The Caligula Effect. Emperor Caligula was famous for his sexual insatiability. Sexual attraction is a powerful force.
Why do powerful men cheat on their wives?
Male Homo sapiens have never been considered a model of sexual abstinence, notes Time columnist Jeffrey Kluger. “As soon as a teenager’s libido turns on, young men enter a protracted state of emotional, if not actual priapism, from which they never leave,” he writes.
In the eyes of nature, this is wonderful: the goal of any living organism is to ensure the continuation of the genus and the spread of its genes. Males are ideally adapted for this: they can conceive children daily, or even several times a day. Their emotional life is geared towards this behavior.
“Why don't men conceive children in such numbers? First, trying to raise 200 children is practically difficult. Secondly, males simply do not have enough mating opportunities. Sex requires the consent of a partner, and women who spend much more time and energy on pregnancy and childcare can choose partners very selectively,”the author writes. Therefore, men learn to restrain themselves and postpone the gratification of lust for later, and these skills are the basis of monogamy and marital fidelity.
But what happens when a man has unlimited opportunities for sexual intercourse? Some continue to abstain or settle down after a short, gay binge and live in monogamous relationships. But there are those who have unlimited possibilities mean constant gluttony. Emperors and despots are most famous for this behavior: according to a genetic study, 16 million living men - every 200th man on the planet - are descendants of Genghis Khan, the author claims.
But such behavior is also characteristic of those in power today. The most recent examples are Arnold Schwarzenegger and Dominique Strauss-Kahn.
What are the differences? One of them is an innate temperament: Clinton and Truman are certainly different people, although they held the same powerful post. Perhaps the reason is Clinton's difficult childhood, but not all leaders with difficult backgrounds become ladies' men. "Sex drive is a powerful force, and some just find it harder to contain it than others," says Fred Berlin, founder of the Sexual Disorder Clinic at Johns Hopkins University.
Obviously, one of the signs of poor self-control is narcissism, the author believes. But there are other features as well. “We are using a new criterion - the 'dark side'. A combination of narcissism, Machivellian dexterity and psychopathy,”says Adelphi University psychologist Larry Josephs. Obviously, this is the case, for example, of the emperor Caligula, who was famous for his sexual insatiability.
French artist Avril Edouard Henri.
It is also important at what age a person first acquired rare privileges: for example, princes may not need to learn to restrain their whims, and athletes receive privileges as soon as they show their abilities. Those who become famous or influential later in life are used to holding themselves back, Berlin says.
The "dark side triad", like testosterone-driven impulses, are also found in women. “Usually, animals that occupy a dominant position in a flock reproduce more successfully: this applies to both males and females,” explained Josephs.
But the "beta males" and "beta females" of humanity have ways to get their revenge.“In all pack animals, the leader is tolerated only as long as he gives the society more (in terms of stability and order) than he takes from it in the form of material resources and opportunities for mating. When the scales tilt in the other direction, the flock shows discontent,”the author says. Individuals of lower rank form a coalition and overthrow the leader. According to Josephs, the same phenomenon explains why society is outraged by the sexual misconduct of the elite: "in conditions of social equality, no one should have a monopoly on all females or sleep with our wives."
John Edwards and Eliot Spitzer were expelled from politics, Strauss-Kahn, quite possibly, will go to jail, Caligula was killed. “This has been said for thousands of years, but it’s not a sin to repeat it: guys, just keep your fly zipped,” the author concludes.