Tiger Woods is the latest in a long list of men whose marital betrayal has made headlines. According to experts, the nation’s fascination with famous men who stray is nothing new.
In recent months, John Edwards, Mark Sanford, Eliot Spitzer, and others have faced similar allegations and public scrutiny.
Some believe the media has used the public transgressions to paint a sexual picture normalizing the behavior.
As such, a Wake Forest University professor has profiled male sexual behavior and how stereotypes compare with the norm.
Andrew Irwin-Smiler explains, “As a culture, we have a perception that men just want sex and that all men are promiscuous.”
“But the research shows that while men do have more partners than women, most men only have one partner at a time.”
His research shows that the majority of boys and men prioritize and value emotional connection to their partner.
Smiler’s research also shows that the popular media fuels the perception that men are promiscuous with television characters such a Fonzie in Happy Days, Hawkeye Pierce in Mash, Sam Malone in Cheers, Joey Tribbiani in Friends and Charlie Harper in 2 ½ Men.
The high-profile scandals involving public figures only add to the common misperceptions of men’s sexual behavior.
“The question is whether the media reflects reality or creates reality?” Smiler says.
Source: Wake Forest University