Jerry Sandusky: Extreme “Dominator”

Penn State’s sexual predator Jerry Sandusky was sentenced to 30-60 years in prison for his crimes. No surprise there. And also no surprise that Sandusky used the sentencing hearing to continue to lash out at others. His lack of accountability may seem shocking to many, but it comes as no surprise to me. His behavior follows the pattern of an extreme “Dominator” type of personality, as I call it in “Pack Leader Psychology.”

Clearly, it takes a tremendous lack of accountability and non-existent moral character to be a sexual predator with numerous victims and dozens of incidents over many years. Anyone with even a minimum of moral understanding and compassion for others recognizes that what he did was wrong.

Yet his criminal behavior is exactly in keeping with what extreme “Dominators” do:  They target a weaker, helpless victim, because they know the egregious behavior is less likely to be challenged or questioned. Crimes like Sandusky’s are not about sexual satisfaction so much as exerting dominance, control, manipulation and even terror over their victims. A weaker victim is not likely to criticize, complain, shame or humiliate. This points to the inner insecurity that these bullies live with. They prefer relationships with those who are much more submissive, so less likely to call them out on their misbehaviors. Avoiding shame and criticism as a way to defend weak self-worth is the Dominator’s key goal.

Sandusky’s speech at the hearing was apparently a lengthy rant about his unjust conviction, his desire to appeal and his claims that he only wanted to help the children involved. He went to great pains to paint himself as a sainted hero, not the manipulative criminal he is. All of this is textbook behavior for an extreme Dominator: Complete refusal to accept accountability for his actions.

With someone this extreme, I’m sure his lack of personal accountability was in evidence in other areas of his life for many years. Too bad nobody called him out on this general personality trait earlier in his life. It might have saved many children from devastating harm. As I write in my book, this is the real role of the pack leader and the pack — to teach pack members how to behave. Courts and jail time should be last resorts. We all need to step up and discipline others and enlighten them about the need for personal accountability in all areas of their life.