought they were interesting enough to warrant a separate discussion. I would love to hear women's ideas about what the term "alpha male" means to them, and whether they find alpha males more attractive than other men. Before I offer my own opinions, though, I'll begin the thread by providing some info on the linguistic background of the term. ORIGINS OF THE TERM "ALPHA MALE": The expression "Alpha Male" comes from the behavioural sciences. It came into common usage from the study of wolves, and then primates -- the head honcho of a pack of wolves or apes is dubbed the "Alpha Male." It can also apply to other community-dwelling animals. This simple designation is also used in star classification in astronomy - the brightest star in a constellation is alpha, then they go down the Greek alphabet, beta, gamma, delta etc. Within each pack of wolves, for example, is an elaborate hierarchy. It usually consists of: A single breeding pair, the Alpha male and female, which are the leaders of the pack A lower group consisting of non-breeding adults, each with its own ranking A group of immature wolves on their way up A group of outcasts The alpha male and female are the ones with the most experience in hunting, defending territory, and other important activities. Other pack members respect their positions and follow their leadership in almost all things. The alpha wolves are usually the ones to make decisions for the pack, such as when the group should go out to hunt or move from one place to another. The other pack members all have positions in the hierarchy inferior to those of the alpha male and female.