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May 25th, 2012
11:05 AM ET

'The Demise of Guys:' Are video games and pornography ruining America's young men?

Where have all the good men gone? Nikita Duncan, psychologist, artist, and recent author, joins Starting Point today to offer her answer to that question: blame male struggles on video games and porn.

Together with Stanford professor emeritus and fellow psychologist Philip Zimbardo, Duncan authored the e-book "The Demise of Guys: Why Boys Are Struggling and What We Can Do About It," released on Wednesday.

As stated in the book, by age 21, the average guy has immersed himself in approximately 10,000 hours of video games - the equivalent of the amount of time it takes to earn two Bachelors degrees.

Duncan says that the digital era is literally rewiring how the male brain functions and creating a generation with an unprecedented addiction - to arousal.

Unlike drug or alcohol addicts, an arousal addict doesn't merely crave arousal each time, Duncan argues. Instead, he craves novelty: something new, something better, something different.

Duncan stresses that this mindset can be highly damaging to an individual's interactions and relationships.

"If you watch excessive amounts of porn, you're going to find it hard to have real life relationships, because you're developing your sexuality independently of real people," Duncan explains. "You're not going to be stimulated."

soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. Glibertarian

    If some guys waste 10,000+ hrs playing video games or shooting heroin, let them. That just means more benefits for those of us who are responsible and go to work/school each day to develop skills/experience that are marketable in the real world. Also, if all the pornucopia out there means women engage in less of the mind-numbing cat-mouse games to get them to go out on a date (at least while they're in their 20s), and men limit their committed relationships to only when they actually really **love** someone and not just want a steady (but mediocre) bed-partner, why is that necessarily bad?

    June 6, 2012 at 2:08 am | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Rob Greene

    So where is the research and/or data that shows all the video games playing and adult content have infused this arousal addiction into young men. There seems to be data about hours played and time spent but the correlation to addiction seems more about opinion and selling a book. How would a researcher develop a model to test that correlation? I do not believe either of these researchers have done that and just got some data and published an opinion they see in the tea leaves.

    Please do a series of stories on what great things young men are doing. Do not let CNN be used as a marketing tool for these "researchers" and "professors" trying to make money and a name for themselves.

    May 30, 2012 at 11:14 am | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Joe Standor

    I've grown up both playing video games excessively and watching more than a fair amount of porn. Must be a stroke of luck that I have friends (most who don't even play video games) and a girlfriend (who also does not play video games) too. Guess this makes me an outlyer among all this research data. Next you're going to tell me that you have research that proves all the violent video games I've played is going to turn me into some psycho killer who thinks he can run rampant without any consequences?

    May 30, 2012 at 3:11 am | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Sanford Ashley

    Great Article!!

    I speak,coach and mentor men on avoiding the traps of pornography and it is huge.First,fathers must start taking a more active role in their lives.Set time limits for computer use,phone use and video game time.Do periodic checks to see what sites your son is going on and talk to him if he is viewing porn and let him know he has to stop.It is hurting him because of the images stored on his mind that keeps him coming back. Thank you for taking the time and courage to discuss this.

    May 25, 2012 at 11:19 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • DragonSlayer Lights Your Fire

      From one coach to another, I'm quite disappointed in the fact you would actually coach men to prohibit usage of computer access and other forms of technology. First off, as a parent, there is a big difference in parenting your child and controlling your child. Telling a child to not watch porn is NOT building a healthy relationship for him, with himself or with you. He has to be able to explore his se xuality in a healthy trusting environment and not feel he should be ashamed of it.

      Read your poorly constructed website and found no credentials you possess that allows for you to provide professional knowledge on the subjects you seem to teach. You are NOT a psychologist, a psychiatrist or and other trist to be exact. A coach can ONLY ask questions and have the client come to their own conclusions. You should be reported on if you ask me. Giving any advice that you have given to your clients IS NOT BEING AN ETHICAL COACH. Your examples are just a mirror of what you think a man should be and frankly, it's bad advice in the first place.

      I will make sure to bring up your "BUSINESS ETHICS" to the community. AND PS why didn't it surprise me you were connected to a church. SMH You are a sad idea of a "MAN".

      June 6, 2012 at 11:48 am | Report abuse | Reply

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