Why Do Powerful Men Cheat?

The public humiliation of New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, and his resignation, have prompted journalists all over America to ask psychologists and social scientists why it is, with so much to lose, men of status betray their marriages? Of course, had this occurred in Italy or France, no career would be at stake.


Here at PullJoy, we realize the question is wrongly posed? For it is not solely, or even disproportionately powerful men who cheat, but men who never make the headlines do so. Many aren’t even caught. The reason some men are able to rise to political, commercial, or artistic heights is that they are more willing than others to take risks. In addition to their talent or acumen, they do not fear putting it all on the line. An encounter with a hooker means no more or less to them than it would a married bank teller or plumber. The difference lies in the level of daring each man possesses. In the most elite circles, this brazenness is what many would term stupidity. Yet infidelity is no more dishonest when committed by a guy running a newstand. The difference is, highly accomplished males have staked their entire adult lives on a series of risks, others have not. Ego also plays a role, but the two factors overlap.

It is better asked, “What makes some men  confront risk more than others?” The prostitution, the kickbacks, and the bribes are merely spoils.

This is not to justify, only to clarify.



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