Aren’t you getting sick of hearing about all these politicians and other powerful people who can’t control themselves? Are you wondering if they are all just sociopaths? Are all sex addicts also sociopaths?
In the wake of my own dismay at the sheer number of sex crazed politicians, I wanted to share some thoughts with you.
First of all, one of the psychopathy researchers I respect the most is Dr. Grant Harris. He has written a seminal paper COERCIVE AND PRECOCIOUS SEXUALITY AS A FUNDAMENTAL ASPECT OF PSYCHOPATHY He says that promiscuous, coercive and precocious sex is central to the psychopathy syndrome. However, if you look at the statistics on the PCL-R the most studied method of assessing psychopathy, the two items related to sex have the lowest item correlations with the total score and do not even seem to be related strongly to Factor 2 of that test which is a measure of impulsivity. So there doesn’t seem to be a particularly strong relationship between psychopathy and sex addiction. By that I mean not every sociopath/psychopath is obviously a sex addict.
In his book The Mask of Sanity, Hervey Cleckley commented that “impersonal sex” is part of the syndrome. He also noted though that psychopaths didn’t seem to like sex all that much. Many victims I have interviewed have mentioned that. Sociopaths seem to view sex as a weapon to be used on another person or withheld from another person to hurt them.
As Donna pointed out earlier in the week, there is a strong link between sex motivation and the perception of power; there is also a link between a person’s drive for power and their drive for sex that may be related to testosterone.
When I think about Arnold, Anthony, Elliott and Bill, what I find most striking is their ability to do what I would call dissociate because I can’t think of another word for it. In the moment they are conceiving, tweeting, meeting in the hotel or messing on a dress, thoughts about their families and all of us seem to be completely gone from their minds.
Another great thinker about psychopathy is Robert Reiber, Ph.D. who I had the good fortune to chat with about this very topic in person several years ago. He thinks that this ability to dissociate is what makes a psychopath. When I asked him what he thought about the idea that psychopaths are “without conscience.” He replied, “Of course they have a conscience.” He thinks though they have an uncanny ability to dissociate from their conscience and their memories.
Neither the ideas of Harris nor Reiber bode well for our politicians. But I have learned a lesson from my dogs that might be useful here.
My daughter and I have three Ibizan Hounds, they are sight hounds who also have this uncanny ability to dissociate. When they are hunting small prey they become so focused on the moment they forget we are there and run off. We have been able to prevent this from happening through the use of training collars. We very much wanted them to be able to run free in the woods, so we had to figure out a safe way to get them to come back. They easily learned to come to us to avoid a mild shock that the collars deliver via a remote that has a one mile range. There is also a vibrate button, so after the dogs were trained, the warning vibration is all that is needed. But I have noticed that when they wear the collars they do not become as engrossed in the hunt and they readily come back to my voice. Without the collars, I can be shouting right next to them and they don’t hear me.
So the answer is simple, politicians should wear the collar, and their spouses can keep the remote!
For more discussion about sociopaths and sex see: