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Porn, Video Games Causing 'Masculinity Crisis': Shrink

Phillip Zimbardo says men are suffering 'new form of addiction'
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted May 10, 2015 3:00 PM CDT

(Newser) – Video games, pornography, and social isolation are an unhealthy mix for today's young men, according to a leading psychologist. Phillip Zimbardo, a professor emeritus at Stanford University, makes his warnings in his new book, Man (Dis)Connected—which includes the results of an in-depth study of 20,000 young men, reports the Independent. "Our focus is on young men who play video games to excess, and do it in social isolation—they are alone in their room," Zimbardo says in a BBC interview. "Now, with freely available pornography, which is unique in history, they are combining playing video games, and as a break, watching on average, two hours of pornography a week."

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Zimbardo, who gave a TED talk called "The Demise of Guys" in 2011, says young men are suffering from a "new form of addiction" and "a psychological change in mindset." Sufferers pine for video games at school and desire pornography even when women are around, because with porn, he says, they'll "never get rejected." He claims young men are also experiencing "porn-induced erectile dysfunction," although Psychology Today finds no scientific connection between erectile dysfunction and porn. Still, Zimbardo urges parents to limit young men's Internet and computer use. His warning comes amid other concerns for male mental health, including last year's first Male Psychology Conference and the Campaign Against Living Miserably, or CALM, which aims in part to reduce male suicides. (Read more young men stories.)

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