Parts of this post were originally published on The Tacoma Ledger’s website. It has been edited with permission for content and clarity.


Yes, porn is an issue that both men and women are dealing with, but for a moment, allow us to shine a spotlight on porn’s harms to specifically males.

Many claim that men in most west­ern countries live a rather “easy” life, but there is a stark and ongoing change in the quality of life that young men live. In a general sense, men today are not like their fathers or grandfathers. We hear reports of many men today avoid finding a romantic partner, see studies that they (and young females) consume more porn at a younger age, not to mention that many are falling behind their female counterparts in school.

More young people in this day and age consume countless hours of social media and video games with little-to-no moderation or supervision. And, they are less active and more obese than any gen­eration before them. It seems as though men, particularly, are becoming less inter­ested in academic, romantic, or job-related success. As a result, many underlying societal, cultural and eco­nomic problems for men are coming to light. These issues need to be addressed—the sooner the better.

RelatedPsychologists: Teen Brains Negatively Affected By Porn And Video Games

In a society that could be said to lack very many positive male role models for the upcoming generation, the absence of guidance in a young man’s life can lead to future emotional and personal deficits to himself and others. And a childhood partially or en­tirely void of a male role model can impact future relationships as well.

Romantic Relationships: Not Worth The Effort?

Speaking of relationships, many young men are becoming less enticed by the prospects of romantic partnerships due to the effort and work required to create interpersonal bonds, which are necessary to create a lasting connection. As a result, young men consume more and more pornography, much more than any other demographic. For example, researchers at the University of Montreal were conducting a study comparing the views of men in their 20s who had never been exposed to pornography with regular users. But their project stumbled at the first hurdle when they failed to find a single man who had not been seen it. It seems like there isn’t a man on earth who hasn’t been swept up in a porn habit (though we know that’s not true). And, for some people, porn consumption becomes so habitual that it has created its own sexual dysfunctions, such as PIED (porn-induced erectile dysfunction).

Related: Help! I’m a 21-Year-Old Guy With Porn-Induced Erectile Dysfunction

The reality is, research is continually showing how watching pornography changes brain chemistry. And according to Gary Wilson, author of “Your Brain on Porn,” over time, excessive porn viewing rear­ranges neurons in the brain to the point where arousal for anything else—even real-life sexual experiences—becomes more difficult. Most im­portantly, as cited on his site, excessive consumption of pornography can result in emotional and personal difficulties with lasting romantic relationships. Well known for creating unrealistic representations of sex and intimacy, porn is deterring many young men from seeking real-life romantic or sexual experiences due to ease of access. It ought to be better understood that porn has no basis in reality and shouldn’t be used to make up for a lack of real-life passion and experience.

Arousal Dependence And A False Sense Of Accomplishment

Another issue young men face is their disen­franchisement with the world around them. Whether due to economic detriments, lack of romantic connection, or lack of personal success, many young men don’t feel accomplished or useful due to a lack of outlets or ability to perform outside of school or work, and consequently turn to escapist forms of entertainment like pornography.

Dr. Philip Zimbardo, in his book “Man Interrupted,” outlines the current detriments millennials and young boys face as they grow up in our modern world. His work describes a particular “arousal ad­diction,” although the arousal is not always purely sexual. Video games can also fill this void—they are objective and accomplishment based, provide a sense of reward so realistic that it activates the same neurons in the brain associated with reward, and place the player in a setting different from their own. Is it any wonder that the porn industry has set its sights on video games now, too?

Related: Top Selling Video Game Turns Pornographic, Includes Graphic Sex And Nudity

Studies reveal that an increase in problem-solving abilities when video games are played on a regular basis. How­ever, this form of achievement procrastination can become addictive as well, becoming a dead-end outlet for personal frustration with the real world. Like the over-consumption of pornography, the rearrangement of neurons in the brain—espe­cially when the player plays alone—creates an “arousal” dependence over time. This habit can also take time away from developing real world skills, hobbies, recreation and developing a good work ethic. And although the over-consumption of video games and other media can negatively affect both sexes, it appears to be a prominent problem for young men, who play in far greater quantities than their female counterparts.

Healthy Relationships And Fewer Distractions

Young men face more challenges today than people believe. They are becoming disinterested in finding work, finding a romantic partner, starting a family, and seeking out their passions and interests in life.

Instead, many have become distracted, over-diagnosed, less interested in education than their female counter­parts, and face unique psychological and physio­logical threats. We need to recognize the importance of healthy, well-rounded men and their role in so­ciety, and do everything we can to help this current generation of young men regain its healthy sense of identity, its self-reliance, and its ability to give back to society. Otherwise, the current situation young men face will only become more detrimental not only for them but for everyone, and could take generations to correct.

Illustration by Alexx Elder for the Tacoma Ledger 


Contributing To The Conversation

As film and TV star Rashida Jones has lamented before, the conversation about porn is one we never really got to have before it became as pervasive in our society as it is today. That’s why we love to see folks ‘rep the movement’ with t-shirts and other ways to have a conversation about the harmful effects of pornography, for the viewer, the performer, and society as a whole.

Writing and contributing to a school newspaper, like University of Washington Tacoma student Noah did, is a great way to continue the conversation about porn. Certainly blogging is a great way to reach out as well. The more we have these conversations, the less taboo they become to be open and real about the harmful facts about porn, porn consumption and the adult entertainment industry. Connecting the dots between porn and sex trafficking, human slavery, blackmail and other forms of abuse are critical in showing that watching a little porn now and then is anything but harmless entertainment.

Related: What To Say When Someone Asks About Your Porn Kills Love Tee

And as always, sharing your stories with us—whether through the contact form or in a Facebook Message to our page—that we in turn share with millions of people all around the world is a powerful way to not only engage in the conversation, but also to fight for change in a movement that is so much more than not watching porn, it’s fighting for real love.

What YOU Can Do

The pornification of our society is having an effect on the rising generation. SHARE this article to encourage others to think about how porn kills love, and to fight for love in their own circles of influence.

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