Sex and power
Q:Throughout history and the animal kingdom, leadership has been associated with sexual dominance. While we eschew that association in modern times, the fact of so many sexual scandals among public leaders, the latest being New York Congressman Eric Massa, raises the question: Why do so many leaders fall prey to confusing power with sexual charisma? Do leaders face more personal temptations than the rest of us?
Henry Kissinger once said that power is "the ultimate aphrodisiac." And it's not just power: celebrity also attracts groupies and stalkers. The sex drive is very malleable and attaches itself to different strivings, including the wish to be intimately connected to glamorous or powerful people. For women, there could also be a psychobiological element, that being loved, impregnated and protected by powerful men increases the odds of surviving with offspring.
It is not at all surprising that politicians and celebrities have many affairs. The more puzzling question is why so many politicians jeopardize their careers by giving in to illicit sexual temptations. Most likely, they think they can get away with it . When found out, most, like Bill Clinton and John Edwards, try to deny the accusation of infidelity.
These are narcissistic personalities with weak superegos to police their impulses. They have become used to the courtiers and followers who feed their narcissism with lavish praise. They see themselves as flying above the rest of us, working hard to serve the public. The rules that others should follow are not for them. They are special. And so it goes.
Posted by: ZZim | March 12, 2010 5:16 PM
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