Why do Powerful People Cheat?
Nothing new, you might say: just another politician who cheated on his wife, and who has a child with another woman. It makes you wonder why these men, powerful men who have a wife for a very long time, cheat. However, the psychologists are not surprised by these decisions. According to the experts the men and the women who have lots of power often cheat because they believe that they have this right, and because they are certain that they will not get caught. These political sex scandals are very common. Mark Sanford, the Republican governor of South Carolina moved away with a woman from Argentina. Former Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards has a child with a former campaign worker. Bill Clinton had an affair with Monica Lewinski. Of course, the politicians are not the only ones who cheat; regular people do it as well. However, the psychologists have stated that the people who have power have higher chances of cheating.
Stephanie Coontz, a historian at The Evergreen State College in Washington, said that in the last 150 years, the conceptions about men and fidelity have changed. Prior to this period, men were expected to cheat, whereas the women were expected to ignore the infidelities. Some of these trends happened until 190s, in some of the cases. Coontz said that people who had power and who were rich, often cheated their wives, because they never had to face the consequences. Even the press covered things up, so in a sense they were encouraged to do it. In the majority of the cases, the men are the ones who cheat, but the psychologists stated that the infidelities are often connected to power and not with the gender. A study in the journal Psychological Science, revealed the fact that powerful men and women are more likely to admit that they have cheated than the simple men and women are. The study involved 1,561 people and it revealed the fact that the reason why the powerful people cheat is because they have more confidence.
It seems that gender has little thing to do with the cheating. The reason why more men cheat than women is because men usually have more power than the women do. The majority of the politicians for example are men. The psychologists have a difficult time measuring just how many of the nonpolitical people cheat, because people tend to lie in the surveys. They do it even when the surveys are anonymous, because they are afraid of the consequences. In 2010, the American Sociological Association revealed the fact that 3.8 percent of men and 1.4 percent of women admitted that they cheat. However, it is believed that way more people cheat. In both of the genders, the ones with more money were more likely to cheat than the ones with less money. The study which will be released soon, states that people who travel more do not cheat more.
However, the politicians do travel more than the regular people, so this might be one of the reasons why they cheat more often. Pepper Schwartz, a sociologist at the University of Washington in Seattle who is an expert in sexuality and relationships, said that one of the possible reasons why politicians cheat so often is the fact that they get to meet lots of new people. Their jobs make them interested as well, and women have stated that they are attracted to politicians. Coontz said that men often take advantage of this privilege: if beautiful women are interested in them from a sexual point of view, they will seize the opportunity. In the same time, women hope to benefit from these relationships, as they hope that their lovers will bring them certain advantages. Coontz said that the media is harsher on these men who cheat. Take Tiger Woods, or even Arnold. However, the average people are more willing to forgive these people, and to forget about their infidelities. People are more bothered by these stories than they were in the past, but if they admit that they have made a mistake, and if their wives forgive them, then they forget and forgive as well. However, according to Coontz, one thing is certain: powerful men get away with more than less powerful men or powerful women do.11