Men misbehaving: the psychology of cheating

6:56 PM, Jun 16, 2011   |    comments
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Over the last few years the list of distinguished male politicians falling from grace in sex scandals has grown disturbingly long.

Former presidential candidate John Edwards, former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford, former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and now former New York congressman Anthony Weiner.

What is it this pandemic of powerful men behaving badly?

"I think promiscuity and risk taking go hand in hand and risk taking often underlies power," University of Minnesota psychiatrist, Dr. Jon Grant, said Thursday.

Dr. Grant sees this trend growing, not dissipating as power fogs the lenses of reality for some.

But it tends to be grossly disproportionate to men.

"They start believing the narrative of their own power. I don't think women have that same sort of narrative in their head," Dr. Grant said.

Especially when it comes to big time politics.

As women still are the minority in elected office and they often behave quite differently.

"They also have to prove themselves and there is an extra level of seriousness for women in terms of making a mark in the institution," political analyst Kathryn Pearson said.

Research proves that once elected in congress women introduce more bills, give more floor speeches and do more in committee than the elected male counterpart yet in the arena of scandal it's almost exclusively a men's game.

But in the end some say this is all about power.

The elite thinking they are in fact invincible.

"Sort of grandiosity to power where people start to believe that the rules don't apply to them and that they can get away with things. Perhaps that they are smarter than other people and no one will catch them doing something," Dr. Grant said.

(Copyright 2011 by KARE. All Rights Reserved.)

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