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Games Science

Psychologist: Porn and Video Game Addiction Are Leading To 'Masculinity Crisis' 950

HughPickens.com writes: Philip Zimbardo is a prominent psychologist from Stanford, most notable for leading the notorious Stanford prison experiment. He has published new research findings based on the lives of 20,000 young men, and his conclusion is stark: there is a developing "masculinity crisis" caused by addiction to video games and pornography. "Our focus is on young men who play video games to excess, and do it in social isolation — they are alone in their room," says Zimbardo. "It begins to change brain function. It begins to change the reward center of the brain, and produces a kind of excitement and addiction. What I'm saying is — boys' brains are becoming digitally rewired."

As an example, Zimbardo uses this quote from one young man: "When I'm in class, I'll wish I was playing World of Warcraft. When I'm with a girl, I'll wish I was watching pornography, because I'll never get rejected." Zimbardo doesn't think there's a specific time threshold at which playing video games goes from being acceptable to excessive. He says it varies by individual, and is more based on a "psychological change in mindset." To fight the problem, he suggest families need to track how much time is being spent on video games compared to other activities. "He also called for better sex education in schools — which should focus not only on biology and safety, but also on emotions, physical contact and romantic relationships."
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Psychologist: Porn and Video Game Addiction Are Leading To 'Masculinity Crisis'

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  • by alen ( 225700 ) on Monday May 11, 2015 @10:43AM (#49664129)

    being that many of them won't pass on their genes, nature will take care of it

    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 11, 2015 @10:55AM (#49664289)

      That, and the free market. TFS puts it in plain sight: "I wish i was watching porn because I'll never get rejected [by porn]". So, suffering a male suitor shortage, women will lower their standards and rejection rates will go down. This will push more men back into old fashioned fornication. See, Adam Smith can really solve anything.

    • by synapse7 ( 1075571 ) on Monday May 11, 2015 @11:19AM (#49664547)

      They have it backwards.

      The masculinity crisis leads to porn and video game addiction.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 11, 2015 @11:43AM (#49664837)

        They also won't address the other aspect of this - our society puts no value on men. Neither do most young women, especially these days.

        Young men don't want to be walking wallets for greedy self-indulgent shrews to bilk. But that's increasingly what the modern woman foists offers them. We have a culture that's put women's desire for higher and higher status males into overdrive. We over-validate and over-reward women massively, and constantly shame and criticise young men just for being men. Education is entirely centred around girls and the workplace overtly discriminates against men - all based on nonsense claims that women are somehow oppressed.

        Young men have no expectations of being treated fairly, either in their personal life or at work. So they retreat into things they do enjoy.

        • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 11, 2015 @11:57AM (#49665027)
          No one should be surprised.

          Millennial males have looked. They examined and considered the state of today's courtship, relationships, pertinent legal conditions/rulings/precedent, cost-effort, culture - even WITHOUT including the femmifrenzy of the last year or two...

          ...and no one should be surprised they said "Screw that noise."

          The female experience will overlap on some of the second paragraph's points, so some decrease of interest on the other side would also be unsurprising.

          Pr0n 'n gaemz are a symptom of the bullshit. They aren't a perfectly matching peg, but apparently the substitution is adequate.
          • by Hussman32 ( 751772 ) on Monday May 11, 2015 @04:36PM (#49667581)

            As a father of two young girls, I'm rather conflicted.

            Anyone has to admit that for most of recorded human history, women have been suppressed (as they continue to be in many parts of the world). At the moment, women are occasionally getting the upper-hand, and not always because of merit. What men are seeing now is how it feels to be the under-served, and men don't like it.

            Someday we can hope the world will become a true meritocracy where people are only judged on their actions and merits, and the pendulum will stop swinging. Until then men are going to be eating the shit sandwich we've been serving for quite a while. That may be great for my girls, but not necessarily for me.

            • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 11, 2015 @07:06PM (#49668749)

              What men are seeing now is how it feels to be the under-served

              The undertone being "turnabout is fair play", right? First of all, that women have been suppressed for most of recorded human history would not justify doing the same to men, if that were the case. The boys you're turning the tables on had nothing to do with that. That said, I don't think it's a matter of "feeling under-served", not liking their "new role". It looks more like they don't want to try and fill an impossible mixture of roles ("provider for the feminist wife") and particularly aren't attracted to women who (seem to) demand this role mix of them. And these women are getting pickier: Women traditionally seek "upward" relationships. Independent, educated women, even though they're self-sufficient and don't need a provider, don't go for men who couldn't provide for their upscale desires.

              Secondly, what you're seeing isn't defiance. These young men don't secretly want relationships, but withhold themselves to make a point or to coerce women into renouncing feminism. No, it's at best indifference, if not outright rejection. They literally don't want girlfriends. In their mind, a relationship "costs" more than it's worth. It's not just the cost side either: Consider that they see divorces not just as statistics but as live examples in their daily experience of what to expect from a relationship.

              And finally, that is not great for your daughters. Men are growing particularly wary of women in their mid to late thirties. They seem to have exceptionally bad luck with contraceptives and get pregnant just by looking at babies. In generations past, few women that age were single anymore. But today, young women want to have their own careers first. By the time they decide to have kids after all, they are in a bit of a rush to find Mr. Right. Now consider a dating pool where an increasing number of men simply don't want a relationship, especially not with a woman who wants kids, quickly. But the clock is ticking so someone has to be it, and almost inevitably, given her status and expectations, she "settles". This has failed marriage with kids written all over it, and even though women usually have the upper hand in that situation, it's not really something you can want for your daughters. And who would blame men for not wanting any part of that.

              • by Hussman32 ( 751772 ) on Monday May 11, 2015 @07:44PM (#49669005)

                You're making interesting points. I'm not saying it's fair play, but it is what is happening.

                It drives me nuts that in the eyes of extremists all men are assumed to be a potential child molesters if they were to hug a child that's not their own, we are all assumed potential rapists, and we are all evil oppressors of women.

                What got us this way is that some very few men were, and now all of us are paying the price for it.

                Re your second point. What I wonder is how much of it is related to parenting. Are the parents of the disinterested young men letting the games babysit for them instead of them interacting with them? I know kids are stubborn, but if you take away the game and force them to play, they will eventually do it. Parents need to show them the media stories are exaggerated, life is not inherently stacked against them, and that having meaningful relationships is healthy.

                A lot of what you mentioned in your last paragraph is spot on, and I worry about that. I'd love for my girls to have a career and family too, my wife and I started in our mid-30s and while I don't think either of us settled, waiting could have led us to do so. The problems now and in the future will be different than what they were then, hopefully they won't be getting fondled at work for a chance at a promotion.

            • by cyber-vandal ( 148830 ) on Monday May 11, 2015 @07:32PM (#49668907) Homepage

              Are you saying men haven't suffered any pain at any point? Forced conscription for one. I recommend The Myth of Male Power for the other side of the feminist "men as oppressors" narrative.

            • by Slashdot Parent ( 995749 ) on Tuesday May 12, 2015 @12:32PM (#49674277)

              Until then men are going to be eating the shit sandwich we've been serving for quite a while.

              Why must I pay for the sins of my ancestors?

        • by narcc ( 412956 ) on Monday May 11, 2015 @12:05PM (#49665147) Journal

          You sound addicted to video games and porn.

        • by cayenne8 ( 626475 ) on Monday May 11, 2015 @12:07PM (#49665175) Homepage Journal

          Young men don't want to be walking wallets for greedy self-indulgent shrews to bilk. But that's increasingly what the modern woman foists offers them. We have a culture that's put women's desire for higher and higher status males into overdrive. We over-validate and over-reward women massively, and constantly shame and criticise young men just for being men. Education is entirely centred around girls and the workplace overtly discriminates against men - all based on nonsense claims that women are somehow oppressed.

          What is needed, is to teach young men, how to get into the mindset of women, what they need to say, and how to 'project' themselves so they can get laid more.

          Young men need to be taught it is a numbers game, Don't get hung up on one chick. When out, dress decently, be clean, and above all else, project confidence in yourself. You don't have to be that confident, just look at act that way. Act like you really don't give a shit if she wants you or not...be a bit aloof.

          They always want what is a bit tough for them to have. Take control of the situation, decide where you're going. Nothing wrong with being polite, opening doors, etc....but take charge.

          When you do approach and start talking, just learn some simple tricks...get THEM to talk about themselves, about their family...what they want and what they do. That way you don't have to really do that much for the conversation. And trust me, NO woman ever left a date complaining that she talked too much about herself.

          Simple steps like that are what makes it easy to get into her pants. And don't just target ONE girl. There are tons of them out there. Rejection can and WILL happen, but shrug it off and start to hit on her friend...hahaha. But seriously, just hit on as many as possible. And meet and approach women whenever and wherever you can. Outside of the bar scene is really choice. Simple as asking for the time, just approach, approach, approach.

          And if you're shy, and everyone starts out that way. Just walk up to women during the day, ask for the time...just think of it as practice....just talk to them. It doesn't even have to be one you want for anything, just practice.

          It isn't that hard, especially if you get over that feeling of "oh no, if she rejects me, I'll not know what to do the rest of my life.". Get a new mindset, hit on one you like, if it sticks have fun with it....if not, water off your back, she didn't matter...who's next?

          I'm not saying be an ass...but don't be the overly willing to please guy that will do anything for her and lets her call the shots. If you do that, you may as well be her gay friend, 'cause she's not going to sleep with you. Women like a challenge....be a bit of a challenge.

          • by Stormy Dragon ( 800799 ) on Monday May 11, 2015 @02:04PM (#49666447) Homepage

            What is needed, is to teach young men, how to get into the mindset of women, what they need to say, and how to 'project' themselves so they can get laid more.

            e.g. as a male, you have no right to any expression of yourself as you are. Your intended function is purely to be what others want you to be, even if that means a hellish life of total self-abnegation.

          • by PPalmgren ( 1009823 ) on Monday May 11, 2015 @02:07PM (#49666473)

            There comes a point where this get old. I went through my phase in my late teens with this, and realized I hated being in any kind of relationship like that. I don't find enjoyment in getting laid if there's no emotion in it.

            The games take everything I value out of a relationship, so I decided I'm unwilling to play them. Regrettably, this means my relationships are fewer, but the one that recently ended was more meaningful to me than the previous five combined.

    • by Austerity Empowers ( 669817 ) on Monday May 11, 2015 @12:17PM (#49665319)

      being that many of them won't pass on their genes, nature will take care of it

      Unless of course this is horseshit. Video games aren't new, porn definitely isn't new. Both have been around and easy enough to get for your average middle aged man that we would have already witnessed this social breakdown. Yet our genes carry forth, my children's schools are over capacity and building out. The desire to play video games or look at porn as an alternative to genuine social interaction has *always* been there. At the same time, most of us realize it's synthetic, the potato chip of the interaction (not to mention sexual) world. If anything video games and the internet are recreating the social isolation that used to be far more common when there were few people scattered farther from each other, and the best choice you had was writing a letter. As far as I'm concerned, being able to retreat into our heads more is a positive step forward, allowing us to defeat the lock-step committee approach to thinking we have depended on more heavily in the past 50 years, and allowing individualism a chance to reign again.

      There is only the perception that these things are new, and that perception is useful to get funding.

  • Lieberman 2.0 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rodrigoandrade ( 713371 ) on Monday May 11, 2015 @10:48AM (#49664179)
    I've read a lot of stories lately about VG and porn doing this and that to our youth. Which game will be blamed for the next school shooting?

    I've been saying forever that the keyword is moderation. Anything in excess will screw you up, be it porn, exercise, or board games.
    • More like Gore 3.0.

      Politicians have been peddling this crap forever, even Socrates complained about "Kids these days!"

    • by alen ( 225700 )

      a lot of these games are similar to slot machines in that they space small rewards on a regular basis to keep you playing for hours. Civilization and Sim City are perfect examples

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      It has to be said though, WoW is addictive. People moan when someone tries to help women with their problems, and here is one that mainly affects men do let's try and deal with it.

    • by T.E.D. ( 34228 )

      I've read a lot of stories lately about VG and porn doing this and that to our youth. Which game will be blamed for the next school shooting?

      I'm old enough to remember when television, Arcade Games [wikipedia.org], and stickers [wharble.com] were the new moral outrages that were grotesquely warping the impressionable minds of America's youth. I also remember when it was supposedly a huge problem that telephones were killing letter writing. Now that more interactive media is killing TV, Ma Bell is dead and people are writing to each other again, you think they'd be happy. But no. Clearly its just always pretty much whatever is new that older folks don't understand.

      Actually,

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 11, 2015 @10:51AM (#49664209)

    As much as people laugh at the Men Going Their Own Way movement, there is a growing number of men who feel that it is not worth the effort to put up with today's rapidly-changing standards of manhood.

    • Agreed (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Ive dated a lot of women who it turns out are looking for the "cowboy" type or the "biker" type or the "go chiefs" type. And are unhappy with me because i havent subscribed to any of these store-bought personality templates.

      I prefer to just be who i am. A multifaceted individual with a wide variety of interests and hobbies.

      Women HATE that.

      • Re:Agreed (Score:5, Insightful)

        by The Grim Reefer ( 1162755 ) on Monday May 11, 2015 @11:19AM (#49664539)

        Ive dated a lot of women who it turns out are looking for the "cowboy" type or the "biker" type or the "go chiefs" type. And are unhappy with me because i havent subscribed to any of these store-bought personality templates.

        I prefer to just be who i am. A multifaceted individual with a wide variety of interests and hobbies.

        Women HATE that.

        Here's the thing. Women are just as screwed up as men. However, in a slightly different way.

        Most women are initially attracted to 'the "cowboy" type or the "biker" type or the "go chiefs" type'. Though I'm not sure if it's an inherent thing, or learned. But they almost never want you to actually be that way long term. They want to turn you into that "multifaceted individual", not actually be that way from the start.

        Don't get me wrong, as men, we're just as screwed up as to what we're attracted to and what we want too.

        • Re:Agreed (Score:5, Insightful)

          by itzly ( 3699663 ) on Monday May 11, 2015 @11:40AM (#49664807)

          Most women are initially attracted to 'the "cowboy" type or the "biker" type or the "go chiefs" type'. Though I'm not sure if it's an inherent thing, or learned. But they almost never want you to actually be that way long term.

          They are facing a wicked dilemma. She wants the cowboy/biker type with a unfaithful streak, because she want his genes for her sons and grandsons. On the other hand, she wants him to be nice and faithful to help raise their kids. So, the intended solution is to hook up with a rebel, and try to change him.

        • Re:Agreed (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Ryanrule ( 1657199 ) on Monday May 11, 2015 @12:27PM (#49665437)
          no, what they REALLY want (and studies confirm) is to FUCK the bad boy, and MARRY the good guy. The good guy gets to raise the bad boys children. The good guys are opting out.
  • Missing The Point! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Archangel Michael ( 180766 ) on Monday May 11, 2015 @10:51AM (#49664211) Journal

    He also called for better sex education in schools

    When I'm with a girl, I'll wish I was watching pornography, because I'll never get rejected.

    Sex education does nothing to solve the real issues these Peter Pans are suffering. I'm pretty sure that the guy in the quote knows all about how "sex" works, probably in more detail than is actually needed.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 11, 2015 @11:04AM (#49664405)

      Did you read the rest of the sentence about what should be *added* to sex education?

      Full quote: "He also called for better sex education in schools — which should focus not only on biology and safety, but also on emotions, physical contact and romantic relationships."

  • Rewards (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 11, 2015 @10:51AM (#49664219)

    It begins to change the reward center of the brain, and produces a kind of excitement and addiction. What I'm saying is — boys' brains are becoming digitally rewired...."When I'm in class, I'll wish I was playing World of Warcraft. When I'm with a girl, I'll wish I was watching pornography, because I'll never get rejected."

    Ok, I'll bite. It seems to me that the brain is just doing what it is supposed to do - adapt to the environment it is confronted with.

    The changes in rewards go far beyond the brain. As a society in the US at least we've greatly limited the options kids have when they graduate from college, so there is little true reward for spending time studying. Likewise, there is little benefit from having kids - they're a huge expense, and a major legal entanglement when that girl decides to reject you after you have the kid.

    If you want kids to study and get married, then you need to reward them from doing so - and not just in their brains.

    Or, we need to question why we want kids to do those things in the first place. Why is it so important that boys and girls get happily married? If the boys are just as happy alone, why not let them be happy alone? The obvious answer is so that we can have lots of babies running around, but I'm not really sure why it is so important that we have lots of babies running around either. We used to have them out of self-interest so that they could care for us in old age. With increases in productivity it is more likely that we'll end up caring for them in old age.

  • Seriously? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 11, 2015 @10:52AM (#49664227)
    >When I'm in class, I'll wish I was playing World of Warcraft.
    Well, no shit. Most people would rather be doing something they like than something they don't like. And is it really a revelation that socially awkward nerds feel socially awkward around women?
    • Re:Seriously? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <mojoNO@SPAMworld3.net> on Monday May 11, 2015 @11:53AM (#49664983) Homepage

      This isn't insightful, it's the opposite in fact. That's one selected quote from summary. I know it's not fashionable to RTFA or the study itself but trying to criticise it based on that one line is beyond ridiculous.

      Obviously it's part of a wider pattern of behaviour, selected (badly) to illustrate it.

      Slashdot used to provide insight. Now people who knee-jerk react to one line in the summary get modded up. I think the lower readership now has made the race to comment first worse as the period where stuff gets modded much is shorter.

  • by Chrisq ( 894406 ) on Monday May 11, 2015 @10:52AM (#49664235)

    Porn and Video Game Addiction Are Leading To 'Masculinity Crisis'

    Speak for yourself mate.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 11, 2015 @10:53AM (#49664241)

    When I'm in class, I'll wish I was playing World of Warcraft. When I'm with a girl, I'll wish I was watching pornography, because I'll never get rejected.

    And when I'm at work I wish that I was home watching TV with a beer in my hand.

    Also, rock'n'roll causes people to act immoral!

  • So like Japan? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by smooth wombat ( 796938 ) on Monday May 11, 2015 @10:53AM (#49664243) Journal

    The comments from the article sound eerily similar to those coming from Japanese men. More and more they are playing video games and watching porn rather than interacting with other people, most especially women.

    It might have something to do with control. When you're playing a game, you are in control of your character. You are still at the whim of your surroundings and other players, but you are in control of "yourself".

    Not so when approaching others and most especially women. With the decline of civility, asking a woman out and being rejected is no longer, "I'm sorry. I appreciate you asking but I'm just not interested" to, "Fucking loser! Why would you talk to me? Get the fuck out of here."

    It's easier to not bother than deal with asshats.

    • by trparky ( 846769 )
      Some say that guys can be nasty when letting someone else down but they have nothing on women. Women will reach into your chest (figuratively speaking), rip your heart out, throw it to the ground, stomp all over it, and then she'll proceed to get nasty.
    • Re:So like Japan? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Translation Error ( 1176675 ) on Monday May 11, 2015 @11:05AM (#49664417)

      With the decline of civility, asking a woman out and being rejected is no longer, "I'm sorry. I appreciate you asking but I'm just not interested" to, "Fucking loser! Why would you talk to me? Get the fuck out of here."

      It is?

    • Re:So like Japan? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by PitaBred ( 632671 ) <slashdot@@@pitabred...dyndns...org> on Monday May 11, 2015 @11:51AM (#49664951) Homepage

      Smaller families, more invested in each child, less social interaction because of the child-abducting boogeymen (even though they are statistically insignificant and getting more so with each year). We've got a generation of kids that are growing up inside and not learning how to interact with people in non-sterile environments. When forced to deal with people that they can't just hit block on or ignore, they freeze up. Socialization is very much downplayed in our current culture, and it's apparently sorely needed by many.

      Don't take this as me saying they have to like everyone they meet. But you do have to learn some basic "get along with each other" skills that I'm finding many kids lack any more.

  • comic books (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 11, 2015 @10:53AM (#49664257)

    Just like comic books and television screwed up a generation of kids, right? You could also use the same argument to say that kids in the 1800s just spent their time reading novels instead of having real life adventures.

    • by phantomfive ( 622387 ) on Monday May 11, 2015 @11:11AM (#49664465) Journal

      Just like comic books and television screwed up a generation of kids, right? You could also use the same argument to say that kids in the 1800s just spent their time reading novels instead of having real life adventures.

      To be fair, it's possible that TV did screw up a generation of kids, for example......

      I've been watching your posts for a while, and I can say you are seriously schizophrenic, Mr AC.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 11, 2015 @10:54AM (#49664259)

    And stop promoting promiscuity, which causes all sorts of emotional damage in the long term. Instead, let's promote loving relationships, sexual or otherwise.

    I'm not saying people shouldn't have premarital sex. I'm just saying that people shouldn't hook up with someone they met in a club or give it up on the first date.

    Same with porn. A little from time to time is fine. Watching really kinky stuff or watching it multiple times a day is not healthy.

    If there was more love in the world, there would be fewer problems, like single mothers, high divorce rates, and teenage pregnancies. But our school systems promote "sexual freedom", codewords for promiscuous behaviour. Let's change that by finding a middle ground between the conservative abstinence only bullshit and this liberal sex everywhere bullshit.

    Amen.

  • by Rigel47 ( 2991727 ) on Monday May 11, 2015 @10:57AM (#49664309)
    I don't think there are many guys out there, video game addicts or otherwise, who would prefer masturbation to porn over sex with someone they like, trust, and feel comfortable with. The problem is, as Mr. Zimbardo alludes, we don't demystify sex for kids so that it becomes a regular life experience. If you never get anything more than an awkward biological overview of sex from school it will, at least for many boys, remain this mysterious, anxiety-provoking, forbidden fruit. Some magic experience that women zealously keep locked up in the castle. Porn is nothing more than a safe, artificial side-channel outlet for temporary relief of sexual frustration. It's lame but it is also understandable.

    tl;dr - Our society sucks when it comes to preparing kids for sexual maturity.
  • by nimbius ( 983462 ) on Monday May 11, 2015 @10:59AM (#49664327) Homepage
    Philip Zimbardo isnt doing science on this, hes regurgitating talking points from evangelical american christian leadership. porn addiction, insufficient masculinity, and "the vidja games" are all bitchcraft perfected by the likes of James Dobson and focus on the family as surrogates for their collective concern that america is "changing" and they dont like it.

    the excessive use of video games and online pornography is pushing young men into a crisis of masculinity that leaves them bored at school, disinterested in human contact, and opting out of society.

    Bullshit. Kids are bored at school because schools have been redesigned into standardized testing mills that cater to the lowest common denominator through inadequate funding and overzealous administrators. Theyre 'disinterested in human contact' because every single friend and acquaintence is manifest immediately in this neat new tool called the internet, and its generally only a pocket away. Theyre not opting out of society, theyre opting out of your idea of society. two failed wars have left them with limbless parents and friends that sit in the basement and eat cold canned raviolis. An entire generation has been shunned from the labour market because the adults they trust squandered through greed and hubris the future of society. And things they dont care about like abortion, gay marriage bans, and contraception have suddenly and inexplicably become the only thing in the last decade theyre forced to care about. theyre opting out because your pepperidge farm andy roony wank fest does not exist while a world of perpetual debt under minimum wage absolutely does.

    • by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Monday May 11, 2015 @01:21PM (#49666027)

      In particular with regards to gender roles.

      So, time was women were for making babies and raising said babies. Men were for protecting and providing for the women. That was the roles society prescribed and there wasn't a lot of deviation from it. You did see outliers that didn't conform, but by and large that's how things were basically due to necessity. You notice many animals follow a similar structure. It is what is needed for the survival of the species.

      Well that all changed, of course. We now have the problem of too many humans, not too few. Also many of the household tasks that used to take a ton of time are now automated (try washing clothes by hand, it is a full time job almost). So society changed. Women didn't need to place their worth in their offspring anymore. They could choose to be what the wanted, do what they wanted, and still be valuable. It wasn't about popping out babies.

      Well, this is the other side of that: Men's value now no longer needs to be in providing for a family. They can have a family, or not, they work, they can stay at home, etc, etc. For some men, that means staying single.

      However, some people, like this dude, have a problem with that. They think that men should be required to be providers to be considered "real men", should be required to fill a particular role in society.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 11, 2015 @11:04AM (#49664399)

    Porn doesn't invent tests to see if you really love them. Porn doesn't create drama. Porn doesn't leave dirty dishes in the sink. Porn is whatever you want it to be. You want a blonde with big tits today and a redhead with little tits tomorrow? No problem.

    The birth control pill created the sexual revolution by liberating women from the need to hitch themselves to a man to care for them and their child. Now instant access to vast libraries or pornography is liberating men from the need to hitch themselves to a woman for sexual satisfaction. The main difference is that when women were "liberated" from men it was called progress, but when men are liberated from women it is labeled a mental defect.

    • by StikyPad ( 445176 ) on Monday May 11, 2015 @01:35PM (#49666145) Homepage

      instant access to vast libraries or pornography is liberating men from the need to hitch themselves to a woman for sexual satisfaction

      That's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. In the first place, how many people would rather watch porn than have sex? I'm not saying there's none, but in most cases it's probably rooted in anxiety as opposed to an actual preference, all else being equal. A choice made out of fear is not the same as a preference made out of desire.

      In the second place, porn wasn't a prerequisite for masturbation the last time I checked. And I checked pretty recently.

  • Yeah (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Ryanrule ( 1657199 ) on Monday May 11, 2015 @11:04AM (#49664401)
    I think the masculinity crisis might be in this guys pants. I mean shit, insert replace WoW with golf, and porn with expensive prostitute, and you have the macho alpha bro shark that is supposed to be the goal of the man.
  • by grasshoppa ( 657393 ) <skennedy@@@tpno-co...org> on Monday May 11, 2015 @11:10AM (#49664461) Homepage

    He's looking at the symptoms and declaring them to be the problem without any real understanding of the underlying causes.

    Guys focusing on video games and porn are a natural result in a society which is heavily biased in favor of women. Hell, I'd rather avoid dealing with women romantically too, given all the risks involved. All it takes is the mere accusation of rape, and a man's life can be torn to shreds. But even beyond that, we see a legal system completely set against men; custody, domestic violence, divorce? All stacked against men.

    So more men are choosing porn and forgoing women. Seems like a perfectly rational response to me.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 11, 2015 @11:11AM (#49664467)

    And really, why would young men take the risks? Not only is there an easy way out (that you lament), but there's also very little in the risk-benefit department. The demands on boys are insane: Treat women as equals, but provide for the family, but share responsibility for the kids and don't forget quality time with the wife, but forget about seeing the kids when the wife gets a divorce, but keep paying for the kids. Check your privilege, you're the reason why women clutch their purses and switch to the other side of the road, but be masculine and decisive, but ask for explicit consent, but make sure she really means it and won't change her mind, but don't be whipped. Fact is, a very large percentage of women are best avoided, not made sacrifices for, and I mean because they're bad for anyone, not just you. Yes, dating is a numbers game, but it looks like it has a big Russian roulette component lately.

  • by gurps_npc ( 621217 ) on Monday May 11, 2015 @11:11AM (#49664469) Homepage
    I overheard a conversation recently. There were a girl upset that a guys at a party totally missed the fact that she wanted to be asked out. She flirted shamelessly, but the guy ignored her and instead asked out her friend - who promptly turned him down.

    They then both called the guy "an idiot".

    They missed the fact that SHE could have asked him out. It's the 21st century, not the 18th century.

    The reason guys spend all their time playing video games instead of out is that the video games are better than real life. Women expect men to be the 50's guy - bring flowers, etc. But they don't want to be the 50's girl.

    The crisis in Masculinity is concurrent with a crisis of femininity. They feed off each other like a viscous cycle. As long our culture continues to complain about men not acting like it thinks men should act - all the while encouraging women to do what they want, we will have no progress on this issue.

    Please note, I am not saying that women should act like a 50's girl. They are free to act like a modern woman. But don't complain about what men do and ignore what women do. (In fact, I think women should act like a modern women - and includes asking men out and buying them dinner for a first date. You want equality, you have to actually act equal, not insist on special treatment).

  • by Guy From V ( 1453391 ) on Monday May 11, 2015 @11:11AM (#49664473) Homepage

    Read this story a day ago, and also this solid criticism on its bullshittiness.

    https://medium.com/@cainejw/th... [medium.com]

  • by argStyopa ( 232550 ) on Monday May 11, 2015 @11:20AM (#49664561) Journal

    "When I'm in class, I'll wish I was playing World of Warcraft."
    So would it be better if he said "When I'm in class, I wish I was playing baseball" or "fishing" or "out working on my car"?
    Being a 47-year old man myself, I'm not so old that I can't remember that wishing I wasn't doing whatever crappy thing I had to be doing isn't pretty much the ground-state of any adolescent.

    "When I'm with a girl, I'll wish I was watching pornography, because I'll never get rejected."
    Meh, I think porn is a symptom, not the cause. I'd say what he's observing is a thing, but is a transient result of a (historically) momentary discontinuity between sexualism and sexual availability.
    We live in a society where womens' sexualization is complete: it's a (pardon the term) naked commodity, and in which its use as a lever for commercial exploitation is constant. The primal urge for sex in young men is, I suspect, unchanged from history, yet now they're like starving men walking down a street of bakeries, candy shops, and restaurants all taunting them with what they want. At the same time, REAL women (as opposed to the ones flaunting themselves for commercial gain - you don't think those girls in the Axe commercial are doing that because they really feel that way, do you?) are more empowered than ever to demand a level of respect and consideration in the relationship making the sexual negotiation ever more complex for a stupid, single-minded, priapistically-driven young man. Porn and masturbation are the only sexuality he can control, is it any wonder that sometimes he wishes it was as simple as the movies make it seem?

    It's the old conundrum between offense and defense. At this time, one side has all the advantages, is it any wonder that sometimes the other side doesn't want to play as much?

  • by rtkluttz ( 244325 ) on Monday May 11, 2015 @11:23AM (#49664587) Homepage

    I'm not anti-science, but I do believe that too many times scientists draw conclusions based on biases. This is one of those. The bias seems to be that isolation is bad and that people should be around other people. He mentions that it changes brain function but names no specific trending to bad behavior because of those brain changes. Many people like to be alone, I am one of those. There is no better image of hell to me than living in a big city or doing the club thing. I would be perfectly content snowed into a swiss mountain cabin alone for 8 months as long as I had internet.

  • by ememisya ( 1548255 ) on Monday May 11, 2015 @11:23AM (#49664601) Homepage

    ...When I'm with a girl, I'll wish I was watching pornography...

    I think you should have learned something by now.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 11, 2015 @11:24AM (#49664615)

    And it has since the beginning of "civilization".

    The top 10% of men in genetics or wealth get all of the benefits. The bottom 90% get to die in wars and in mines and in workplace accidents, supporting the harems and lifestyles of their "betters". If they don't die they go home to a woman who wishes she were still young and pretty enough to bag one of the alphas and she takes it out on him daily. His kids, coworkers and relatives don't respect him because for the last 50 years the western advertising machine has been propagating the message that the average man is boring, tedious, and disposable.

    Unlike reality videogames generally give you guaranteed reward for the amount of time you put into them. And competition is fundamentally fair since everyone starts at the same place. As opposed to reality where your ending status is very much determined by your starting status.

    Some men just aren't born to compete, and don't have the innate resilience to keep trying despite repeated failures. That doesn't mean those men are less deserving of happiness and satisfaction and peace, they just have to find their own and ignore the bullshit that "society" keeps heaping on them.

  • by IRWolfie- ( 1148617 ) on Monday May 11, 2015 @11:26AM (#49664641)
    "Phillip Zimbardo says his study into the lives of 20,000 young men and their relationships with video games and pornography demonstrates that this relatively new phenomenon is affecting the minds of young men. " I see no links to a scientific publication nor any in the independent link. Where is this apparent study actually published? Instead we just seem to have a book for a popular audience.
  • by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Monday May 11, 2015 @01:50PM (#49666311) Homepage

    Isn't that what this really boils down, not some bullshit about masculinity? Women watch soap operas because it's more exciting than their boring life, men play video games so we can be greater than the insignificant little peons that we are. And in porn the most beautiful women will perform for you even if you're fatter than the marshmallow man and uglier than a troll. We have immersive enough solutions that the body is fooled to play out almost all its chemical registry with endorphin, adrenaline, dopamine and so on letting you fake all the excitement and rewards as you slay imaginary dragons.

    The problem is that it's addictive and desensitizing, if you're on a constant rush of awards and achievements and level-ups and whatnot then real life is a real downer. Not entirely unlike how I hear people on drugs describe coming off their high or how fat people act when they come off a sugar rush. So through a combination of actual reality check, batting outside your league because of failed self-perception and being poor at handling disinterest or rejection the result is often a painful face-plant. Once bitten, twice shy so you rather watch porn and play video games than try again.

  • What's the Problem? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by allquixotic ( 1659805 ) on Monday May 11, 2015 @02:52PM (#49666915)

    While the guys with Neanderthal brains are out at bars trying to get laid, I'm living a comfortable, safe, and happy life. While they're getting exposed to STDs, drugs, accidental pregnancies, rough divorce settlements, paying child support, spouse abuse (either as the perpetrator or the victim), defaulting on their home because their spouse talked them into living above their means, etc. etc. etc..... I am living in a small single-bed apartment alone, making good money, playing video games (mostly MMOs) for social interaction, and listening to music to tame my biological cravings.

    Not to mention, my choice not to reproduce helps the population problem -- at least in the span of a few decades, if not the long term. There is not a single problem that humankind has that can be solved by making more people. In fact, making more people does exactly the opposite for nearly all of our problems; it makes them more severe and reduces the length of time we have until those problems erupt into global catastrophes.

    I don't *want or need* a woman. I don't *want or need* a romantic relationship with anyone. I don't want kids. I don't want any of the associated problems that come with either. It's been completely wired out of me.

    I am basically an exact description of the type of person the study was about. And yet, I am not unhappy; I am not unsuccessful; I am not a loser. I am an environmentally-conscious, socially-reponsible citizen, supporter of my community, dedicated employee, educated voter and participant in the political process, and I have my fair share of social interaction, too, on the order of 6 to 8 hours per day on MMOs. Just because I don't touch the people I socialize with doesn't somehow make me diseased. I am a very social person. I am "socially intelligent". I can pick up on body language cues, implied meaning in conversation, the intent behind vocal intonation, the significance of a touch. I deal with people in meatspace for eight hours a day, and people in virtual space for another 6 to 8.

    Medicine and academia has a tendency to call anything abnormal a disease, or a problem to be solved. Sometimes change is for the better. Sometimes the status quo is the worse of the two worlds.

    In short: I would prefer to continue to be who I am, in the situaton I am in, rather than be the epitome of "masculinity" as this researcher thinks I need to be, even if I had the means to become that. And quite honestly, I'm pretty sure I do have the means to become that, if I put my mind to it. I don't put my mind to it because *it's not how I want to live my life.* Who the fuck is Philip Zimbardo to tell me that my life choices are wrong, especially when, by all the objective measurements that his ilk thrive on, I am of a far greater net benefit to society than many of the so-called "masculine" men he thinks I should be?

Disclaimer: "These opinions are my own, though for a small fee they be yours too." -- Dave Haynie

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