Every aspect of the modern world has been wracked with scandals often involving many prominent personalities. Politicians, entertainers, athletes and socialites have been the target of many open accusations on wrong doings. More often than not, scandals or wrongdoings which are sexual in nature are the very ones that are discovered, spread and read in the papers. The private lives of individuals involved are laid open for public consumption as embarrassing sexual activities are investigated and ridiculed.
They are usually the stories of people we read in the papers, hear being blamed and criticized on air, viewed and discussed amongst hosts and guests of television talk shows and the butt of jokes in common break-time conversations. The sexual behavior of famous people has become a huge part of entertainment as the media strives to outdo one another to give the most titillating and sexually adventurous background of a story.
Throughout the decades, the sexual lives of prominent figures like politicians and rich businessmen who erred beyond their marital bed were often morally ridiculed. Their sexual escapades were told and retold to the next person aching to listen, and listeners came in droves ultimately hungry for a kill. The more famous the individual is, the bigger the likelihood of having his/her sexual activities discussed openly among ordinary individuals. We have seen many men exalted into political positions and fame getting involved with inappropriate sexual behavior.
As their lives become public knowledge, they suffer invariable disgrace and have their reputations ruined forever. Political and military leaders are assumed to have an attitude possessing integrity as a quality that allows people, mostly his constituents and subordinates to grant him trust and respect commensurate to his public office and position. His favorable actions are considered above reproach and praised thus requiring him to conduct himself with dignity at all times.
However, a single immoral deed when discovered and exposed could mark the end of his political career as his image becomes tarnished with relevant proof and negative criticisms. President Jefferson went down in the annals of history accused of maintaining a “Congo Harem” and fornicating with a slave, “Sally Hemmings” (Fitch, 2004:247). Likewise in a much publicized determination over the personal relationship between Monica Lewinsky and President Bill Clinton, another congressional inquiry morally questioned the sexual liaisons of Gary Condit and Chandra Levy (Fitch, 2004: 248).
In the past, sexual behavior has been delegated to create a barometer for acceptable and non-acceptable sexual behavior and punishing it with public humiliation and loss of status (Apostolidis and Williams, 2004: 20). As an egalitarian society that fights to uphold a doctrine that strives to treat all men as equals, we are suddenly faced with the pressing question of accepting sexual behavior and relaxing our relentless probing of tawdry affairs between sexes regardless of affiliation within the realms of politics or seemingly allowing Victorian attitudes to morally judge a person.
Considering the very nature of sexual scandals that wracked the nation has often been synonymously targeted against individuals whose relevant positions make them vulnerable to suppression and control by a higher force within the political system, are we not prone to maneuvers instead? Statement of the Problem In a ripe age of modernity amidst an age of sex scandals and political maneuvers and machinations, we are faced with the question over an understanding of human sexuality as a human nature and an acceptance of natural responses to consensual sexual behavior regardless of gender and identity.
Purpose of the Study In the study of sexual scandals within the American politics, our aim is to explain normal sexual behavior and the natural human response. Political figures being humans themselves are definitely not averse to acts and deeds related to sex which is the subject of this study. In the understanding of human sexuality, this study will likewise explain how the natural human response have been brutally exposed and expanded to portray an overly unacceptable behavior particularly among prominent political figures as a motive for political party destruction and black propaganda.
This study shall finally explain how collegiate students can exercise a modicum of understanding rather than moral ridicule over sexual behavior among people holding public office without necessarily promoting a relaxation of moral values among political leaders. Review of Related Literature The Human Natural Response to Sex Countless studies have supported that humans have a need for sex reconstructed and made clear in an unceasing receptivity that goes far beyond reproduction (Diamond, 1998: 67).
For Diamond, the human biological function of sex is an evolutionary process that has created a continuing interest yet highly susceptible to predators (Diamond, 1998: 11). The National Institute of Health has also explained that in the understanding and acceptance of normal sexuality, sex should be understood as a vital part of life closer probably to the human need for pleasure and gratification (Calderone in NIH). Sex encompasses normal interactions among individuals where a sublime need for physical, emotional and sexual intimacy soon develops sometimes beyond the consideration of accepted norms in the society.
This was likewise explained in the renowned works of Masters and Johnson, where the anatomical and physiological human responses to sex are directly dependent to a stimulus (Hock, 2006). Out of the pioneering efforts of authors Masters and Johnson, we begin to develop an understanding of how individuals may develop a wide variety of choices in their sexual encounters. The male specie as the known progenitor of sex in several social analyses may offer money, status and commitment in exchange for sex (Baumeister, 2001: 7).
In this transaction, our common ideas have supported a conclusion that the woman is exploited by a man in the process which can be taken to indicate that men and women play different response to sex in the order of strength of sexual desire. Yet based on the theories and explanation of natural human response to sex, the woman actually gives up nothing in return for her sexual favor because not only the male enjoys sex but the woman also gets sexual pleasures and the satisfaction of her own desires (Hock, 2006).
In a sense with limited resource, we are however led to the belief that the woman’s capacity to command a higher price for sex becomes less with the increasing number of sexual partners by explaining the theory of rewards that, “where something is given out freely in the long run looses value” (Baumeister, 2001: 276). In the concept of homosexuality, we are led to believe on the perverse implications of homosexual behavior as a confusing role in the society. The complicated biological nature of sexuality however supports that humans express their sexuality in a variety of ways (Giddens, 2006:437).
Theories explaining sexual responses also believed that homosexuality is not a choice that can allow one person to renounce homosexuality at the risk of giving up loving and being loved by another (Giddens, 2006:436). Where ideas about sexuality are undergoing magnified changes, we are confronted with recent trends of homosexuality within a continuing struggle against discrimination. Yet for many authors, the division and shaping of gender roles happens gradually as humans gain mastery of its environment (Diamond, 2006:122). Censure and Sexual Conservatism
In countless years, the human sexual response has faced criticism as contingent biological facts faced ethical censure against American archaic obscenity laws. For many centuries, in the ethics of sexual conservatism, sex is permitted between a married couple (male and female) which only later permitted consensual sex among alternative marriage between same-sex partners (Apostolidis and Williams, 2004:149). Monogamous heterosexual marriage frowned upon premarital and extramarital while imposing the values of sexual exclusivity as a concept of good.
Justifying sexual ethics soon became a sexual code conduct that undermines human frailty and weakness as part of man’s natural biological and psychological make-up (Baumeister, 2001: 281). Sexual Conservatism became a mode among older generations as forms of eroticism and homoerotic sex is shunned upon and evidently discouraged in order to protect the privacy of the individual in sustaining social order (Davis, 1996:59). A New Understanding on Human Sexuality In the last forty years or so, we have moved from an idealistic view of human nature by relaxing appealing views on sexual freedom and understanding.
The 60’s created for us a period of experimentation on freedom of human sexual response topped with socialistic problems of single motherhood that began to disprove sexual censorships of the past centuries and decades (Fitch, 2004: 92). In an attempt to create order in a society, the punitive forces against sexual behaviors became relaxed and tolerant. Sexual ethics to a degree became understood as something which is variable, depending on the changes in human nature and changes in the human society (Diamond, 2006: 95).
Open discussions on sexuality soon became a positive issue in an integral point of discussion on the promotion of responsible sexual behaviors. Expanded research on the topic opened dialogues and strategies to promote an awareness f sexual behavior. Homosexuality was removed from a list of mental disorders thereby paving the way for an enhanced understanding of health in the context of homosexuality (WHO, 2007). Politicians: Common Targets Sex has continued to permeate as a permanent fixture in the United States political arena.
If we consider the well-publicized scandals at the early days of the republic, we can substantially agree that media freedom contributed well to our knowledge. This is a price politicians have to pay for living within the limelight of press freedom (Apostolidis and Williams, 2004: 7). From Jefferson’s sexual affairs, Kennedy’s sexual indulgences and Clinton’s sexual adventures, public officials have notoriously strayed beyond the bounds of sexual propriety (Apostolidis and Williams, 2004: 7).
These scandals are discussed to investigate an abuse of power and influence to some extent but more commonly, America’s desire to talk about it spins the essential reason for its being. Politicians are easy targets in a discourse that stages the regulatory practice of powerful men. Betsy Wright, (a Clinton campaign chair) once said that enormous amounts of money was on the streets as tabloid newspapers and televisions were looking for a Clinton mistress ready to tell all whom they could pay off (Shields, Whayne and Kelley, 2004: 30).
Although the law often exercises a general presumption of innocence especially on gossips involving sex and politics, other political rivals demand for an eruption to be told. Their lives are placed in public scrutiny while media created a salacious story while the public decide. To protect their position, politicians in turn exercise control by bringing in the big guns for a major cover-up that could exonerate them from the accusation. Such collusion within the government and media in an attempt to break free from a sex scandal may or may not change public sentiment.
The socially injured politician could be likely subjected to blackmail as the public’s interest in their personal details catches attention. Analysis Within a political rubric, a sex scandal issue questions the morality of an individual thereby accusing him of misconduct and wrongdoing. Investigating the nature of a sex act, much fuss has been delegated over a sexual scandal despite the fact that the human sexuality has explained how the sexual aspect of human nature does not conform to solitude and celibate life. Humans have a clear need for sex that ultimately goes far beyond reproduction (Diamond, 1998: 67).
This mindless act is understood as a vital part of life as scientific studies proved naturally how human responses are dependent on stimulus and how one works for self-gratification in Freudian principles. In a male-female relationship, the woman is seen as the giver of sex while man, as the taker. In a much diverse and modern understanding of sexuality, theories explaining sexual responses understand and accept that homosexuality is not a choice but simply an alternative means to find love and intimacy (Giddens, 2006:436).
The above ideas magnify the societal changes that have provided a deeper understanding of the human sexual response in a world where sexual roles change depending upon human mastery. Criticisms that sought to break free from an understanding of human sexual response support an American archaic obscenity law that condones sex between married couples alone. A code of conduct is invisibly used to castigate those sexual encounters that go beyond the accepted “married couple” standard including homoeroticism and auto eroticism perhaps.
It is quite clear that America despite claiming egalitarianism still borders on Victorian conservatism that has often been an issue of “double standard”. The rich technology and passage into modernity has paved way for a modern view on the subject yet where sexual lives of political leaders are discussed. Such ironies are encountered when America’s social make-up demands salacious discussion on erotic escapades of public personalities and political figures. Such indecent behaviors are held out in the open like a frosting on a highly palatable cake while the public greedily eyes it.
The sexual aspect of human nature is terribly disregarded in an effort to point fingers to the sexual perpetrator. In campaign attacks, sexual stories are blown up to portray an animalistic behavior inherent in rival political figures in order to tarnish his character and respectability. The fuss over sex scandals only serve to portray how America has a limited understanding on human sexuality and despite the presence of numerous books, journals and online resources that strive to explain it.
Conclusion Our problem strives to answer whether we are in a ripe age of modernity to understand sex scandals in the face of political maneuvers and machinations while relying on the scientific principles of human nature’s response to sexual behavior regardless of gender and identity. America, I believe is steadily approaching and understanding of political maneuvers and machinations as we are suddenly faced with numerous allegations of illicit sexual activities.
The past few decades have allowed us to display a relaxed attitude towards sex as schools and universities strive to impart a better understanding of the subject. Where prominent political figures are concerned however, the American public is deeply dependent on the media and is often quick to point a finger to a perpetrator of prominence. Politicians have received public ridicule over gossips despite the fact that American law exercises a general presumption of innocence especially on gossips involving sex and politics.
The American sentiment against sexual wrongdoings still border on Victorian ideas and there is an apparent need for social reform within this context. The human nature and understanding of the wrong doer is stripped indiscriminately applied over in politics in the face of an American public quick to cast a finger without further ado. Recommendations We do not strive to suggest the political and moral responsibility of individuals in public office but rather dwell on an understanding of sexual behavior of men.
We strive to impart the knowledge that America needs to understand the basics of human sexuality before it can gain foothold on a publicized discussion of political sexual scandals. Not only do we uphold media responsibility but strive to insist on legitimacy and credibility of media coverage in sex scandal cases among accused public officials. It has been commonplace for sex scandal issues to be used against a candidate during campaigns. Such attacks and mudslinging has been associated with an election strategy launched against a potential rival and in the end portray American ignorance.
Nor do we support that evidence against sexual scandals be stonewalled, concealed and obstructed. Our main aim is merely to procure an understanding of human sexuality as a human nature and an acceptance of natural responses to consensual sexual behavior regardless of gender and identity. There is also a need for America to exercise a deeper understanding of human sexuality. I believe that in fact there is a boiling need for reform on generalized views that should be the basis for a future study. Reference Apostolidis, Paul and Williams, Juliet.
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