One would have to admit surprise, initially, when reading of the stupid errors of judgment made by obviously smart men, and women, but we'll get to them later, in matters concerning sex.
John Kerry, Elliot Spitzer, Bill Clinton, John Profumo, Marv Albert and men who were perhaps less smart, Tiger Woods, Hugh Grant, Jimmy Swaggert, Edwin Mose, Charlie Sheen, Kobe Bryant, Mike Tyson, Steve Garvey, hundreds of priests and other non-famous men. What is it? Hubris?
Why would someone who has a great deal at stake, make such boneheaded errors in judgment? Maybe that should be boner-headed errors. Was it arrogance that made them think they could get away with it?
It may be simply that in matters concerning sex humans universally act irrationally. There is arguably a disconnect between natural sexual urges and the convoluted, sophisticated, social arrangements we make to corral and direct the sexual urges humans universally feel.
Consider a stark contrast, say, the gulf that exists between the adolescent male urge to mate with anything that will hold still long enough. Or the famously documented urges of Genghis Khan, Julius Caesar, Caligula, henry VIII, and so on. Given the power to obtain access to women, whether legally or illegally, powerful men will rack up as many partners as time permits.
Even when social agreements like marriage, or informal relationships like living together are made moderns will stray. Notwithstanding whatever thrill may come from getting away with it, men will often not think twice when sex is made freely available. So what is this phenomenon? Is it perverse or noramal?
Of course terms like normal and perverse are subjective. Yet, we act surprised when a prominent person is involved in a sex scandal. If we knew our history we ought not to be surprissed, we whould pay it no attention because we expected it. Yet we continue to promote lifetime commitments to fidelity and exclusiveness and enact punitive laws to enforce them. What's going on?
Is it hypocrisy to take marriage vows? Or is it simply futile? When a man stands up in church and vows fidelity in front of God and his congregation is he lying, being self-deluded, simply stupid? Is the woman so desperate, self-deluded, dishonest that she goes through with it?
In other cultures, say, Islam, where it is akin to taking a slave, marriage may be the only way a man can legally have a sex partner, the law exists to enforce the ritual and the institution.
From an evolutionary perspective, it is a good male strategy to have as many breeding partners as possible. Since partnerships are problematical, promiscuity is a sound program to persue. It is in conflict with a female evolutionary perspective that must be centered around child-rearing to ensure projecting her genes into the future. This results in complex social arrangements, including invasion, raping and pillaging, sharia, marriage rituals such as seen in many of the world's religion. It may even be that the whole point of a religion is to regulate and give order to the natural mating urges of men and women.
Organized religious authorities set themselves up in power by creating myths about sex, fertility, sin, and so on. If you want to wield power over the people you must control their natural urges. Create a concept of sin associated with sex, then show people how they can get to exercise their urges legally and without sin, and you have control over them is the strategy devised by the Catholic Church and is copied by others.
But the urge can be stimulated to ennervate the individual to act in contrary manner to rational thought. Many examples exist of men who were seduced by a beautiful woman. Prostitutes are committed to tempting men toi have sex with them. Their task is easy because nothing could be more natural than to have sex with a willing partner. In the balance is loss of various degrees of prestige, moral propriety, and material wealth.
We in the wealthy western world cannot imagine returning to a time when women do not have property rights and defence of law such that they cannot be taken sexually at the will of a more powerful man, as happened centuries ago and still happens in areas of the world where the law is absent such as the Congo where mass rape is common even today.
Take the view of the Taliban in Afghanistan where the US and Foreign troops are regarded as threatening sharia law and the Afghanis rights to control their women. These Afghanis will fight to the death to prevent this. It is as simple as that. Under sharia law a man gets a woman and the right to control her sexually.
"If you want to defend the rights of women in Afghanistan you have to defeat the Taliban, and you have to do it militarily." - Douglas Ross, Professor of Foreign Policy, Simon Fraser U.
Young men & women are most susceptible to acting irrationally, that is to say, based on instinct rather than on reason, because between puberty and say, 40 yrs old, sex hormones are most plentiful in the body.
Denying young men access to sex partners by ssimple admonition or proclamation is almost impossible and in western democracies has consequences of unwanted pregnancy or heartbreak, but in many areas of the world it results in men taking up arms and many deaths are the consequence.