After Mark Sanford, Eliot Spitzer, John Ensign, and now Anthony Weiner, a sex scandal involving a male politician is barely even shocking anymore. What would be shocking? A sex scandal involving a female politician. And research points to a reason for that other than the widely accepted “boys will be boys.” Women are less likely to run for office than men, and when they do so, it’s because they want to “do something,” says one expert. Men, on the other hand, run because they want to “be somebody.” As a result, women handle the job differently once elected, the New York Times reports.
Female politicians feel scrutinized and under pressure to work harder and prove themselves, says another expert. Though there are fewer of them in the House of Representatives, women introduce more bills and give more of the short speeches that open daily sessions. That’s not to say there are no female sex scandals in politics—just last year, Nikki Haley was accused of adultery—but they seem tame in comparison to their male counterparts. “There are certain men that the more visible they get, the more bulletproof they feel,” says President Clinton’s former press secretary. “You just don’t see women doing that; they don’t get reckless when they’re empowered.”