Sex scandal

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Nathan confronts David over his sex scandal with Bathsheba the wife of Uriah the Hittite, saying "by this deed you have given occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme" (2 Samuel 12:14)

A sex scandal is a scandal involving allegations or information about possibly-immoral sexual activities being made public. Sex scandals are often associated with sexual affairs of film stars, politicians,[1] famous athletes or others in the public eye, and become scandals largely because of the prominence of the person involved, perceptions of hypocrisy on their part, or the non-normative or non-consensual nature of their sexuality.[2] A scandal may be based on reality, the product of false allegations, or a mixture of both.

Sex scandals involving politicians often become political scandals, particularly when there is an attempt at a cover-up, or suspicions of illegality. Attempts to cover-up include pay offs, threats, or in extreme cases murder.[citation needed]

While some commentators see sex scandals as irrelevant to politics, particularly where "professional performance [does] not seem to be impaired",[3] Gene Healy of the Cato Institute views them as not just "great fun", but a reminder "that we should think twice before we cede more power to these fools."[4] An increase in the prevalence of morally questionable expressions of sexuality is sometimes referred to as a sexidemic.[5]

The Hamilton–Reynolds affair which involved Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton, who had a one-year affair with Maria Reynolds during George Washington's presidency, is considered as one of the first sex scandals in American political history.

Sex Scandals, in relation to political and public figures, often lead to a questions of ones own ethics and moral code. A politician who is caught in a sex scandal is more likely to resign than a public figure in the face of a sex scandal.


Scandals have been a part of history in major declarations, false truces, when political or celebrity figures need to pay someone off to protect their legacy and more.[6] Scandals involve bribery, immoral action, shame, slander, misdoing etc.[7] Political sex scandals have emerged more modernly between 2004 and 2011, in the U.S. From the first sex scandal of Alexander Hamilton to three major national political figures, Newt Gingrich, John Edwards, and Arnold Schwarzenegger,[8] men and women have to face scrutinies in their career or life or field of politics whenever they are addressed by the media about their scandals. Around the same time of Alexander Hamilton's sex scandal that ruined his presidential candidacy and ambitions; Sex, Scandal, and Celebrity speaks and gives readers a researched and relatable narrative towards what occurred in terms of scandalous affairs, attempts, and a small historical taste on American Revolution. Combining the terms involved usually with sex scandals, Kimservik, M tells about Eighteenth-Century England and its examples and overviews of sex, politics, leadership, love, marriage during the era of George III. [9]


Gender Differences in Jealousy When Looking at Actual Infidelity

Sex scandals, as stated before, tend to involve sexual affairs, which involves the term infidelity. Infidelity has many definitions, either based on experience or research done on people who have been involved in the act of disloyalty and trust. Towards some, infidelity "is a complex phenomenon with multiple reasons driving people to cheat on their partners".[10] "It has existed for as long as people have united as couples, married or otherwise." Marriage counselors and research prove that affairs occur with both men and women insufficient, and satisfying relationships, and relationships that deal with plenty of issues. Issues usually include financial pressure, ridicule of occupation, decrease in libido, growing of age, etc. Based on The New York Times article, the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, national surveys states "that 15 percent of married women and 25 percent of married men have had extramarital affairs".[11]

Gender Stereotypes in Scandals[edit]

(Left to right) Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Chelsea Clinton, and based on similar photos taken in the 1997 Christmas season was from that year.

When it comes to politics and gender, women and men are treated different based on their actions, dressing, beliefs, traits, how aggressive or non-aggressive they are in terms of running for any candidacy.Sex scandals tend to include a bias when it comes to men and women who are caught, and then need evidence to explain their situation. Based on the journal When Women attack : Sex scandals, Gender stereotypes, and Candidate evaluations, gender stereotypes are "refer(ed) to the meanings that individuals and societies ascribe to males and females." [12] Most people would believe a male politician being involved in a sex scandal would deem him as masculine, but in some cases that is not true. During a political sex scandal, a woman that stays on the aggressive side and fights for the truth, or with her political spouse, is seen as a valuable, intelligent, favorable woman. A famous study and sex scandal that proved how women are more open to apology, understanding, and faithfulness, was during the Bill Clinton affair that involved Monica Lewinsky. Hillary Clinton steadily denied accusations against her husband, stating that they were personal attacks of agenda against Bill. While unavoidable evidence began to surface, she still remained composed and did not speak of her anger unless it was in private. Various women had noticed this scandal and praised Hilary for being the "man" of the situation and remaining strong and hopeful when her and Bill's private life was exposed to the public through media. Due to this, women were seen as more favorable in terms of being assigned positions in the political system because of Hillary's cognitive choices; fighting against the stereotype women cannot be masculine and control their emotions in a state of chaos or when given position of power, and proving femininity can be publicly relate able. . Although Bill was being attacked by media and political adversaries, he did not receive positive feedback and a pass for his actions; he was still safe momentarily because of his faithful wife Hillary. A substantial amount of Republican daggers and chance to crush the Clinton's presidency, they were seen as weak and "self-interested and transparently partisan". This whole sex scandal caused an uproar and made congress, media, and citizens look at male candidates and politicians in a different light. John Edwards, David Petraeus, Anthony Weiner, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Herman Cain, are more examples of men involved in sex scandals that have caused the public-eye to not give men of infidelity and sexual corruption, the benefit of the doubt. This has caused the debate between politics and sex scandals to be seen in a different light, and allowed gender-shifting and the role of gender to become more unbiased in selecting candidates during their evaluation; allowing more power for women fighting against stereotypes due to scandals, and men being seen as more skeptical.[12]

Sex Scandal Effects on Men & Women in Politics[edit]

Based on studies and research, men are seen as less ethical and more aggressive, but because they seek after affairs and that demonstrates a level of assertiveness, they match the stereotype of masculinity and leadership. Men in scandals are sometimes acquitted with more publicity, gain more recognition, higher appraisal for scandalous behavior (not from women). Based on the studies, the scandalous behavior does "not directly contradict the agentic stereotype. Women see the harder end of the propaganda, controversy, regardless of their side; due to the women usually being the victim or on being cheated on, or due to the universal acceptance that some women control their inner lust.Third parties tend to get more involved on a woman's personal life due to societal and medial norms. Evaluations of women and their worth are lowered due to role congruity theory. Along with the expectations of them keeping up with their already "lower leadership...communal qualities..in congruent...agentic requirements", women are usually impeached and are dragged by any field of work they approach after being exiled by a political office; due to political offices giving high-end recommendations and dealing with occupations that require sufficient communication skills, superb educations, and humane traits. Eagly and Karau (1992) [13]

Celebrities and Political Sexual Affairs/Scandals/Other[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Alison Dagnes (Shippensburg University), Stand By Your Man: Political Sex Scandals in American Pop Culture / Western Political Science Association Conference, Las Vegas, Nevada April 1–4, 2015
  2. ^ Juliet A. Williams (21 May 2011). "Why the Strauss-Kahn and Schwarzenegger scandals don't go together". Washington Post.
  3. ^ David Lamb (1 August 1976). "Sex and scandal are old partners in Washington". The Tuscaloosa News. p. 23, Section D3.
  4. ^ Gene Healy (6 June 2011). "Weinergate reminds us not to give these clowns more power". Washington Examiner.
  5. ^ Samuel, Lawrence R. (3 June 2013). "America's 'Sexidemic'". Psychology Today.
  6. ^ "Scandals". HISTORY.
  7. ^ https://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/dictionary/English/scandal. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  8. ^ "The Value of Outside Support for Male and Female Politicians Involved in a Political Sex Scandal".
  9. ^ Sex, scandal, and celebrity in late eighteenth-century England (1st ed.). Palgrave Macmillan. 2007-05-28. ISBN 978-0-230-60480-3.
  10. ^ Apostolou, Menelaos (2019). Why Greek-Cypriots cheat? The evolutionary origins of the Big-Five of infidelity. pp. 71–83.
  11. ^ Brody, Jane E. (22 January 2018). "When a Partner Cheats". The New York Times.
  12. ^ a b McLaughlin, Bryan; Davis, Catasha; Coppini, David; Kim, Young Mie; Knisely, Sandra; McLeod, Douglas (2015). "When women attack: Sex scandals, gender stereotypes, and candidate evaluations". Politics and the Life Sciences. 34 (1): 44–56. doi:10.1017/pls.2015.1. ISSN 0730-9384. JSTOR 26372745. PMID 26399945.
  13. ^ Stewart, Dennis D.; Rose, Roger P.; Rosales, Felixia M.; Rudney, Philip D.; Lehner, Tasha A.; Miltich, Gemma; Snyder, Cassie; Sadecki, Brianna (May 2013). "The Value of Outside Support for Male and Female Politicians Involved in a Political Sex Scandal". The Journal of Social Psychology. 153 (3): 375–394. doi:10.1080/00224545.2012.744292. PMID 23724705.

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