Tournament species vs Pair Bonding Humans: Social Hierarchy series

Tournament species vs pair bonded humans

Congratulations for making it here. Quite a few of you have taken quite a few different pathways. My journey to understand a marriage breakdown led me here. I was trying to understand the social hierarchy I live in. In this post I share a recent revelation that the social hierarchy I live in (which is probably identical to yours if you live in a western culture too) is dominated by the battle of two cultures. Tournament species vs Pair Bonding humans is also a battle of freedom vs captivity depending on which side of the “fence of common sense” you reside on.

First up I think we need to spend a few minutes to enforce just why this conversation is needed. I am on a mission to understand the human condition so I can gain my autonomy over it. Like it or not one of the most dominantly factors or all human traits is our affinity for a connection with fellow humans.

This post is a conclusion to my series on the social pyramids: see links below.

The topic at hand is going to move beyond what the society looks like on face value and tackle some bigger macro issues. How did society develop to get to such a mess, why & what are the successful blueprints we have strayed from?

In their pure forms both of the blueprints (tournament species & pair bonded species) are successful at what they set out to do. They both set out to structure reproduction into a set of rules which maximize the success of creating offspring.

If you are not up to speed with Briffaults law at this time do yourself a favor and follow the link to recap.

Introduction to a Tournament Species

Tournament SpeciesIn a tournament species you have one sex (normally the males) compete with each other for the prize of mating with a female hence reproducing and passing on their genes. Many biologists and scientists have spent a lifetime studying just what such competition means to certain species. Primarily what it means is that the larger, stronger and more dominant males have had their choice of mates and hence had a lot more offspring than their smaller counterparts. As the hundreds or thousands of years pass by in such a species it is only inevitable that the males of the species will physically adapt their bodies to be more attuned to the battles required for reproduction.

Here is how reproduction normally looks like in a tournament species

  • Adult males compete with each other to prove who is the best specimen (usually strength and aggression are the most desirable characteristics)
  • The females actively choose which males they want to mate with most of the time. Primarily they will be focused on bigger, stronger & most dominant but quite often secondary sexual characteristics will come into play as well.
  • something like 80% of the females will choose the top 20% of the males
  • the males and females below that line don’t get to reproduce but will contribute in some other way
  • males will mate then quickly migrate back to battle (they won’t stick around to help out at all)
  • the men will be physically larger and more muscular than the women
  • the men will be somewhat nomadic or transitory whilst the women will
  • men will hunt and fight
  • women will gather and care for their young

All this evolution, biology and culture seems to be focused on maximising the success of reproduction and generating as strong and effective offspring as possible.

Introduction to Pair Bonded Species

pair bond human coupleOn the other hand you have a pair bonded species. In this case you have complete and utter co-operation (also monogamy) between the male and female when it comes to reproduction but also when it come to child raising. The social implications of such an arrangement are quite profound when you really study it. What you find is that less male competition means more men (close to most men) will land themselves a mate and all that energy gets transformed into something very different (not necessary good).

In a pair bond scenario reproduction will normally look something like this

  • female will choose a male based on their compatibility with each other but also on his ability to help her with her life mission (raise children, care for them and perform all the associated domestic duties)
  • she will be more interested in social, nurturing and caring men then big, strong, dominant men
  • normally the societies will be a lot more organised and food/resources won’t be scarce
  • females will still be inclined to gather and stay put to raise children
  • men will migrate until they find their mate then stay put, with wife to raise the children
  • males will not have had to evolve larger body types of the millennia to compete with each other making them the same size as women of the species or even a bit smaller.
  • A great amount of care and attention will be placed on choosing the right partner (women choose) and then making that emotional connection before reproduction

All this evolution, biology and culture seems to be also focused on maximising the success of reproduction and generating as strong and effective offspring as possible it has just happened in a very different way.

Social Implications to a Tournament Species Vs Pair Bonding

In the two introductory paragraphs above I pretty much just wrote what what you will see, not why or how it works behind the scenes. In the following several paragraphs that is exactly what I am going to try to do. The impacts of how a species reproduces is an extremely dominant trait as to how a society is formed and maintained.

Male Preferences when it comes to choosing their mate

In tournament species men are not choosy at all because the only cost of mating is the sperm. No parental responsibilities lie beyond that and no social repercussions for choosing the wrong mate.  Afterall they are at war with all the men already.

In a pair bonded society men are very choosy because they have to commit and bond with their mate, care for the the kids and live with each other for long periods of time. Choosing the wrong mate could be disastrous to day to day life.

Males Levels of Aggression

In a tournament species men are a lot more aggressive and a lot more competitive with each other. It wouldn’t be impossible to also infer that some of that such aggression would also inexplicable overflow to the women.

In a pair bonded species men are a lot more likely to group together and care for each other. No need to compete with each other for women because the women aren’t selecting for traditional aggressive, competitive masculine traits. Most men will be paired with a mate.


Tournament Species – male life is a lot shorter than in pair bonded species because of the competition and aggression

In a pair bonded society men and women live the same time because their living conditions are very similar.

Variability in male reproductive success

social hierarchyThis might be one of the hardest concepts to get your head around but think of it like this, Does every male have a few kids or do 5% of the men do 95% of the reproduction?

Tournament Species – male success in reproducing is very variable. It could be as far askew as 5% of men are responsible for 95% of the children.

Pair Bonded species – male success is a lot more shared. Almost every man is paired with a women and they have an equal amount of kids.

Female preference when it comes to choosing a mate

Tournament species – first and foremost she is looking for good strong solid set of genes because that is all she can expect him to realistically provide. He won’t be a live in dad. He won’t be staying around to see how things pan out. As soon as he has finished the act he is back to his life of war.

Shared parental behaviour

Tournament Species – men to not actively participate in raising children.

Pair Bonded Species – Parenting is equally shared.

Female abandonment of kids

Tournament species – mothers tend not to abandon their children because it would spell almost certain death.  Afterall dad is not around to pick up the slack.

In Pair Bonded species females are a lot more likely to monkey branch (leave one man to join with another man perceived to be better) because the fathers are in place to take care of the children. You will even see cuckholdry under this culture.

Complexity of society and Government structure

Tournament Species – the male side of the culture will tend to be a lot less organised and tend to run on the lore of the jungle. Aggression is key and every man for themselves. As such societal structures or government interventions will not be necessary but also not be desired by these men. Perhaps the second tier men Beta men will be looking for such a structure but realistically they will be shunned by the females anyway and ignored.

Pair Bonded Species – societies will be a lot more organised and grouped together. Government structures will be well established and sophisticated means of structure will regulate those members who do not fit into the mainstream ideal.

Social Hierarchy recap

If you missed my previous posts please take the time to go back up to the top of this post and jump back to read them. Links in the introduction.

Humans are flailing around somewhere in the middle of tournament species and pair bonded species. You will recognise a lot of the traits from both when you look around the lives of those around you. However you will see different traits in different people and neither tournament species or pair bonded species framework fit humans. I do believe however they they form the two extremes of our society. You have the alpha male army jock types leading up the tournament species advocates while at the other end of the spectrum you find the feminist socialist welfare whales advocating for a mandatory pair bonding.


So finally which types of men fit into a Tournament species framework?

Four Types of Human Tournament Species Men

Sigma men Relevant stereotype – James Bond or Jason Bourne

Sigma men form the apex of the male social hierarchy and will definitely fit nicely into the framework of a tournament species. They will compete with other men for power, glory and for women. Their motivation for competing will be unique however. Sigma men will not see power, glory or women as goals worthy of striving for or as markers of success. For sigma men it will more for personal satisfaction and for the game of it all.

Alpha men Relevant stereotype – Good looking rich Bad-boy that is the most popular with the group ( football captain)

When you think of tournament species the first thing you probably though of was an alpha male. Fighting all other men to bed his choice of woman. What you probably don’t realise is that he is trapped in an ever closing circle of fighting to mate just to start all over again the next day. Closing in on himself until he has to face the reality of it all the day he gets too old to win every battle.

Lambda men fit into this framework somewhere between alpha males and zeta men. They understand the futility of the fight but engage in fighting and compete with men because they enjoy the fleeting moments of intimacy with women it affords them. Relevant stereotype – purple pill MGTOW or pick-up artist (PUA)

Lastly we have the Zeta men (Relevant stereotype – red pill MGTOW). They are different because they will be compete with the other men for survival but not for the women. Depending on how staunch their philosophy is against women you may even find some of them bow out of the battle against men too.

Which men fit into a Pair Bonded species framework?

Four Types of Pair Bonded MenBeta men will form the top of the pyramid when it comes to pair bonded men. They will not submit quite as easily as the rest of the men in this category but nevertheless testosterone will get the better of them and the promise of a woman will lure them into submission. I will leave the analogy of a trap for you to interpret yourself. Relevant stereotype – all the other members of the football team not the alpha, desperate to be included.

Delta men (Relevant stereotype – the regular Joe’s. The Nice Guys who get dumped for the bad boys) will still form the bulk of the numbers and still generally submit to the rules of engagement from women and society. Let’s be honest these are the men who don’t really see society for what it is anyway and don’t care about what lies beyond their garden gate.

When you think of Gamma men in a pair bonded species you will find they are still struggling to get the types of women they want but they will be there and they will still be trying to game their way up the social ladder to something or someone better. Relevant stereotype – the successful conman, social justice warrior, narcissist, violent offender.

Omega men will submit to anything and anyone with breasts. They will see the benefits of not having to compete with men in a physical sense. Relevant stereotype – Geek video game enthusiast, no social life, no love life. Sheldon.

Which women fit into a Tournament Species framework?

Alpha/Zeta Women – Relevant stereotype – the vocal minority

tournament Species women

When it comes to tournament species these women are probably not what you think. These women are not the ones sitting at home waiting for a knight in shining armour to sweep them off their feet. They are the ones trying to fight alongside the men and refusing to engage in chivalry or the mating game at all. They compete to prove their worth in the sense of a man. They will dress and act like men and reject the traditional feminine quality of nurturing, softness, delicacy, etc.

There can’t be great quantities of these women by virtue that after one generation their genes are lost as they don’t reproduce.

In a peculiar quirk they may advocate for social structure and government intervention if their battle success isn’t up to par.

Which women fit into a pair bonded species framework?

Delta Women Relevant stereotype – the silent majority

Have a lot to gain from the resources a man can bring to their life. These women will place a lot of importance on child bearing to the point where it may even consume their personal identity. As such having a partner there to assist will also become all consuming. She will relish in the social status a family can bring her and conformity to social norms will be very important.

Gamma Women Relevant stereotype – single mothers, married women, cougars, beta wannabees

Have even more to gain from the resources a man can bring to her life. These are the fringe dwellers of the female social hierarchy who will be looking to climb the social status ladder. That being the case any resource which can be manipulated to fit the agenda will be hooked and consumed.


pair bonded woman

Who is left over? [Hint – Beta Women, Lambda Woman!]

The Beta, Lambda Female Relevant stereotype – cheerleader, party girl or WOO girls.

If you read my posts you will understand my opinion on the dynamic nature of the female social hierarchy. It ebbs and flows and changes as the wind changes. Beta women and lamba women will jump backwards and forwards, in and out of frameworks which align with tournament species or pair bonded species. Whilst most of the other types of people above will stick in their slot beta and lamba women will want the best of both worlds and moderate their behavor to adapt to the situation and people around them.

wavering women pyramid

Takeaway message

It doesn’t take a lot of research into humans history and civilisations to come to the conclusion that throughout the majority time human hunter gatherer type civilisations have best fit into the tournament species framework. More recently however social changes over the past 100-200 years have created a transition of culture away from that. Technology of course led the transition away from hunting and gathering (starting with farming practices). The technology changes such as the industrial revolution led to men having to leave the farms and travel to work in factory (cue the social change and fabric of family life destruction). As the social change took hold we found political, financial and power hungry factions manipulated society to accelerate the turmoil.

There are many reasons and many of motivations which could spark social change. Some good, more bad I am afraid. I will be tackling the before-mentioned reasons in separate posts. Think money, politics, attitude, power, social status.

Humans are unique as a species. We have created ourselves an overly complex culture which does not fit within a tournament species or pair bonded species. What we can do however do is to understand the two ends of the spectrum we work in and use them to get a gauge an individual’s motivations some people have and tendencies to act the way they act.

There is still a lot of value in understanding the biological and evolutionary motivations that subconsciously drive our behavors. Some of these behaviours may be largely outdated and leftovers from a bygone era (such as a women’s tendency to seek tall, strong & aggressive men in an effort to feel safe, secure and well taken care of. Today’s society doesn’t need strength & height to succeed). On the other hand some of our oldest and most imprinted behaviours as just as relevant today as they ever were (i.e. we live to pass on our individual genes and we see a partner to make that happen as best as we can).

Learning a thing or two about history and about the world beyond our garden gate can help you understand what is right under your nose.


3 Replies to “Tournament species vs Pair Bonding Humans: Social Hierarchy series”

  1. I found this interesting and appreciated your writing style a lot. Just presenting your theories and information without making a lot of assumptions and applications.

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