Masculinity, femininity, and leadership: Taking a closer look at the alpha female.

08:00 EDT 12th April 2019 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "Masculinity, femininity, and leadership: Taking a closer look at the alpha female."

An extensive review and textual analysis of the academic and popular literature of the human alpha female was conducted to examine the social construction and expression of the alpha female identity in a small non-random sample of North American women (N = 398). This review revealed 2 predominant alpha female representations in the literature-one more masculine versus one more feminine-and 21 alpha female variables. In this sample of women, the "alpha female" was found to be a recognized socially constructed female identity. Univariate analysis revealed positive and highly significant differences in self-reported mean scores between alpha (N = 94) and non-alpha (N = 304) females for 10 variables including, masculine traits, leadership, strength, low introversion, self-esteem, life satisfaction, sexual experience, initiates sex, enjoys sex and playing a dominant role in sexual encounters, with alpha females scoring higher than non-alphas. The measure of masculine traits was identified as the only predictor of alpha female status as per the multiple regression model. Interestingly, both alpha and non-alpha women scored the same for the measure of feminine traits. Further, both groups scored higher for feminine traits than masculine traits. The results also revealed that neither social dominance nor sexual dominance were predictors of alpha female status which challenge academic and popularized representations of this identity. The results suggest that although the alpha female is often regarded as an exceptional and, at times, an exoticized form of femininity, like other femininities, her identity is marked by contradictions and tensions.


Journal Details

This article was published in the following journal.

Name: PloS one
ISSN: 1932-6203
Pages: e0215181


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