A sex scandal is a scandal involving allegations or information about possibly-immoral sexual activities being made public. Sex scandals are often associated with sexual affairs of film stars, politicians, famous athletes or others in the public eye, and become scandals largely because of the prominence of the person involved, perceptions of hypocrisy on their part, or the non-normative or non-consensual nature of their sexuality. A scandal may be based on reality, the product of false allegations, or a mixture of both.
While some commentators see sex scandals as irrelevant to politics, particularly where "professional performance [does] not seem to be impaired", Gene Healy of the Cato Institute views them as not just "great fun", but a reminder "that we should think twice before we cede more power to these clowns." An increase in the prevalence of morally questionable expressions of sexuality is sometimes referred to as a sexidemic.