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The Future of Young Men In America
A new book by two Stanford University psychologists puts forth the idea that the United States is losing an entire generation of young men to video games and pornography.
A professor emeritus at Stanford University in Stanford, California and his psychologist partner have just authored a new book that puts forth the idea that the United States is losing an entire generation of young men to video games and pornography. Philip Zimbardo and psychologist Nikita Duncan express their concerns for the future of America’s boys soon-to-be-men in a book called "The Demise of Guys: Why Boys are Struggling and What We Can Do About It." Zimbardo has long been a respected expert in the field of social psychology, and as such, his latest opinions on human behavior problems carry substantial weight.
In their book, the authors show the disconcerting fact that by the time an American boy hits the age of 21 years, he has probably played an average of about 10,000 hours of video games, which equals 14 months of his entire life, day and night, mostly by himself. The book also points out that the typical U.S. teen boy also watches an average of about 50 pornography video clips every week these days. The effects of those activities are not good, says Zimbardo, who puts forth that “the boys' brains are being digitally rewired for change, novelty, excitement, and constant arousal. That means they're totally out of sync in traditional classes, which are analog, static, interactively passive." In case you’re looking for a simpler translation of Zimbardo’s psychological observations, he says the real problem is that American boys are “flaming out academically and wiping out socially with girls and sexually with women."
Verified social statistics seem to bear out Zimbardo’s theories as American boys are 30 percent more likely to drop out of high school than girls, two-thirds of current special-ed students are male, and girls outperform boys’ at all educational levels, from grade school to graduate school. Other studies concur in that U.S. college males also display rising levels of the fear of intimacy with the females in their lives. In the “What We Can Do About It” book, Zimbardo goes on to blame excess Internet use, video gaming, and porn for the rise in dysfunctional males, and that video games and porn are categorized as arousal addictions where variety and the surprise factor constantly feed the attraction.
Zimbardo and Duncan claim these new types of addictions trap users “in an expanded present hedonistic time zone," where the past and future become increasingly distant, and the present is "totally dynamic, with images that are changing constantly." Put simply, video games impair the users' ability to deal with reality, and porn creates “a cycle of isolation and indulging in it correlates with depression and poor physical health.” Although the avid gamers and porn fans in the U.S. today might dispute the authors’ ultimate conclusions, it would be difficult to ague with his premise that “Spending one's time making fake love and fake war does not produce a real man.”
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