Have you heard about this newly released book The Demise of Guys: Why Boys Are Struggling and What We Can Do About It?

Radio and talk shows are sure burning with conversations about how young men are flunking out of school, avoiding responsibility, struggling to communicate face-to-face, avoiding intimacy and are becoming addicted to being aroused. 

What is causing this arousal craze? In this brief four minute Ted Talk, Philip Zimbardo, a professor of psychology at Standford University, shares how boys are literally rewiring their brains, not to want “more” like a substance abuse addiction, but instead of “more” they are wanting “different.”

Currently for every 500 movies that Hollywood produces, the porn industry answers with 11,000 films – why? This addiction to different is creating an increased desire for variance while also revealing how little we want to repeat what we have already experienced.

Need a clearer picture?

When was the last time you wanted to replay or return to an already completed level of whatever current video game you own? How often do you re-watch the last episode of your favorite TV series?

A CNN article written last week about Dr. Zimbardo’s research says:

“Young men — who play video games and use porn the most — are being digitally rewired in a totally new way that demands constant stimulation.”

This constant arousal leaves them without the capacity to rest, recharge and choose healthy options within reality.

Researchers were shocked when they were testing the stimulation in the pleasure center of rats, that “…given the option to eat when hungry or to stimulate the pleasure center, the rats chose the stimulation until they were physically exhausted and on the brink of death.”

Mr. Zimbardo is seeking to make educators, parents and game producers aware that this is a problem and something needs to be done. He acknowledges that he is an “alarm sounder” and that it’s time we pay attention to how our teens are experiencing the impact of the internet through both video games and pornography.

Science has proven that regular users of porn report higher incidences of depression and poorer physical health than non-participates.

I don’t think that we all need to panic and yank the cords on everything electronic in our homes–we do live in an electronic world and smoke signals are no longer effective modes of communication with our neighbors, but…

Are we aware of ways we might be allowing electronics to desensitize our teens to the reality of real-life interactions with their friends, family and future?

What conversations are we having with our teens about arousal? Are we inviting teens into the discomfort and necessity of tracing their own motives of desire?

This book Demise of Guys has truly great research and is raising important awareness of how video games and porn are rewiring a boy’s brain. While I could easily get caught up in the seemingly negative outcomes of this research, I continue to feel a deep sense of hope.

God intentionally designed our brains to respond to stimulation. The roots of this design rest in the potential of our choosing to bring forth creativity and life.

So thank you Mr. Zimbardo for the research, I know fully that anything which holds the kind of power to create demise also holds the power to create life!

~ b

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