Ethics & Religion
April 7, 2016
Young Men Are
by Mike McManus
published a remarkable cover story this week entitled, PORN: Why Young
Men Who Grew Up with Internet Porn Are Becoming Advocates for Turning It
It begins with the story of Noah Church, 26, who found pictures of nude
women on the Internet at age 9. "When he was 15, streaming videos
arrived, and he watched those. Often. Several times a day," prompting
In his senior year of high school, he had an opportunity "to have actual
sex." However, despite the naked girl in her bedroom, he simply could
First time jitters? No "Six years went by and no matter which woman he
was with, his body was no more cooperative." He only got aroused with
pornography. He had what experts call "porn-induced erectile dysfunction
TIME reports, "A growing number of young men are convinced that their
sexual responses have been sabotaged because their brains were virtually
marinated in porn when they were adolescents....So they're beginning to
push back, creating online community groups, smartphone apps and
educational videos to help men quit porn."
The magazine cites "Reboot Nation" a forum and online video channel that
offers advice and support for people who feel they are addicted to
pornography, and have sexual dysfunction as a result. Its creator is
Gabe Deem, 28, who experienced PIED.
I visited the site and was stunned by the wide range of help that is
available. Deem has created videos and written essays, and allowed
others to do so as well. One of his essays, "The Basics of Rebooting,"
had been read by 27,767 people. Rebooting is Deem's term for "recovering
from porn addiction and associated symptoms, including erectile
dysfunction. We call it rebooting so you can envision restoring your
brain to its original factory settings."
That's the good news of TIME's cover story. Recovery is possible.
Another of the young men whose story is reported is Alexander Rhodes who
created NoFap.com in 2011, a website whose name derives from fap,
Internet jargon for masturbation. By the time he was 14, Rhodes says he
was "pleasuring himself to porn 10 times a day." His websites have about
200,000 members and they get a million visitors a month.
Deem says "The reason I quit watching porn is to have more sex." Rhodes
adds, "Quitting porn is one of the most sex-positive things people can
In 1992 about 5% of men experienced ED at age 40 according to the
National Institutes of Health. A study in the July, 2013 Journal of
Sexual Medicine reported that 26% of adult men seeking help for ED were
under 40. Another study of military personnel estimated that a third
suffered from ED.
This explosive growth parallels the increased availability of hard core
porn via streaming video over the past decade. One independent
web-tracking company reported 58 million monthly U.S. visitors in 2006.
"Ten years later the number was 107 million," TIME reported. One
fast-growing, massive site is Pornhub, which says it gets 2.4 million
visitors per hour, and that in 2015 people around the globe watched
4,392,486,580 hours of its content, "which is more than twice as long as
Homo sapiens has spent on earth."
As this column reported in February, 56% of divorces in 2003 involve the
addiction of one spouse to pornography, a figure that has undoubtedly
grown in the past decade.
That column also reported that the Utah Legislature was considering
declaring pornography a "public health hazard." Within weeks it had done
so by a unanimous vote. It was promoted by Utah State Senator Todd
Weiler. I asked him what his next step would be.
"I have approached McDonalds and said, `You are a restaurant with a
playground and are marketing Happy Meals, but your WiFi is targeting
children. Although they have filters at home where parents are keeping
them from looking at porn, you should not be a purveyor of porn.'"
McDonalds agreed to consider that.
Weiler added, "I'd like to do what (Prime Minister) David Cameron did in
England - change the way the internet is delivered in a porn free
setting. He's had a high opt-in rate of 65%" of households who chose to
keep their homes porn-free."
Donna Rice Hughes, who runs "Enough Is Enough," has created an Emmy
Award-winning DVD package called Internet Safety 101 which is designed
to help families block porn from their homes. She and others have asked
Presidential candidates to take a stand on the issue.
None have done so.
However, TIME's cover story reports that formerly addicted young men
have pioneered important answers. As a former TIME correspondent, I felt
a sense of pride.
Copyright (c) 2016 Michael J. McManus, President of Marriage Savers and
a syndicated columnist. To see past columns go to
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