The wimpification of men is one of the most destructive trends in modern times. As women surge ahead in field after field, boys and men are passively watching it happen. Many of them, rather than working to stay ahead of or even keep up with women, are responding by waging something of a sit-down strike. They’re living with their parents at double the rate of their female peers. They’re dropping out of the labor pool in record numbers.
The result is effectively a reversal of a male-female power arrangement that has existed for virtually all of human history.
One of the most potent of the many causes behind this revolution is the advent of modern time wasters tailor-made to suck the life out of the male mind.
Today’s media have become a black hole for male ambition and responsibility. As Kay Hymowitz writes in her book Manning Up: How the Rise of Women Has Turned Men Into Boys, “Relatively affluent, free of family responsibilities, and entertained by an array of media devoted to his every pleasure, the single young man can live in pig heaven—and often does.” It’s a self-perpetuating cycle: A man with little motivation to become a productive member of society is more liable to devote his hours to senseless pursuits, which then renders him even less capable of ever making something of his life.
Two of the most toxic examples are video games and pornography. Their most voracious consumers are young men, and they are ravaging society’s manhood on an epic scale.
Video game addiction is about four times more common among boys than girls. The average American boy spends 13 hours a week absorbed in video games, compared to five hours for the average girl. Half of college students admit that video games preempt their studies “some” or “a lot.” By the time the average American youth reaches drinking age, he will have devoted 10,000 hours to gaming—enough time to have earned two bachelor’s degrees.
The valuable time and energy being swallowed up by these games is problem enough, but the ghoulish content many of them contain makes their effect far worse. Millions of young people are immersing themselves in realistic games that encourage them to become killers, sadists, mutilators and monsters that use every conceivable weapon for murder, torture, dismemberment, decapitation, impaling, ethnic cleansing and rape.
Pornography has become mainstream, pervasive, socially accepted, and, thanks to the Internet, devilishly easy to get. It is also intensely addictive. The demand is monstrous: Full-length commercial porn films are produced at 22½ times the volume of Hollywood films. The average high school boy watches porn two hours a week. Researchers conducting a study in July 2011 on porn and prostitution had so much difficulty finding non-users that they had to loosen their definition in order to muster up a hundred men for a control group.
“A brain originally designed to cope with nothing more tempting than an occasional glimpse of a tribesperson across the savannah is lost with what’s now on offer on the net at the click of a button,” wrote author Alain de Botton in the Wall Street Journal. “There is nothing robust enough in our psychological make-up to compensate for developments in our technological capacities.”
These perverted images and warped concepts filling men’s minds have devastating effects on men’s relationships and mental health. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study found that regular pornography users have higher rates of depression and even physical health problems than non-users. “The reason is that porn may start a cycle of isolation,” the report explained. “Porn may become a substitute for healthy face-to-face interactions, social or sexual.” Psychologists say video games also tend to desensitize a user to reality and to real-life interactions with people.
In their book The Demise of Guys: Why Boys Are Struggling and What We Can Do About It, psychologists Philip Zimbardo and Nikita Duncan contend that these poisonous media influences are actually rewiring men’s brains. “The excessive use of video games and online porn,” they write, “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.”
Think on that. These influences are crushing society’s manhood. One specific proof: Academics have uncovered a correlation between porn use and an increase in a man’s willingness to move back in with his parents. And today, nearly six in ten 18-to-24-year-old males live with their parents. Even among 25-to-34-year-olds, it’s still almost two in ten. These figures are almost double the rate among women the same age.
Risk-averse men who cannot handle life’s complexities are deeply disadvantaged if not crippled in ever being able to support a family.
It’s impossible to measure precisely, but this media assault has contributed significantly to handicap men in our world.
The frustrations so many people have over the weakness of men today all trace back to this powerful spiritual truth: Men are weak because of their sin. Self-indulgence, the sex perversion—these are sins. If a man succumbs to sin, he becomes weak. God removes His blessings and allows the devil to do his work.
These sins are causing the collapse of manly leadership and male responsibility. They are creating weakness, insecurity and selfishness. They are leading to the disappearance of manhood!
A man who wants to avoid this trap must devote his energies to swimming upstream against society. He must eschew the pastimes that weaken men. He must avoid the addictions that eat away at men’s minds, blacken their consciences and destroy their confidence. He must stoke the flames of ambition in his life. He must aim high, and equip himself to become an able leader. This is what he was created for. This is literally what he was born to do! ▪