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photoArnold Schwarzenegger hasn't won the California governor's race yet, but the last minute storm of sexual allegations against him makes for a riveting study of what sticks and what doesn't at the intersection of sex and politics today.

Schwarzenegger has been publicly accused of sexual affront and humiliation by at least 16 women. His critics say that's enough to keep him out of Sacramento while his supporters say it's all exaggerated and, anyway, past bad behavior shouldn't disqualify him from taking the governor's seat.

In California, and beyond, Americans are divided, and maybe confused, over how to consider sexual behavior when a private life intersects with public service.

Click the "Listen" link to hear about the shifting boundaries of acceptable sexual behavior, and how political context can make a huge difference in public perception.


Florence George Graves, investigative journalist, one of the reporters who broke the Senator Robert Packwood sexual misconduct story in The Washington Post and resident scholar at the Womens Studies Research Center at Brandeis University

Susan Reimer, columnist for The Baltimore Sun

Peter Schrag, columnist for The Sacramento Bee, author of "Paradise Lost: California's Experience, America's Future"

This program aired on October 7, 2003.


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