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Artillery Row

Sons of no one

Father absence plus porn addiction puts boys behind bars

The government’s new Online Safety Bill to restrict minors’ access to pornography sites, has triggered both praise and criticism. While advocates welcomed the attempt to protect the vulnerable, opposers cast stark warnings over users’ loss of anonymity and a threat to internet privacy. Both parties however, failed to consider online pornography’s tragic impact on fatherless boys.

“The combination of father absence and addiction to porn is lethal,” explained campaigner Erin Pizzey; “for these lost boys, addiction to online porn is a life endangering catalyst. Already feeling like outcasts, living life void of meaning or purpose, they seek solace in a momentary rush that only deepens the void.”

Let’s be clear, all users are negatively impacted by the unbearable ease of accessing porn, and its unprecedented abundance — “it is now possible for young men to look at more beautiful nude women in one day, than any man in history had ever seen,” argued Jordan Peterson recently; “to think that doesn’t do anything to you is wrong.”

Porn is a dead easy act, made soul-destroying through overuse

It is a dead easy act, made soul-destroying through overuse — “have you ever really met a guy who is proud of that?” asked Peterson, “that it makes them feel like ‘I’m the guy, man, I’m watching pornography and getting off, what a man’, I don’t believe anyone feels that, to me that’s an indication that yes, we know that it’s pretty cheap, it’s easy.”

Regular use of internet porn leads to “a blunting of interest in sex with a real partner,” said Warren Farrell, author of The Boy Crisis; it also leads to an increased desire for more porn. “It can stimulate massive dopamine levels which reduces the number of dopamine receptors in the brain,” he added. This creates a need that only internet porn can provide, feeding the unrelenting cycle of addiction.

All users are affected by online porn, but the impact on fatherless boys is a whole different game.

“Dad-deprived boys are hurting,” explained Farrell. “They are more likely to be addicted to drugs, video games, opioids and online porn, more likely to be depressed, withdrawn and to commit suicide, they are even more likely to have their life expectancy shortened.”

Deprived of a father’s imposed hardship, challenges, boundary setting and the discipline they need to succeed, they don’t accomplish much and fall behind. They soon feel like outcast failures, beaten and bashed by life. Lacking the resilience needed to overcome life’s obstacles, they become angry and bitter, brooding a simmering, all consuming resentment.

If the video game addiction doesn’t satisfy them, or the alcoholism, or the drugs, they can turn to porn — an addiction that not only sinks them deeper into their mental-health abyss, but destroys their chances of forming a normal relationship.

Online porn creates a level of stimulation that cannot be matched in real life

“When it comes to boy-girl time,” explained Farrell, “that sensitive boy is being rejected by girls who date winners, not losers.” Furthermore, he gets addicted to girls and women as objects, rather than as real people.

Online porn creates a level of stimulation that cannot be matched by a “normal” girl in real life. Jaded by the repeated high sensation of online porn, the boy is not turned on by the gentle touch of the girl’s hand, while the hinted sexual electricity of the one to one interaction, fails to excite him. “Sensing that she is treated as an object, the girl rejects his advances, which to him acts as yet another proof of his worthlessness.”

These boys are trapped in a cycle of hurt. Sometimes the only way they see to end the pain is to end their life — “every single school shooter is a dad-deprived boy,” said Farrell. “Their suicide is a reflection on society’s inability to track boys in a constructive way toward manhood.”

The statistics back up Farrell’s observation: before age nine, girls and boys commit suicide equally; at ages 10 to 14, boys are twice as likely to take their own lives; for boys 15 to 19, it is four times as much; and of those aged 20 to 24, six times as many kill themselves.

“Dad-deprived boys are the number one cause of the boy crisis,” added Farrell, who points to the dad’s disappearance following a divorce as the all too familiar trigger to the boy’s depression. “Anthony Sims’s last Facebook post was, ‘I wish I had a father’ — Sims soon became the Oakland killer, but other boys act out by executing school shootings.”

Society blames family values, but girls live in the same families

Society wrongly blames this on guns and family values, but girls live in the same families, with the same values, similar mental health problems and TV violence. Our daughters are not doing the shootings, our sons are.

“When a boy drives down the serpentine road of mental health,” concluded Farrell, “feeling depressed and isolated because he feels no one who knows the real him loves him, no one needs him and there’s no hope of that changing, he may one day find a cliff and drive off. That choice may be direct as with suicide, or it may be indirect as in a school shooting — living in homes without dads is more correlated with suicide among teenagers than any other factor.”

This is the tragic reality that a bill addressing online porn needs to consider — the now undisputed effect that father absence and an increasingly feminised society are having on boys. Without a masculine role model at home, they attend schools with few to no male teachers, and live within society’s increasingly feminised mindset.

We have a mindset that naturally prioritises “safety and compassion” but fails to nourish the masculine core of a boy’s existence. Schools that shun traditionally masculine traits such as risk taking, competition, persistence, hard work and strength are depriving boys of the hardships and challenges they crave. They end up infantile, unmotivated and weak. “In today’s schools boys are treated like defective girls,” said Christina Hoff Sommers, author of The War on Boys. “Increasingly, our schools have little patience for what just two decades ago was seen as boyishness.”

No child should live a life so void of meaning that he turns to porn

The government should note the alarming statistics, pointing to dad deprivation increasing the likelihood of poor performance at school, being suicidal, homicidal and ending up in prison. “Prisons are basically centers for dad-deprived boys,” said Farrell. “There has been a 700 per cent increase in the prison population in the US since 1972, that is a 93 per cent male population” — the overwhelming majority of which is dad-deprived.

The reason so many dad-deprived boys are lost is a lack of purpose.

“Historically,” explained Farrell, “a boy’s journey to prove himself is what gave him that sense of purpose.” Most cultures assigned each sex Mars/Venus-type roles that were “sold” to each sex as its purpose in life. As developed countries permitted divorce, they created women who raise children, raise money, or some combination of both, but dad’s historic role of raising money remained the same. Within this new reality, “a young man could no longer find his purpose as a man by being a ‘sole breadwinner’, and as fewer warriors were needed, boys began experiencing a purpose void — dad-deprived boys, without the guidance of dads in finding alternative senses of purpose, were hit the hardest.”

No child should live a life so void of purpose and meaning that he regularly turns to online porn for solace. The government should seriously address the devastating effect of father absence on children before applying bans and limiting users’ privacy.

It should look at boys’ place within increasingly feminised schools, and recognise that the drive for safety and compassion, worthy as it is, does not accommodate boys’ natural need for competition, physical activity, discipline, risk taking, obstacles and hardship.

It would be wise to bring more men into teaching and help reduce the 10,000 hours of video games a boy would play by the age of 21, most of that in isolation. Our boys are in trouble, and we need to act.

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