High-profile philanderers have so much power and control in their lives they couldn't imagine not having that control over their personal doings as well.Add greater opportunities to cheat and the urge to spread their genes into the mix, and extramarital affairs (or photo-sharing) may be par for the course.
Anthony Weiner of his underwear-clad crotch has the Web abuzz with talk of his survival in the political realm, but taking a step into his psyche may clear up a perhaps more boggling question: Why would he make such a seemingly stupid mistake, especially in light of the long list of celebs and politicians who have been caught in the past for their sexual transgressions?
Weiner, a Democrat from New York, admitted this week he had sent the photo, meant for a woman in Washington, to all his Twitter followers. Perhaps he wasn't actually thinking consciously about his acts, scientists say.
His teary-eyed confession may seem all too familiar, with similar public confessions made recently by former California Gov. "I don't think that people really take into account an accurate sense of just how risky a text message or a little picture is," said Daniel Kruger, evolutionary psychologist at the University of Michigan.
Arnold Schwarzenegger in May, and in 2009 by golf champ Tiger Woods, talk show host David Letterman, former Sen. "There are probably a hundred different things they're doing in their day." And even if Weiner had thought about the risk he was taking, he'd likely not expect to get caught.
On a mission Certain personality traits, along with sexual desire, may cause a guy like Weiner to follow in the errant footsteps of other politicians.
"They tend to have narcissistic personalities, with weak superegos that would [otherwise] stop them from acting out their impulses," said anthropologist and psychoanalyst Michael Maccoby. "Seeing other examples apparently doesn’t stop people from doing it," Kruger told Live Science."Some of them are excited by flirting with danger," said Maccoby, who is president of the Maccoby Group, a consulting firm based in Washington, D. "Especially since we know this guy was thinking about sex at the time, he was aroused, that would make him even more likely to take a risk like this." Past research has shown that men increase their risk-taking — from walking across the street outside a crosswalk to risking more money in gambling games — when an attractive woman is around.From an evolutionary perspective, men are here to sow their seeds, so a sexual transgression here and there would make sense.They desire more sexual partners, and even lower their standards when it comes to one-night stands, studies have shown."The ultimate currency here is reproductive success and if there's an opportunity for sex that is a goal that is worthy of such a risk," Kruger said.In fact, our male ancestors who were at the top of the hierarchy would've enjoyed a much greater share of reproductive benefits, Kruger noted.