Although it would not be unreasonable to suspect me of snowflaking in developing the concept of the sigma, this was not the case. Its development came about as a result of the observation that there was a significant distinction between the attributes and behavior of Roissy's sexual alpha and the socially dominant alpha male, and it was the contemplation of the various distinctions and similarities involved that inspired me to come up with the concept of a socio-sexual hierarchy in the first place.
The reason for the development of the sigma was fairly simple. It was readily apparent that Roissy's alpha description applied to both my brother and me, but the two of us are nearly as different in attitude, attributes, and behavior as Narcissus and Goldmund. His appeal to women was based on extraordinarily good looks and an open, charming demeanor. Mine was largely derived from the reaction to my arrogance and vicious comportment. He was popular and at the center of all the social activity from junior high onward. I was unpopular until tenth grade and couldn't be bothered to show up for homecoming, prom, or an invitation to rush the most desirable fraternity on campus. He was affable and friendly. I was cold and cruel. About the only thing we had in common was an unusually high level of self-regard.
But there was an important difference even there. His self-regard was externally derived, whereas mine was internal. He blossomed like a flower in the sunshine of feminine and masculine approval alike, whereas I tended to hold both in contempt. He had many friends, I had all of one until eighth grade and didn't see any need for more. But neither of us ever lacked for attention from highly attractive women once we hit sixteen.
So, it was perfectly obvious to me that one category was not enough to contain two such vastly different social animals if anything beyond a crude sexual scorecard was to be taken into account. It was also clear that while my brother's behavior was very much in keeping with the conventional description of the alpha, mine was not. Moreover, there happened to be a very small number of men of my acquaintance who tended to not fit the conventional alpha pattern in very much the same way that I did not. Thus was developed the concept of the sigma.
Many people interested in the expanded socio-sexual hierarchy have asked me if I think sigma status is more akin to the natural alpha or the synthetic alpha of the Game master. I think it is more like the former, as there appear to be some developmental elements that cause the sigma to be more comfortable outside the social world than inside it. Having grown up in the company of an alpha from his earliest childhood, it is fairly easy to note some of the ways in which our development processes differed.
The two biggest childhood differences between us, as I recall, were that my personality was much less intrinsically likeable than his and my accomplishments were more impressive. I was the larval form of an omega, (remember, the sexual hierarchy can't apply directly to pre-pubescent children), while simultaneously being openly recognized as intellectually and athletically superior to all of my age peers at school and other organizations. It's a rather unusual combination, given that athletic accomplishment usually translates to at least some level of social success. Usually, but not always.
Note that by recognized, I don't mean people saying "yah, that kid is real smart" or whatever. I am talking about objective metrics that no one could help noticing, whether it was winning all of the spelling, math, and reading competitions at school or finishing first in the events for the annual Presidential Physical Fitness programs that everyone had to do in elementary school. It doesn't matter how modestly you comport yourself, if you're kicking everyone's ass on a regular and comprehensive basis, other children will eventually come to resent it. Particularly if you happen to be the smallest, youngest kid in the class with a relatively disagreeable personality.
Gabriel noted in a previous post that the difference between the omega's oversized ego and the alpha's is that the alpha's ego is based in reality. So, I think that we can reasonably infer that a sigma is what results when an omega develops an oversized ego that happens to be reality-based. In support of this explanation is the observation that the few men that I consider to be sigmas on the basis of their a) genuine indifference to the social hierarchy, and b) uniform involvement with highly attractive women also happen to be exceptional in one or more regards.
This may explain why sigmas are relatively rare. They can more reasonably be considered a strange, socially successful form of omega than a non-conformist alpha variant. Gammas, deltas, and betas who learn Game can become synthetic alphas, but I don't know if they could as easily become synthetic sigmas. Whereas faking confidence often leads to real confidence over time, I have not seen that faking indifference leads to genuine indifference in the same way. Still, since we have defined Game as the intentional and articulated emulation of the naturally successful by the previously unsuccessful, synthetic sigmahood should at least theoretically be possible.
Unlike omegas, sigmas always learn the rules of the social hierarchy from observation, but their understanding of them is more of an intellectualized practical grasp than a true intuitive understanding. They don't struggle with the hierarchy, they only struggle to take it seriously. Whereas the beta and delta automatically abide by the rules and the gamma resists them, the sigma's usual reaction is one of vague surprise. "You cannot be serious" is the sigma's mantra, and is applied instinctively to everything from an alpha's dominance display to a woman's test. Because whether he abides by the rules of the social hierarchy or fails to abide by them, the sigma doesn't have much of an opinion because he doesn't regard them as applying to him.
Is the sigma classification really necessary? I don't know. Perhaps "high omega" would be as meaningful and inspire less confusion among gammas who are reluctant to acknowledge their place on the totem pole. But it sounds cool, and if there is one thing that sigmas have going for them, it is that they are usually viewed as being rather cool in comparison with the average alpha or omega.