Why Joe Paterno Didn't Call the Police

Since men seem more predisposed to protect each other and their organizations (see “Church, Roman Catholic”), I wondered if a powerful woman might have reacted differently. Dr. Lubit says maybe. In Milgram’s experiment, both men and women equally ignored the screams of the actor. But: “In a sexual abuse situation, women are more likely than men to identify with and protect the victim,” he says.

Also, female groups tend to connect around doing the right thing. “When women get together,” says Pollack, “they assess what the right or best thing is, and then decide as a group how to accomplish it.

“But male groups bond by suppressing shame and promoting the idea that their group is invulnerable,” he continues. “So their focus is on one another and not—in this case—the victim.”

As Edmund Burke once said: “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.”

Why do we have to keep learning that the hard way?

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