The term scandal does not have a definite meaning or definition. It has been interpreted differently by different people depending on the issue at hand (Roskin 9). Despite the difference in definition, all scandals have one thing in common; they are all happenings which are against people expectations (Schlesinger 44).
The normally result to loss of reputation or damage of the public identity of the individual who committed the act. Therefore, scandals are normally followed by shame and recent as consequences of the actions which an individual committed.
There are various kinds of scandals that can be committed. Some of these scandals are illegal in nature since they were committed through breaching of the law that has been set by the state.
Examples of these scandals include corruption, fraud, smuggling of illegal goods into the country, organized crime, murder, rape and so on. These scandals are normally punished by law once an individual is found guilty of the allegations that are laid before him/her.
On the other hand, there are those scandals which are not illegal in nature but are against the culture and ethics of the society. These are the types of scandals which normally catch the public eye. In most instances, these scandals are committed by respected figures in the society such as religious leaders, politicians, academicians and clerics (Wright 122).
Sex scandals are among the most commonly committed offence by respected people in the society (Cantoni 14). These scandals can either be legal or illegal in nature depending on the details and extent to which the action was committed. Since time immemorial, politicians all around the world have fallen victims to this predicament which has affected their lives and careers.
As a result of their actions, most of them have become unpopular, lost public support, developed internal problems with their families and most of all; they have been forced either directly or indirectly to step down from the positions which they hold. This paper will therefore explore the extent of sex scandals and determine whether the politicians who fall victims to this predicament should resign from office or continue to hold on to their positions.
The Nature of Sex Scandals
Sex scandals can be committed by individuals of either sex in the society. This is to say that both men and women stand an equal chance of being involved in a sex scandal. However, when politicians are involved, it is the men who stand a high chance of being victims of sex scandals as compared to females. This year alone, there have been several reported cases of sex scandals. Most of these involved men.
Sex scandals can take different forms. They may take the form of a secret love affair, promiscuous sexual encounters, rape, gay relationships or inappropriate conversations and postings on social networks.
However, the most common sex scandal which is committed by politicians all around the world involves a secret affair which a politician is having behind the back of his family and the public. Bill Clinton, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Chris Lee are just some of the people who have had secret love affairs behind the back of their families and the general public.
In all of these cases, the relationship had been going on for a considerable period of time and if the story would have leaked out to the public, there was a high chance that these individuals would have continued to be involved in the affairs. Other politicians have been involved in gay encounters, situations which were shocking not only to the public but their families since they were not aware of the fact that their fellow member was gay in the first place.
Regardless of all these, a sex scandal is a sex scandal and the nature or the extent to which it was committed does not really matter. This is because the consequences that would follow are relatively the same despite the nature of the act that was committed.
In most cases, resentment and unpopularity are normally the outcome which such individual face once the scandals which they were involved have been exposed. In most cases, they are caught pants down thus they do not have a way out other than to admit to their acts and suffer the consequences (Gwendolyn 57).
As it has been earlier stressed, a clear distinction between major and minor sex scandals is not present (Berkove 155). This is because the impacts that these scandals will have on the individual, his family and the entire community will be more or less the same. At the same time, it is the public who determine the extent to which the sex scandal will be taken serious.
The media also plays a critical role in the publication of the story. This will depend upon the desire which they have on that particular frenzy. Due to the intense pressure which these politicians will be facing from the public criticism, it is always advisable for them to resign so that they can have a better chance of dealing with the issue and clear out their names.
Reasons for Resignation
Many politicians have ruined their lives and careers due to inappropriate sexual encounters which they have been involved in. Politicians are the representatives of communities and states. As such, they are expected to be law abiding, professional, employ ethics, morals and embrace cultural values in their work, actions and most importantly, their behavior (Wilson 31).
This is because they are the leaders whom the rest of the community looks up to. They are the role models and examples of many people in the society especially the youths and young adults. It is therefore a requirement for them to set the right examples that other people should follow.
They are therefore expected to act better in tricky situations which might lead to allegations such as being involved in sex scandals. Politicians are thus expected to have two strong values that will prevent them from being involved in sex scandals. Having a strong value system should be the first thing that these politicians must have.
This will guide them during such times by giving them an obligation and duty of care to their wives, family, religion, community and the entire state. The second requirement is having self control. They should be able to control themselves and avoid situations which might lead to scandals like those which are being experienced all by many politicians worldwide.
Many politicians who are involved in sex scandals fail at this. They should have acted better and avoided the situations that might have lead them to be involved in sex scandals in the first place. Their involvement is such an offence is viewed as betrayal to their family, community and their country (Michael 4).
As a result of the humiliation that may follow, such individuals should step from office since they failed at exercising the desired qualities that are required to hold such positions in the society. They should step aside and give other individuals a chance to practice proper leadership.
Most politicians who are involved in sex scandals normally deny such charges once the story has leaked out to the public. Most of them make public statements denying these allegations. When Bill Clinton was suspected of being involved in a sex scandal, he made a speech on public T.V denying these facts (Bronfenbrenner 23). Others go as far as saying that the evidence that has been brought against them has been fabricated due to political and other reasons (Lash 44).
They start to play blame game by blaming their rivals, other politicians and the media while the truth of the matter is that they are guilty of the offence in question. In India for example, an 86 year old politician who was the governor of Andhra Pradesh was forced to resign on June 2011 after being involved in a sex scandal (Lash 46). The situation was so intense that pictures and videos were brought forward as evidence against him.
Despite all these, he denied the allegations and stated that the videos were fabricated to give him a bad image. However, he came to admit to the charges much later and resigned from office. Societies should not have leaders of this kind who lie publicly and expect to get mercy from the public.
When situations get out of hand, and they have nowhere to run or hide, politicians normally accept the allegations and make public statements of apology. This is what Bill Clinton did and so did Anthony Weiner and Mark Foley (Wilson 38). This is a desperate move which not only proves that they were involved in the scandal but shows that they lack the qualities of being competent leaders. The best thing for them will be to step out of office.
The impacts of sexual scandals which politicians are involved in go much further than affecting them personally. The people who are immediately affected by these scandals are their family members; the spouses and children in particular. The acts of these politicians amount to infidelity which is a social wrong. To react to this, most marriages are broken. This brings about mental and emotional unrest which severely affects the spouses and their children.
The community and the state also suffer a heavy blow from such incidences. Politicians are the representative of the community and the state at international levels. Therefore, all aspects of their lives are closely monitored and whatever is observed is generalized to the entire community and even the state. As a result, a nation may develop a bad reputation due to sex scandals which their politicians have committed (Wilson 50).
Political sex scandals are serious offences both to the community and the state. These scandals have ruined the lives and careers of many politicians all around the world. It is therefore the duty of each and every politician to ensure that they are not victims of the predicament as it will give them, their families and societies a bad reputation. This can only be achieved by having a strong character and morals. Those who are found guilty of the act should resign from office as they are not competent enough to hold such positions.
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