The Resurrection of Guys

There’s good news from the porn experiment for a change. And yes, I put good and porn in the same sentence.

Gary Wilson’s TED talk- viewed by 6.4 million and counting- reveals that the consequences of a guy’s rewired brain are finally catching up to the global experiment of viewing porn. And that fallout is leading to what the speaker calls, “the resurrection of guys.”

Consider these stunning facts:

  1.  Researchers have had a difficult time finding a control group (college aged guys who don’t do porn) and as a result had nothing normal to compare the global experiment to
  2. Through addiction, the brain sends weaker and weaker signals to the body
  3. Internet Addiction Disorder shares the same general digression, regardless of how we’re using it
  4. Our brains become hyper-fixated on the dopamine releasing target (your brand of Internet choice) and duller and duller to the real world (boring)
  5. In the case of guys and porn, E.D. (erectile dysfunction) became the tipping point to motivate thousands to exit porn and begin to create a comparative control group
  6. BAM !! Real life returns but….

Perhaps the most stunning thing is the amount of time it takes for guys to recover- defined as 1) noticing and being noticed by real girls and 2) being able to be aroused by them. Here it is:

50-year-olds recover more than twice as fast as guys in their 20’s

Seriously? Seriously! Doesn’t make sense right? Not until you understand the neuroplasticity in the brain. The early years of a boys life are critical due to the development of the brain. And when did Internet porn become widely accessible? For guys in their 20’s, it was there when they were young, at the critical stage of brain development. But for older men, it came longer after the brain was already established. Many men in their 50’s are beginning to return to normal after two months of exiting while younger men are requiring 4-5 months.

Want the good news? The brain can be re-rewired. And therefore, “the resurrection of guys.” This is a critical watch. Make time for it and be ready to take notes for two reasons. You care about the guys in your family and you interact constantly with the Internet:

First-Response Parenting: #happen2accidents

(Welcome Kelli, guest writer to my blog on parenting and technology. She’ll sign off as -KO while I’ll use -DP)

“I’d never look at that kind of stuff!” –13 year-old son when asked if he had ever seen porn while on his Instagram account

accidentalopps

So I find this great resource, “iparent.tv “ for fostering online safety for our family. One of their recent posts is an expose’ (00:01:24) on how porn is on Instagram.

I watch it, then I watch it with my 7th-grade son.  He has an Instagram account, as does every member of our family of six.  After watching it together, here’s how it went down:

Him: I’d never watch anything like that!

Me: I’m not saying you would, just that it seems like it could happen by accident.

Him: Well, it didn’t and I wouldn’t even want to.

Me: I would. (never underestimate the power of shock-value parenting)

Him: What?!

Me: I mean I’d be tempted to, when I was a kid and even now. It’s powerful stuff. Remember what I told you about what happened to me with porn when I was your age?

Him:  Yeah, you don’t have to go into that again.

Me: Don’t worry, I won’t. I just want you to know that you’re not a pervert like some people say if you’re curious about sexual things.  Porn is just one way Satan is trying to steal your heart. Please tell Dad or me or someone that loves you if you get in trouble with it. We won’t be mad.

That wisdom (welcoming bad news from your child) isn’t mine. I had to buy it. I spent approximately 16 weeks and hundreds of dollars in co-pay cash to get it from my therapist a few years back. Worth every minute and dollar.

See, I asked this veteran (30 plus years of counseling sexual abuse victims) why I was so screwed up?  Why other people, who had suffered worse traumas than I had, seemed better off?  Her response: “I can tell you why right now…they got what they needed when it happened. You didn’t.”

What she meant was that when bad stuff happens to children, they need an “interpreter”; an approachable parent or caregiver (see Andrea Lucado’s helpful article entitled Approachable Parentingwho can first speak to the child’s dignity, then safety; i.e.: “That thing that happened is wrong. But you’re not a wrong thing. Let’s get you safe.”

3 Keys to Unlock Fear

keys

It’s easy to get paralyzed in parenting; fighting the extremes of hyper-vigilance and permissiveness. Good thing there’s help! God gives us three keys that can open the door wide toward encouragement:

Which parenting tool (God’s Word, prayer, people) do you need more of in your family’s life?  -KO

Addictions & Community

We’ve focused on addictions over the years, ascribing some sort of addictive element to the “bad thing.” The thing itself right?  Video games, drugs, porn, alcohol and so on. The drop-down menu for addictions is long.

But what if….

What if a larger ingredient went unnoticed in all our deliberations? In all our calculations?

Apply this to technology and the effect it has on community. From technology’s assault on empathy to its tendency to replace face-to-face contact.

In the hyper-paced culture of tech- where social media isn’t all that…..social, where human contact gets mediated through machines and where many of us choose to live “elsewhere”- the intentional life becomes powerful. A deliberate priority of community and relationship.