What do you think of the theory that "powerful" men are programmed to cheat?

United States
December 2, 2009 9:49pm CST
Hello all. We hear a lot in the news about politicians, sports stars, CEOs, stars and such cheating. Men and women both, but more often men for some reason. There is a scientific theory based on tests and brain scans that men able to reach such heights of power, are genetically pre-disposed to cheating, in part because of higher than normal levels of testerone. Supposedly, this is part of what allows them the drive to become powerful in some way, but also tempts them to cheat? What do you think about this? And even if it's true, is that really a good excuse to cheat? Do you think the urge could be resisted if the person really wanted to resist it? I won't mention here my personal beliefs on that...I'll save it for responding in to your comments :) Thank you. Karen
4 people like this
22 responses
• United States
3 Dec 09
There are many different reasons why relationships do not work out. One of them is because of unfaithfulness. Not the other way around. I was reading some other articles here on the topic, and it seems the popular view is that people are unfaithful because the relationship is not working. Wrong. It is not working because of the unfaithfulness, even just thinking about it, and the guilt that is attached to it. Now, I am not saying it is ok to be unfaithful and you should have a guiltless affair. But what I am saying is that it's in our nature. Think about it this way. In evolution, an animal's soul purpose in life is to survive. Now it is not just a matter of the animal's individual survival, but the survival of the whole pack. Ok? Not only that, but the pack needs to evolve and be able to change and become bigger and stronger. So how do they do that? Well, one way is that they have an alpha male and female. The alpha is the strongest, the one that will be the main reproducer for the next generation. It's all about mixing genes to produce a better generation. Back to people. Men produce millions and millions of sperm every day of their lives. Why so much? Especially when women only produce one egg, once a month. And that's only for a few years of her life. So if we compare it to my example of gene mixing in animals, you have a few conclusions. Men have millions of sperm...it only takes one to fertilize an egg. So why so many? In actuality, of all those millions of sperm, there are only a few that are meant to reach the egg, like a quarterback in a football team. So again, so many? What are all those other sperm for? They are like warrior sperm. They are the pons to ward off the enemies so the quarterback sperm can reach the goal. I started to use a football analogy, so I'll stick with it. What about the other team? Well, exactly. Why would we need a full team, if we're not up against another? Keeping in mind the idea of evolution and gene mixing for the better next generation, since women can only produce one egg, only once a month, and only during the years that she's fertile, she needs to choose wisely who she sleeps with. For one, she's obviously going to be seeking out the alpha males. But how do you know who the alpha male is? And in a civilization like ours, it could take quite awhile to figure out whether the guy you're talking to is an alpha. Hell, especially with online dating, it's pretty random. So even if you do find an alpha guy, how dominant is he? Who are you comparing him to? And how can you be sure he's the best? Take football again, how do you know you're team's the best? You take another team that say their the best and you have them compete. So that's why women and men cheat. It's in their nature
3 people like this
• United States
3 Dec 09
Hello Hatter. I have to agree that it's in our nature to have urges to do "wrong," or be tempted, but my personal belief is that we don't have to cave in to those urges just because they exist within us. And the urge to be promiscuous is only one of many. Yes, a man produces many more sperm than a woaman eggs, but then a woman produces far more eggs then she could ever carry and birth babies. Funny you should compare it with animals. I was doing some research on the subject, and one authority called it the "bull in a field" analogy. But, the biological need to populate the earth fully with people has long been unnecessary, and today, promiscuity or unfaithfulness with multiple people tends only to populate the earth with more and more deadly STD's, divorces, broken relationships in general, and emotional wrecks! Thank you for your insights. Karen
1 person likes this
@kashers (649)
• Jamaica
4 Dec 09
geryhatter i see that u can mess up your womans head with a theory so strong y u r gonna cheat,cheating can be avoided,whether they are rich people middle class or poor people,u just have to be very discipline and have the respect enough to walk away from your woman if your gonna cheat from i have known myself i never cheated,not once i have alot of respect for the woman i am involved with i will not say that i don't chat flirt a little,but when it comes on to go making love with another,its best if i just walk away and get involved with the other
1 person likes this
• India
3 Dec 09
Hi Karen, I think wise men are already powerful or, they will be "powerful" someday. They don't need to cheat to be one. They don't prefer cheating either. But men who are weak and ignorant will certainly take the shortcut to be "powerful" i.e. by cheating individuals and by cheating the mass. This method is of course, quick and effective, but I am not sure if it is permanent, or the person concerned can hold that position for a considerably long time. Another very thoughtful discussion from Karen... I really appreciate it... Take care... God bless you
2 people like this
• United States
3 Dec 09
Hello :) Power indeed comes in many forms. And those in high-profile positions of power with everything material a mortal being could want just never seem to have enough. What they cannot buy, they often feel entitled to take. It's always astonishing to me that the wealthy people never seem to have enough, and will actually resort to theft and cheating to acquire even more. Karen
1 person likes this
• India
3 Dec 09
Hmmm. I have my own consideration on ignorance. We often confine ourselves with a false belief that the things we are going to accumulate are going to stay with us forever. Very few people can distinguish permanent things from temporary ones. True belief in God always clears this conception. In our journey only the lucky few among us have the realization that only thing that can be said permanent here is God. One who has known the divinity also knows the falsity of material quests. He knows fully well that these material stuffs can only give you pleasure which is momentary. But do we really seek pleasure? Or is it the pleasure that makes us happy? I think pleasure brings to us more dissatisfaction and want of pleasure. Happiness and peace can't be acquired by it. It is this ignorance, the want and desire comes from and its totally misleading and destructive for one's own and to others as well.
2 people like this
• United States
3 Dec 09
You are right, my friend. Everything, including the bodies in which our spirits live, here on earth is temporary. We take none of it into the next world with us. The more people acquire, the less happy or content they seem to be, as near as I can tell. I feel that if we need and want less, we are far more content. The same holds true for us when we emphasize the spiritual rather than the temporal.
@malamar (784)
• Canada
3 Dec 09
Hi there Peaceful, it's been a long time... "Powerful" men = programmed to cheat? Nah, I think not. Shallow, faithless, narcissistic men - maybe. I think a truly strong man (or woman, for that matter) sticks to his morals, values and the sanctity of marriage. The animal urge to procreate is best left to either the animals, or to man within his committed relationship only. It saddens me to hear and watch the shameless adulterous antics of the so called rich, famous, or powerful. Because you are in a position of power, then this somehow justifies cheating? There is no good excuse for cheating, there just isn't.
• United States
3 Dec 09
Hi Malamar. How have you been? I do agree with you. I think the "programmed to cheat" thing is more one of ego and position than one of biology. Some feel a sense of entitlement, or they pay off others to be quiet or to comply. Others do it because they can or because they have a misguided notion of being above normal laws of decency. That is my take. It saddens me, too, to know that it is so prolific. From what we know of history, it always has been. It's just more rapidly and widely publicized these days. Loyalty and morals keep most of us from caving in to our baser "instincts." Karen
1 person likes this
@malamar (784)
• Canada
3 Dec 09
I am doing very well Karen, and you? I can't speak for a cheater, but I can question why? Do they realize the pain and suffering they are going to bring down on someone? Do they care? How can anyone trade moments of carnal bliss for the happiness and well-being of their loved one? Add children to the mix, and the outcome can only be more pain and disruption. I have seen first hand the damage done to a relationship when one partner chooses to cheat. Loss of trust, lowered self-esteem; the penalties are huge that are heaped upon the innocent partner. I say "chooses to cheat" because adultery really is a choice. Why don't these people just stay single in the first place? I feel the same disgust for the "other woman" as I feel for the cheating husband. People of both genders who willingly and knowingly participate in illicit affairs deserve whatever bad consequences come their way.
2 people like this
• United States
3 Dec 09
I'm good, too, Malamar, thank you. No, I don't think cheaters (male or female) care about the pain and damage they're causing at the time. I agree, it is always a "choice," and one can say no to such choices, for what can possibly be gained compared to what stands to be lost? The irony? I've read that often, it isn't even about the physical gratification. Strange, that. I think too many of us know first-hand of the pain and betrayal caused by cheating. And yes, kids, too. They always suffer at the hands of whatever adults are caring for them. It is sad all around! Karen
1 person likes this
@iamzhh (139)
• China
3 Dec 09
without cheating they can't get their profile or the profile of nation.
2 people like this
• United States
3 Dec 09
Hi Iamzhh. I know it does bring them additional "press." I still cannot understand fully or condone how common it is. Karen
1 person likes this
@thea09 (18324)
• Greece
3 Dec 09
Hi Karen, I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that generally speaking a lot of them would be totally unattractive to anyone if they weren't successful and powerful so it all goes to their heads and they finally have a chance to sow the oats that usually happens to with the young, but then they were too dull and unattractive to attract anyone so probably ended up with a very dull woman in the first place who also had no sparkle, so then look for a newer model to fit in with their new stature. Your own Donald Trump is a prime example, I actually like the chap but lets face it he's hardly Mr Attractive with that hair do and paunch, but he's always got the glam type on his arm. Do you think he still would have if he was a road sweeper. The same goes with politicians, at least the UK variety. However there are some who wield power who I do think become attractive with it such as Andrew Neil, but that's brains and charisma as well as power. Another good example would be Vladimir Putin whose power makes him an attractive figure despite the fact that he appears to be very short, his power gives him stature. Cheating or adultery is much more the norm though in Europe where men have their mistresses and their wives have their lovers, so it really isn't such a big thing. Whilst in America there seems to be a double standard for this, Clinton made the world press for months and months with his cupboard saga but you never heard about JFK being hounded over Marilyn.
2 people like this
• United States
3 Dec 09
Hi Thea. You make some very interesting points. Many in power are not the most handsome of personable of the human species, to be sure. And I do believe some women like to "rub elbows" with a lifestyle they might otherwise never know. I think perhaps cheating is more widely accepted in Europe, as you've said, but it goes on a whole lot here, too. It's somehow the covering it up that makes it seem even worse...all the original denials in light of the obvious. True, in years past, such as with JFK and his affairs, the media didn't get hold of it so fast as they do now. Interesting subject to explore, but it sure causese a lot of devastation! Karen
@lindiebiz (1013)
• Canada
3 Dec 09
The reason I believe that powerful men tend to cheat is because they are always tempted. A lot of women especially those with ambission always seek out these men to get what something from them. One of Tiger Wood's misstress released a voicemail from him and even when she was asked to be discrete about the affair to his wife, she released it to the whole world. It takes a principled man not to fall for the wimps and caprices of such girls.
• United States
3 Dec 09
Hi Lindie. Temptation is always there for anyone, but yes, I believe those in positions of fame or power run into it far more often than average people do. Still, there are choices they need to make, and it IS a choice. My understanding of the Tiger Wood's affairs is that each was initiated by him, not any of the women, so that is all I'll say about that. Karen
@junmae (1592)
• Philippines
3 Dec 09
Hi Karen! I haven't heard of that theory yet, but i believe in it. Because most of powerful men are in higher position in society and they tend to cheat because they want more money and power. Here in our country, all of the politicians and powerful personalities are the one who rob the wealth of my country and they uses there power to get whatever they want. I think that's the rule of life, people who are powerful are never contented on what they have and get more out of it.
2 people like this
• United States
3 Dec 09
Hello Junmae :) For sure, money and power always seem to go hand and hand in politics and other higher positions in public. And you're right, however one looks at it, most money is made, after the initial output of the wealthy in the way of work, either by inheritance or off the backs of the middle class and the poor. Such a shame. And yes, too many of these wealthy people in positions of power think that they can do as they wish and buy what they please, however wrong it may be. Karen
1 person likes this
@Hatley (164772)
• Garden Grove, California
3 Dec 09
hi Karen you know God gave men brains to think with, and they are in ones head,not in ones other little head. A powerful man I would think could still resist wrong urges and be faithful to his wife if he just used the brains and conscience God gave to him. I think they may use the theory as an excuse as some powerful men do not cheat and stay true to the woman they married. My view is that they can resist any urge if they love and care for their mate And respect themselves too.
2 people like this
• United States
3 Dec 09
I couldn't agree more, Hatley. We're all tempted to do wrong at times, and even bent in that directions in many areas...but, do we?? No. It's called resisting temptation or even normal urges that might cause hurt, so I agree...if a man wishes NOT to cheat, then he can fight those urges or take it home to his mate. Karen
1 person likes this
• India
25 Dec 09
Hello my friend PeacefulWmn9 Ji, I think it is an psychological and un-satisfied situation, wherea person with lot of wealth also is caught stealing. It is just to satisfy one's ego. Genetically, men may have more power, but women too are not less , so they command on men. A scientist, who developed Atom/Hydrozen bomb, may be partially blamed for his wisdom to make it, but user has to be blamed upto brim. A wise person can find out better ways for safe cheating and come out inflying colors. Further, it is how one's childhood has been handled, if there was a bit negligence where child felt un-secured, such things will happen at later stage in life. Wishing you a very happy Chrismas and New Year-2010. May God bless You and have a great time.
1 person likes this
• United States
26 Dec 09
Hello my friend. I think all of the things you have mentioned do play a role. And I agree that women are not less, just powerful in different ways...for instance, we can have children and do many things while caring for them. God seems to have a special purpose for all of us :)) Karen
1 person likes this
@dorannmwin (36698)
• United States
6 Dec 09
Well, I've seen in my own life that men are more prone to cheating in a relationship than a woman is. I guess that in and of itself can be attributed to the levels of testosterone in the human body. That said, to a certain degree I can see why men that are in positions of power would have more ability to cheat as well because they constantly have women falling at their feet throughout their lives. Plus, it is ingrained into a man's mind that they have to reproduce and what better way is there to reproduce than to have many different partners.
1 person likes this
• United States
7 Dec 09
Hi Dorann. I can also see the whys of it, but I think if these men really tried, they could avoid the temptation to cheat, whatever drives it. We women do it all the time! Well, most of us :) Karen
@ANTIQUELADY (36489)
• United States
4 Dec 09
I think it sounds like a bunch of b/s that was probably made up by some cheating man. I never cheated on either of my husbands but am pretty sure my 2nd one cheated on me. I don't think it's right to cheat, i don't care who u are.
1 person likes this
• United States
6 Dec 09
LOL, Jo. I wrote a rather long article about this just a few days ago, and oddly enough, when quoting expert sources, I did notice that every single dr. and scientist among them was indeed a man! I agree...there is no good excuse for unfaithfulness...none! Karen
@gx7001lm (63)
• Malaysia
4 Dec 09
high position comes with huge responsibility, these people have to realize that others are always looking at their every single action. in such case it is not cheating any more but abusing of power. these people need high level of integrity as well so that they are able to overcome such temptation. no one can bury their evil deeds forever, sooner or later someone would find it out. if these people still abuse their power even after thinking through of all these then i would say that they do their job because of greed which links with money, higher position and greater reputation. such job should be done with an attitude of leading others to a higher level.
1 person likes this
• United States
4 Dec 09
Hi Gx. "High position comes with huge responsibility." I agree so much with you. Unfortunately, some abuse that position rather than respecting it. So often, again unfortunately, power does breed greed. And to think of all the good some could achieve in such a position. Karen
@kashers (649)
• Jamaica
4 Dec 09
i know nothing of that theory its the first i am seeing or hearing it but truthfully in my own knowledge,a real powerfull man can never be programmed to do what he doesn't want to do,if he is truly powerfull then he is in control of all programming.if he can be programmed easily just by urges alone then he is not powerfull he is very weak,and needs to have a more deeper training on what powerfull is,
1 person likes this
• United States
4 Dec 09
Hi Kashers. When I was reading up on this, I should have said more "prone" to cheating perhaps, rather than programmed. The so-called experts who study such things say that powerful men have higher levels of male hormones and lower levels of something else that make them "want" to cheat more often than an average person. But...this does not mean they have to give in to that desire. All of face and walk away from many temptations to do wrong in a lifetime, yes? Karen
@ronnyb (6125)
• Jamaica
4 Dec 09
I dont think that its powerfull men per say ,I think its a case of all men .Maybe these men have the financial capacity to do so and maybe more inflated egos and sense of self but it is not restricted to only powerfull men and I would say men in general.Granted many men would love to use this as and excuse because it would seem as if the urge to cheat is out of their control
1 person likes this
• United States
4 Dec 09
Hi Ronny. I read some statistics today, and while men and women both do cheat, well some of them, men do admit they cheat more often. The urge to cheat, in my own opinion, is not out of their control. We could all cheat, but we don't. We either stay away from temptations, or when faced with them, we walk away to remain loyal and loving to our partner. Karen
@dong88 (796)
• China
4 Dec 09
Hello,Karen! I do not think that way, the so-called "strong" man,they are good at deception,are due to environmental,organizations and the general public for their trust and connivance ,of course,their own human weaknesses of a common shape.Their own weaknesses,they were not "powerful" period ,there is just not obvious or are hidden Bale himself.
1 person likes this
• United States
4 Dec 09
Hello :) I do believe that male or female, powerful or not, we each face all kinds of temptations, and whatever our drives, most of manage to stay faithful. We fight those temptations and remain true so as not to hurt those we love. Thank you for sharing your opinion :)) Karen
@olisaur (1932)
• United States
3 Dec 09
I don't know if all "powerful" mean are prone to cheating, but I do think that a lot of them chose to reach a that certain status. I mean, I think there's something that drove them to achieve status and power, but I don't know if that power involves being able to get any woman desired, or whatnot.
1 person likes this
• United States
3 Dec 09
Scientific research shows the power types (and the ones who most often cheat) to have higher than normal levels of certain male hormones. Regardless, the cheating part is optional, as the hormone level means only a greater libido. Karen
• United States
3 Dec 09
I find it very interesting that researchers have come up with just another excuse for men and woman to be unfaithful. Of all the other important matters they have to waste time on celebrities unfaithfulness. Maybe they should research what happened to common sense instead. LOL My brother is no celebrity and he will never be faithful to who ever it is, sad to say. I believe they can and should resist... and if they cant then they have no business being involved in a serious relationship with anyone. Why get involved if you know your gonna hurt the other person your involved with? That to me is plan greed. Then again having marital affairs is greed because the guilty person is looking at their own selfish desires not that of their partner.
1 person likes this
• United States
3 Dec 09
Hi Francisco. You're right. Experts and their excuses for the behavior of people can be skewed, in my opinion. Too many use those excuses for bad behavior when no true "reason" exists. I think the pain of another doesn't occur to a great extent to those inflicting the pain...or potential pain. And that is a shame. Karen
@josga2008 (320)
• Canada
3 Dec 09
Oh my. What choice of words. I mean, the word "programmed". Programing implies a programmer, which has got to make me want to ask, who is doing this programming. Programming also implies that the individual has no choice. Lets think about that for a minute. If they really don't have a choice (and programming implies that), then it isn't really their fault. People who cheat DO have a choice, and as such, are not "programmed" to do it. What I thin is valid is that people who are powerful tend to be tempted more, and attract other people to the, which again may temp them more. That's different than "programmed". This way of looking at it shows that they may have a harder time ressiting, because their power goes to their heads, but they still have a choice and are responsible for theit actions.
1 person likes this
• United States
3 Dec 09
Hi Josga. I agree about the word "programmed." It makes about as much sense to me as labeling so many of today's behaviors an "illness." What about personal choice and responsibility? Those seem to have flown out the window in today's societies. We all face temptations, but many of us choose not to cave into them. Thank you for voicing your outlooks. Karen
• Canada
3 Dec 09
I think It depends on the individual and how strong their sense of commitment is towards their significant other ..seeing as men/women in any occupation may be tempted to cheat. Also not all men in positions of power will have a higher level of testosterone.. I think wether you cheat or not depends on your values and morals and sense of commitment.
1 person likes this
• United States
3 Dec 09
Hi Searexd. I agree, much depends on the sense of loyalty to a partner, and then a lot also depends of the strength of the person moral core and conscience. Some seem to have neither, unfortunately. Thank you for your input. Karen
@djbtol (5500)
• United States
3 Dec 09
Any person (man or woman) who has set their sight on their own power and glory will not only cheat, but they will also lie and steal. That is human nature and is not limited to the powerful. The average person, when they see a minuscule bit of power they can exercise, will also cheat. It's just done on a different scale. Women are just as good at this as men. djbtol
1 person likes this
• United States
3 Dec 09
Hello Dj. Yes, they will cheat in many ways if so inclined and without conscience about it...not just physically. It's across the board, as you say, and not just a thing that exists among the famous power-people, and not just with one gender. Karen