Sex, Lies & Trousergate: Send in the Shrinks

Last week former general David H. Petraeus was a war hero reinvented as the Director of the CIA; this week he has resigned his position and is more famous for committing adultery than for being a four-star general. His sudden fall raises the perennial question: Why do men in power keep cheating, especially in this, the 21st century, when technology and the 24/7 news cycle practically guarantee that they'll not only be caught but memed without mercy? Is it just a dangerous combination of high-test narcissism and boys-will-be-boyness? In 2008, in the wake of l’affaires Edwards and Spitzer, MORE asked six smart writers for their sharpest takes on the psychology of the high-level cheater. Why does he do it? Will he ever learn? And are we wrong to care?

by Naomi Wolf
petraeus and broadwell image
David Petraeus with Paula Broadwell, July 13, 2011
Photograph: ISAF via CNP/Rex/Rex USA

Daphne Merkin on America's "national naïveté."

 

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Originally published in the November 2008 issue

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MissGirl 06.08.2011

Powerful positions (political and social)cause a disconnection from "real life". This disconnection along with the human need for basic acceptance and attention that is not related to the "false" image that is required for those power positions may attribute to the desire for sexual relationships with others outside of the political/social organization.
It is my personal recommendation that those who enter into high profile positions should be sure to surround themselves with "hometown" people that help to protect them and to make sure that the individual keeps the connection with his/her family and close friends.

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