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, 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. A scandal may be based on reality, the product of false allegations, or a mixture of both.
While some commentators see sex scandals as irrelevant to politics, particularly where "professional performance [does] not seem to be impaired", 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 clowns." An increase in the prevalence of morally questionable expressions of sexuality is sometimes referred to as a sexidemic.
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.
- Casting couch
- Celebrity sex tape
- Deviancy amplification spiral
- List of federal political sex scandals in the United States
- 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
- Juliet A. Williams (21 May 2011). "Why the Strauss-Kahn and Schwarzenegger scandals don't go together". Washington Post.
- David Lamb (1 August 1976). "Sex and scandal are old partners in Washington". The Tuscaloosa News. p. 23, Section D3.
- Gene Healy (6 June 2011). "Weinergate reminds us not to give these clowns more power". Washington Examiner.
- Samuel, Lawrence R. (3 June 2013). "America's 'Sexidemic'". Psychology Today.
- Beaucoup B.S. - Christopher Hitchens
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