News

New book claims a generation of men are "arousal addicts"

May 24

A new book describes how a whole generation of men have become "arousal addicts", which has impacted on their overall development.

The theory is that young males are not putting their efforts into school work and activities that would help with employment because they are constantly in search of novelty via video games and pornography, reported cnn.com.

Written by Stanford University academic Dr Philip Zimbardo and fellow psychologist Nikita Duncan, 'The Demise of Guys: Why Boys Are Struggling and What we Can Do About It' is a damning indictment of the way addiction is affecting men's prospects.

Among the areas that this kind of addiction can affect are young males' romantic relationships and friendships due to the complexities they involve. There are also suggestions that the violence in video games could create the idea in gamers' minds that such behaviour is rewarded in real life too.

In the book, the authors suggested that arousal addiction differs from craving drugs or alcohol; in the latter case people want more of the same thing, whereas in the former they require something new to satisfy them.

In a TED interview cited by vg247.com, Ms Duncan remarked: "There's a general overuse of video games and porn - especially in social isolation - which is not balanced out by other activities like exercise, face-to-face socialization with peers, or individual time with any kind of male mentor."

Paul Smithson