This is a must-read for parents -- esp. parents of boys. It will surprise no one who knows Da-da (can anyone EVER really know Dada?) that Da-da goes against the grain in just about everything popular culture espouses, but esp. shuns the two grotesqueries mentioned below. Needless to say, Da-da would be an obvious candidate for living Off the Grid if he didn't dislike the hermetic lifestyle so much. Really, wearing bandages in public is kinda the same thing, anyway, but in a fun-n-freaky sci-fi way, which pleases the aliens living inside Da-da. (At least SOME OF THEM. Most of them say, "Hi," btw.) Anyway, all this Da-da-ness notwithstanding, past the jump is an excellent article exposing two main ontological traps for young men (and some young women) in developed nations (NOTE: the article posits this as, "America," but Da-da extrapolates this to mean any country with a Western appetite and ample electricity and politicians who should all be chucked out the air-lock.)
These Two Traps Are Absolutely Destroying The Next Generation Of Young Men In AmericaDa-da avoided all this by being a musician, which is both all-consuming, AND guarantees poverty, making it pretty much impossible to secure either of the above evils. It might be a good idea, though, to get back to basics with kids, involving them in sports and the arts, but it's especially important to instill a love of reading. Few things compare to the magic of a really good book. Or of reading comprehension above the sixth grade.
June 5, 2012
Have you ever noticed that our young girls seem to be far ahead of our young boys and that our young women seem to be much more “together” than our young men are? Have you ever noticed how many young American men almost seem like zombies and find even the most basic human interactions extremely awkward? Well, this didn’t happen by accident. Researchers are finding that there are two traps in particular that are absolutely destroying the next generation of young men in America. One is video game addiction and the other is pornography. In the old days, the parks and ball fields of America would be flooded with young boys after school was done for the day, but now our parks and our ball fields are very quiet. So where did all the boys go? Well, they are all sitting at home staring into computer screens. Yes, there are also young girls and young women that are addicted to these things, but the truth is that these addictions are far more prevalent among young men. Unfortunately, it is not going to be easy to reverse the damage that is being done to the next generation of young men in America, and that is very frightening.
These days, most parents don’t consider video game addiction to be a major crisis. Many parents are just glad to have something that will keep their children occupied and out of their hair.
But the truth is that video game addiction is very serious. One study discovered that 88 percent of all Americans between the ages of 8 and 18 play video games, and that approximately four times as many boys are addicted to video games as girls are.
If you are raising boys right now you probably know exactly what I am talking about. Most boys are absolutely obsessed with video games these days.
Trust me, I know.
I was one of them.
When I was a young man I would play video games for endless hours.
I would often spend entire days playing games like Starcraft and John Madden football.
Once in a while I would stay up all night playing video games.
I was really, really good at them but the rest of my life suffered.
Not that there is anything fundamentally wrong with video games. They can be a lot of fun, but when it becomes an addiction that can be extremely damaging.
Today, the average boy spends 13 hours every single week playing video games.
That is an astounding number.
Unfortunately, the second trap that we are going to talk about is almost certainly doing even more damage to our young men.
The Internet has improved our lives in a lot of ways, but one of the very negative things that it has done is that it has unleashed a giant flood of filth into our homes.
Our young men have more access to sexual content than ever before, and this is having some horrific consequences.
The following example comes from a recent Daily Mail article….
A boy of 12 who raped a nine-year-old girl after watching hard-core pornography online was spared jail yesterday as his lawyer warned of a generation of children growing up with a ‘skewed view’ on sex.
The schoolboy, who is now 14, told police he had raped the little girl because he wanted to ‘feel grown up’ after watching porn online.
In a disturbing case that has raised fresh concerns about the sexualisation of children, the teenager had unrestricted access to the web and was able to freely look at sexually explicit material.
Sadly, the United States is the pornography capital of the world. An astounding 30 percent of all Internet traffic now goes to pornography websites, and the U.S. produces more pornography than any other nation has in the history of the world.
Many American men are so addicted to it that they cannot even wait to get home to look at it. One survey discovered that 25 percent of all employees that have Internet access in America visit sex websites while they are at work.
In a recent article for CNN, psychologist Philip Zimbardo and Nikita Duncan discussed some of the consequences that this obsession with video games and pornography is having on our society….
The consequences could be dramatic: The excessive use of video games and online porn in pursuit of the next thing is creating a generation of risk-averse guys who are unable (and unwilling) to navigate the complexities and risks inherent to real-life relationships, school and employment.
Stories about this degeneration are rampant: In 2005, Seungseob Lee, a South Korean man, went into cardiac arrest after playing “StarCraft” for nearly 50 continuous hours. In 2009, MTV’s “True Life” highlighted the story of a man named Adam whose wife kicked him out of their home — they have four kids together — because he couldn’t stop watching porn.
Norwegian mass murder suspect Anders Behring Breivik reported during his trial that he prepared his mind and body for his marksman-focused shooting of 77 people by playing “World of Warcraft” for a year and then “Call of Duty” for 16 hours a day.
Zimbardo and Duncan have written a new book entitled “The Demise of Guys: Why Boys Are Struggling And What We Can Do About It” in which they present some absolutely startling research. A recent Business Insider article summarized some of the key points from the book….
-In 2011, young men’s SAT scores were the worst they had been in 40 years.
-Even Hollywood has caught on: films like Failure to Launch, Knocked Up and Jackass mock the ineptitude of this generation.
-Boys account for 70 percent of D’s and F’s given at school.
-Research shows guys aren’t interested in being husbands, fathers or the head of the household.
-Boys are four to five times more likely than girls to have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Two-thirds of students in special education programs are guys.
-The average boy spends 13 hours a week playing video games. The average girl spends 5. The average young American will spend 10,000 hours playing video games by age 21. That’s twice the time it takes to earn a bachelor’s degree.
-The average high school boy spends two hours watching porn every week. Men can’t escape porn: 13,500 full-length commercial porn films were released in 2011, compared with 600 Hollywood films.
-Researchers claim that internet pornography is hurting young boys’ ability to form meaningful romantic relationships because they objectify their partner.
-It’s predicted that 60 percent of bachelor’s degrees will go to women by 2016.
Are you starting to get the picture?
Clearly something has gone very, very wrong.
When these sex-obsessed boys grow up, they become sex-obsessed men.
Just check out what ABC News discovered was going on over at the SEC….
One senior attorney at SEC headquarters in Washington spent up to eight hours a day accessing Internet porn, according to the report, which has yet to be released. When he filled all the space on his government computer with pornographic images, he downloaded more to CDs and DVDs that accumulated in boxes in his offices.
An SEC accountant attempted to access porn websites 1,800 times in a two-week period and had 600 pornographic images on her computer hard drive.
Another SEC accountant used his SEC-issued computer to upload his own sexually explicit videos onto porn websites he joined.
And another SEC accountant attempted to access porn sites 16,000 times in a single month.
Those that are chosen to work at the SEC are supposed to be among our finest young men and women.
So if this kind of thing is going on over at the SEC, what is happening in the rest of society?
And just look at the U.S. Secret Service. It made global headlines recently when it was discovered that a whole bunch of agents were consorting with prostitutes.
We are very, very messed up as a nation.
And we now have an entire generation of young men that don’t know how to act like men.
In fact, we are rapidly becoming a nation of slobs that do not even have the capability of handling adult responsibilities.
Sadly, at this point young men in the 25 to 34 age bracket are nearly twice as likely to live with their parents as young women the same age are….
The number of adult children who live with their parents, especially young males, has soared since the economy started heading south. Among males age 25 to 34, 19% live with their parents today, a 5 percentage point increase from 2005, according to Census data released Thursday. Meanwhile, 10% of women in that age group live at home, up from 8% six years ago.
So what can be done to fix this?
Well, unfortunately there is not an easy solution to this problem.
How in the world are we going to convince millions upon millions of young men to spend less time playing video games and watching pornography?
Sadly, the truth is that this problem is getting a little bit worse every single day.
So we are headed for big, big trouble as a nation.
Alas, the sad reality is that the lion's share of parents will probably allow their kids to play all the video games they want, and will also grant unsupervised and unlimited internet usage (as this keeps them quiet), guaranteeing that those of us parents who take the path-less-traveled with their children will develop progeny who will invariably have a leg up on their future Soylent Green college competition. Da-da hates to be practical, but there it is.
Anyway, as the title of this post suggests, Da-da's not only fixed decades of societal ills, he's vaguelly waxed Tofflerian and Burgessian and Harrissonian, and been rather selfish and piggish, and ok, he'll shut up, now. Da-da guesses that a few of us will sleep more soundly tonight -- those of us not playing video games or downloading porn. Anyway, good luck. We're all counting on you. Stay on the path. Or don't.