Leadership and Sexuality
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Leadership and Sexuality

Power, Principles and Processes

Edited by James K. Beggan and Scott T. Allison

Although both leadership and sexuality are important and heavily researched topics, there is little work that addresses the interaction of the two areas. Leadership and Sexuality: Power, Principles, and Processes is a scholarly synthesis of leadership principles with issues related to sexuality and sexual policy-making. The authors’ multi-disciplinary analysis of the topic examines sexuality in the context of many different kinds of leadership, exploring both the good and the bad aspects of leadership and sexuality.
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Chapter 4: A failure of courageous leadership: Sex, embarrassment, and (not) speaking up in the Penn State sexual abuse scandal

Jeremy Fyke, Bree Trisler and Kristen Lucas

Abstract

On November 4, 2011, news of what would become known as the “Penn State scandal” broke after a grand jury report was released that documented former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky’s sexual assault of at least eight young boys. The investigation into these horrific crimes led to the revelation that Penn State leaders actively chose to conceal the abuse for fear of bad publicity. In this chapter, we foreground the intersection of sexuality and leadership in this case. To analyze the failed communication within this case, we provide a focal narrative reconstructed from grand jury testimony and the Freeh Report. We demonstrate how the topic of sexuality—along with its taboos in workplaces generally but especially within locker rooms, in athletics, and among authority figures—led to watered-down and vague conversations, thereby exposing a lack of courage.

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