Fidelity among couples is a desirable bidirectional virtue. Fidelity test for the female spouse is available in our “civilised” era. But there is no parallel Fidelity test for the male of the species. This has greater relevance as the worldwide documented incidence of infidelity (extramarital exploits) is higher in the males.
Not very long ago I came across a book entitled : “Sex and Circumstance: Humanity in History” by Robert B. Greenblat, MD, a renowned endocrinologist who has assembled 44 vignettes of famous and infamous personalities. Some are here to share with the reader:
William Gladstone (1809-1898), four times Prime Minister of England under Queen Victoria had a proclivity for “fallen women”. John F. Kennedy (1917-1963) suffered from a psychosexual disorder akin to nymphomania in women. In the males it is called hypersexuality, and its severe form is satyriasis, in which the urge for sexual gratification is uncontrollable (it is a chromosomal anomaly). JFK used the White House as a rendezvous for women. W.L. Mackenzie (1874-1950), Canada’s PM for 21 years had predilection for prostitutes. The Italian dictator, Benito Mussolini (1883-1945) shut down the brothels in Rome, yet hardly a day passed without him seducing some women. Joseph Stalin (1879-!953), the “Russian Steelman” exhorted the masses to wholesome family life for the sake of Mother Russia, but liquidated at least two of his three wives.
Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821), a great soldier and Emperor of France,
left a great legacy to European history, yet his personal life was a pathetic failure of love. Unfortunately, Napolean confused virility with fertility. During his military campaign in Egypt in 1798, he took a mistress, and was to marry her only if she became pregnant. This was not to happen, but proved that he was sterile.
Adolf Hitler (1889-1945), the German Nazi dictator while glorifying the Aryan race, so degraded his six intimates that each attempted or succeeded in committing suicide. Hitler’s lack of gonadal adequacy was attributed to his possession of only one testicle. H. W. Goering (1893-1946), Nazi leader and a part of Hitler’s inner circle was tried at Nuremberg for war crimes and poisoned himself before he could be executed. Goering suffered from a pseudo-Frolich’s syndrome (marked by obesity and small genitals), and was called ‘the fat man’.
These are examples of the parallel lives of some of the ‘greats’ of the past. The present is known to the reader. In part, gonadal, moral, and psychic factors explain such behaviour. Perhaps, a fidelity test for the male would never happen.
Image of couple (c) Gettyimages.com