Why So Few Female Politician Sex Scandals?

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From Mark Sanford to Eliot Spitzer to John Ensign to John Edwards to Bill Clinton, the American political system offers no shortage of male sex scandals. But what about the ladies? Why don't they ever have any salacious and news-worthy rolls in the hay, NPR Senior News Analyst Cokie Roberts recently asked to a panel of female Senators. OK, we'll bite. What's the answer?

  • Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand: We're Too Busy  The New York Democrat, present at Roberts' panel, answered, "You're in the middle of diapers and bottles and bills and votes and markups, how could you possibly think about doing anything else?" Texas Republican Kay Bailey Hutchison agreed.
  • Dana Perino: Proof We Need More Women in Gov't  As Think Progress' Amanda Terkel recounts, "In reaction to South Carolina Mark Sanford's (R) extramarital affair last year, former Bush press secretary Dana Perino said the answer was to '[e]lect more women. No woman I know has the time for such trysts, nor do I know any who say the desire one. They’re too busy trying to keep all the plates spinning at home, at work, and at the gym to make sure none fall and break.'"
  • The Stats Just Make Women Look Less Scandal-Ridden  Matthew Yglesias shrugs. "But as best I can tell research indicates that married women are just as likely to cheat as married men, and certainly it seems to me that the men of the US Senate are also quite busy. I’m really not sure the sample size is anywhere near large enough to draw any conclusions about important women in politics having affairs." He reminds us, "the vast majority of male politicians are never embroiled in a sex scandal—possibly because the vast majority of male politicians don’t do any scandalous stuff."
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