The Sex Difference in Sex Scandals

There are some things that you can’t change about genetics and attraction I guess – no matter how far we have come. I posted this with regards to how women and men are viewed when they are in positions of power – and what is considered acceptable traits for one are actually detractors for the other.  Think about all the scandals involving famous men – Kobe, Magic Johnson, Sir Charles, Presidents Clinton/Kennedy, White House Staff, Finance Moguls, Celebrities — most of them weather the storm of bad press and resume their careers. Some even seem more famous and  powerful post scandal. As a society it seems to be the norm. Sad…

One has to do with what we typically consider attractive and/or sexy in men versus women. For better or worse … as a culture, we see competence and power as very attractive features in a man. The more power and competence a man and his position (and money) denote, the more attractive he will seem to a whole host of women. This, by the way, explains the appeal of the military flight suit. I single out the flight suit, as opposed to military dress uniforms, because there is nothing inherently attractive in what military pilots refer to as their “green bags.” And yet, a pilot walking into a bar in one increases his chances of getting a date by an order of magnitude over a guy in a t-shirt and jeans. Why? Because the flight suit denotes competence and a certain level of power.

A woman pilot wearing a flight suit into a bar, on the other hand, will see her chances of a date fall. Why? Because (and again, this is a general trend, there are always exceptions), we don’t see competence and power as sexy in a woman. If anything, they’re threatening. When I bought my current airplane 12 years ago, (a simple, four-seat, single engine model), a male friend of mine congratulated me on the purchase, but then added,

“You know, Lane, this is not exactly going to help your love life.”

Is that image changing? Of course it is. More and more men are waking up to the benefits and appeal of a smart, competent, independent and powerful woman. But as a culture, what makes a woman appealing is still her looks, not her power.