Sexual drive has several functions in a male’s life. The most obvious is procreation. Another common force is the fight-or-flight impulse that empowers a person to achieve superhuman strength for defense or escape from threatening danger.
Scientists have studied how sexual drive influences business activity. One study conducted by a Cambridge neuroscientist who had been a trader at Goldman Sachs Group and Deutsche Bank for 10 years showed that testosterone surges can drive the stock market.
The test measured samples of spit taken from 17 traders from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. over eight business days to record the rise and fall of testosterone levels during the market session. The results were revealing. An upsurge in testosterone priming during a successful trading period makes the winner more confident that he can win again by taking more risk.
The same theory can be applied to the compulsive gambler at the gaming tables. The professor was convinced that biology has an effect on economics. It might explain the giddy energy of a long bull market reflecting a surge in testosterone.
Taking these examples another step, the testosterone theory can be applied to powerful politicians and corporate executives. Sex scandals involving prominent personalities have become everyday news events. The number of elected officials who have been forced to resign or failed in re-election because of their improper behavior is no longer covered up. The same issue is also hitting the boardrooms of Fortune 500 companies.
Two high-profile corporate figures who violated the code of ethics set by their boards of directors are Harry Stonecipher of Boeing and Steven Heyer of Hewlett-Packard among others. When confronted with adulterous affairs or improper relationships with women in the workplace, the directors have the power to fire the CEO.
This is not possible with an elected public official. San Diego faces this dilemma in dealing with the discredited Mayor Bob Filner. What he has done has been repeated by more prominent politicians over many years. Most have had the good grace to resign and stay out of public notice. However, many have returned to seek another elected office despite their prior disgrace.
I sometimes wonder if they get re-elected because of name recognition. Or does the public forget and forgive? Shame on the voters.
There is no shortage of high-profile politicians who were pressured to resign from their lofty positions but are running for a new post. Anthony Weiner is probably the best known because of his juicy scandal over sexting lewd personal images to numerous Internet pals. He resigned from Congress in 2011, entered into undisclosed therapy treatment and is now campaigning for mayor of New York City. Already, he has been caught repeating his old tricks, causing his election poll ratings to slide.
An even more infamous pol whose sexual exploits brought dishonor is Eliot Spitzer, former New York state attorney general and later governor, who resigned in 2008 and is now seeking office as state comptroller. The list also includes Patrick Kennedy, Gavin Newsom and Mark Sanford.
While Filner’s lifetime political structure tumbles around him, he defiantly refuses to quit. In one week the local and national Democrat Party leaders, including many former congressional colleagues, demanded his resignation.
Eight prominent San Diego women who either worked for him or were petitioners for his support stepped forward and publicly described how they were sexually abused. Five more victims have stepped forward.
The besieged Filner scheduled a press conference July 26 widely attended by the local and national media. There was expectation that the mayor might announce his resignation.
In a brief four-minute prepared statement, he merely offered his apologies to those he offended, as he had already done, in a media-crafted video released two weeks prior.
My reaction was like a 6-year-old boy caught with his hands in the cookie jar who said that he was a bad boy and was very sorry. The only new message that came out of Filner’s announcement was that he will enter a therapy program for two weeks and then return to his desk at City Hall. No hint of giving up was revealed. No questions were taken.
As expected, the press and television reporters began interviewing local psychologists for insights into what two weeks of intense therapy could accomplish for such a long-time offender. The consensus was, not very much. Filner is in deep denial as he consistently claims he has never sexually harassed a woman as due process will prove.
After only five days of behavioral therapy, the mayor quit and went on vacation, as the movement for his recall gained traction. Let due process begin.
Ford is a freelance writer in San Diego. He can be reached at email@example.com