Video Games, Porn, and The Demise of Guys

Just finished watching a fascinating TED talk by Philip Zimbardo about the struggles men face entitled The Demise of Guys.  Turns out that all of those hours in front of a computer video screen are really bad for people in general and boys specifically. 

Consider first these statistics from the talk:

  • Boys are 30% more likely to drop out of school
  • Girls outperform boys at every level from elementary school through graduate programs (There is a 10% differential in the area of BA & Graduate degrees awarded)
  • Two thirds of students in Special Ed. remedial programs are boys
  • Boys are 5 times more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD than girls

Zimbardo goes on to give his suggestion that these increasingly alarming figures are the result of over stimulation and addiction to the internet resulting in what he refers to as Social Intensity Syndrome. He says it is

” a social awkwardness like you’re a stranger in a foreign land.  They don’t know what to say, they don’t know what to do, especially one-on-one with the opposite sex.  They don’t know the language of face contact, the verbal and non-verbal set of rules that enable you to comfortably be able to talk to someone else, listen to someone else.”

The difficulty with the internet and long term usage which boys are more prone to than women is that it creates arousal addiction.  Unlike drug addiction where you just want more, Zimbardo explains that arousal addiction means you always need something different.

Consider these further statistics:

  • The average boy by the time he is 21 will have played more than 10,000 hours of video games (most of that in isolation)
  • The average boy watches 50 porn clips a week on the internet. The American porn industry is the fastest growing industry in America
  • For every 400 Hollywood movies made there are 11,000 pornographic movies produced

When one considers that porn is available at a finger touch from any computer, iPad, or cell phone you realize why more and more men are forgoing the complexities of building real relationships of love with women for the quick thrill of a imitation erotic moment.  Cindy Gallop says,

“Men no longer know the difference between making love and doing porn.” 

 At the end of the talk Zimbardo laughs off the fact that he doesn’t have a solution, he’s just brings the problem to light…
… but I do have a solution.
  The Grace of God that comes through Jesus Christ.  Romans 3: 21 says: “This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe…. and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.”
Once Christian men grasp that they are really Sons of God and have taken on his righteousness the desire to view 50 porn clips a week on the internet will fade away!

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