Bill Clinton. Newt Gingrich. Eliot Spitzer. Mark Sanford. Politicians who’ve been caught with their pants down tend to have one thing in common and it’s not political philosophy or party. Overwhelmingly, the philanderers are men. But a new study suggests that the reasons they stray may have more to do with the power they wield than with their, um, masculinity.
“The likelihood [of infidelity] increases the more powerful someone is,” says study author Joris Lammers, an assistant professor of psychology at Tilburg University in the Netherlands. The research was published in Psychological Science.
The study analyzed the results of an Internet survey of 1,561 readers of a Dutch business magazine. Fifty-eight percent of respondents held low-level non-management positions; 22% had some management responsibilities; 14% were middle managers; and 6% were top level executives.