General Question

lapilofu's avatar

Is there a disorder (and therefore a name) for the condition of being attracted to authority figures?

Asked by lapilofu (4325points) August 14th, 2008

And is it more prevalent in one gender than another?

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12 Answers

wundayatta's avatar

Are you talking about suckups? Teacher’s pets? Toadies? Sycophants? Students? Anyone who venerates a teacher, a spiritual leader, or a secular leader? Or are you looking for something more about being romantically attracted to authority figures?

ccatron's avatar

what’s wrong with being attracted to authority figures? why does it have to be a “disorder”?

I think animals and humans are naturally attracted people with power. not always in a romantic way, though. so, i would have to answer “human nature”.

lapilofu's avatar

@daloon: I meant romantically/sexually.

lapilofu's avatar

@ccatron: What I’m trying to get at in my question is not the simple natural human attraction to power that most of us experience, but the condition that would cause a person to take that to damaging lengths—a person who involves themselves sexually with their psychiatrist, a person who habitually dates people significantly older because they have power, or a student who goes after teachers (or is susceptible to their advances). And so on and so forth.

wundayatta's avatar

It’s the same thing either way. It’s the status differential, and power is sexy. It makes sense evolutionarily. You want the strongest genes in your progeny, and people with power have demonstrated a likelihood that they’ve got good genes (at least in terms of earning status).

trumi's avatar


wundayatta's avatar

Bless you!

missjena's avatar

There really is a scientific name for this. In all seriousness but I can’t remember.

ninjaxmarc's avatar


marinelife's avatar

It is usually a case of issues with the male parental authority figure in the person’s life. It happens more often with women.

Knotmyday's avatar

I think you are describing what Freud termed the “Electra Conflict,” which is a kind of transference. Ever read Nabokov?

“Don’t stand so close to me…” The Police

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