Powerful philanderers

The news of Arnold Schwarzenegger having a love child and of the alleged rape by Dominique Strauss-Kahn has me wondering: Is there a connection between people in positions of power and committing such acts?

People sometimes believe that celebrities, politicians and others in a position of power and influence aren’t susceptible to the same problems that plague the average Joe — when in fact, the famous are not immune from the ills of society. Given certain personality traits and circumstances, they might be even more likely to commit such acts.

Think about the traits that drive someone like the Governator and Dominique Strauss-Kahn to their positions. In the case of politicians, you often have people who are risk-takers, thrill-seekers and adrenaline junkies who thrive on the rush and excitement of being the center of attention. The larger-than-life ego, grand sense of entitlement and narcissism that run amok are fertile grounds for trouble. Throw into the mix the strain that being in the political spotlight can have on the marriage and you have trouble waiting to happen.

Finally, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the powerful aphrodisiac that comes from being in a high political position or being a celebrity. Stardom is seductive, and people might gravitate towards such figures; they might feel that to be with someone wealthy and successful provides security. In the case of Monica and Bill — and perhaps Arnold’s housekeeper — there was probably a level of attraction based purely on the superstar status. Groupies abound and aren’t limited to just the music scene.

–Jonathan Alpert is a licensed psychotherapist. E-mail him your questions at jonathan@jonathanalpert.com

Metro does not endorse the opinions of the author, or any opinions expressed on its pages.


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