How Internet Pornography Makes Men Stupid
In the last two months' articles, we explored how pornographers use specific tactics to target the male and female markets according to the dramatic differences in male and female brain structure, and how each views sexuality and intimacy differently. This month we will look at how pornography radically alters human behavior-specifically male behavior. Next month we will examine how pornography alters female behavior.
We have already discussed in past articles how pornography radically alters the structure of the human brain-changes so dramatic they can only be described as brain damage. Upon observing news headlines describing the bizarre behaviors of prominent men under the influence of pornography, one teenage boy I know declared, "Porn makes men stupid!" Rather than re-examine the mass of convincing mindbody science showing why Internet pornography makes men stupid, I will present a sampling of the millions and millions of men who have done some of the most wildly stupid things as a direct result of pornography consumption.
Of course, you need not go any further than the headlines of the past few years in which prominent world leaders have abandoned all values, responsibility, reason and logic, and under the influence of porn and sex addiction, have engaged in behavior that would rightly be considered stupid, vulgar and depraved.
Among this cross section of examples are stories from men I have interviewed; other examples are taken from reports in the media.
Men on a Diet of Pornography Do Wildly Stupid Things
Internet Porn Led Man to Rape Tot:
(From the Deseret News, Salt Lake City, Utah, December 21, 1999)
Kenneth Rodger Hardy started experimenting with pornography on the Internet. Once the high-tech, sex superhighway got rolling, he couldn't stop. Before long he was stockpiling pornography on videotapes and computer disks and videotaping himself performing sex acts on a 15-month-old female relative.
"It got away from him," said Hardy's attorney, Lee Rasmussen. "That's the root of the problem."
Hardy pleaded guilty Monday to rape of a child, sodomy of a child and aggravated sexual abuse of a child, all first-degree felonies, for raping and sexually abusing the 15-month-old girl while he was babysitting her.
The charges surfaced after Hardy's son-in-law discovered the videotape, filmed sometime between Aug. 1 and Oct. 8. The son-in-law showed the tape to the baby's mother, who turned it over to Grantsville police.
. . . Rasmussen, who worked in the FBI 23 years before becoming a defense attorney, has also seen the tape. He said Hardy has no explanation for why he sexually abused the girl or videotaped the act. [Remember male narrowing at the base of the funnel and the loss of all reason, values, logic, etc?].
"He feels terrible," Rasmussen said. "He has a lot of remorse. It's been devastating to him. It is an egregious case, and he realizes that." [Remember the hopeless dialogue and what happens when one emerges from the narrow base of the funnel and full perspective, values and reasoning return?].
The 46-year-old Deputy Mayor of the City of Los Angeles attended a West L.A. porn theater one afternoon a few years ago. While engrossed in the sex film, he became so aroused [narrowed - all logic and reason blocked out] that he started to sexually assault a patron seated next to him.
The individual turned out to be an undercover city vice-squad officer. The Deputy Mayor was arrested, booked, and found guilty in a subsequent trial. This distinguished public servant resigned his office shamed and humiliated, his career in shambles.
Man Exposes Himself on Freeway:
One morning after spending hours on the Internet surfing pornography, a successful executive drove to a meeting across town. While on the freeway, he noticed a pickup truck ahead of him with two teenage girls inside.
A great deal of his Internet porn viewing had been at sites that featured teen porn, -i.e., teen girls in sex acts with older men. The image of the girls in the truck went straight to the neural pathways and cells where the Internet porn images were stored. This triggered a series of connections in his brain and body and he immediately became sexually aroused.
Pulling up next to the truck, he pulled his pants down to his knees, exposed himself and then honked the horn of his car. The two girls looked over and were so startled at what they saw that the driver gunned her engine and swerved away from the man's car, nearly causing an accident.
Jolted back into reality by the girl's reaction, [he pulled out of his narrow focus and began seeing things at the top of the funnel again]. Afraid that the girls or someone else might jot down his license plate number, he pulled off the freeway at the next exit. He was late for his meeting.
Man Enters the Narrow Tunnel of Porn the Day Before His Wedding:
In the wedding video his father-in-law shot, John doesn't smile or look at the camera. He shifts his gaze and his eyes drift downward. The day that was supposed to be a highlight of his life is among his darkest memories more than 20 years later.
The wedding went according to plan. A minister from John's church performed the ceremony in a sacred edifice he had always revered. But it was John's actions the day before that haunted him. Stressed out by the magnitude of the vows he was about to take, John medicated himself by indulging in the addiction that had plagued him since his early teens. He drove to a park, walked to a restroom, and acted out sexually with a man who remains nameless and faceless in his memory. Though John doesn't recall all of the details of what went on, the shame he felt afterward is still glaringly clear in his mind.
You may be tempted to judge John harshly. "What a pig he is, or a sleaze, a filthy pervert. How could he do that to himself and to his future wife?" And of course you'd be right. The act was disgusting, grossly irresponsible, a vile betrayal of his bride-to-be. But only John and those like him know the dark and overwhelming power of porn when it lures you in and the resulting sexual addiction. John is no different than the alcoholic or cocaine addict, who under the stress and pressure of getting married just has to have one more fix.
Former Disney Executive Seeks Sex with 13-Year-Old Girl:
Aside from the assumptions and stereotypes many people have adopted, many Internet porn addicts are college graduates, are in the upper income brackets, and often are prominent, successful citizens.
Such was the case with a former Disney Studios executive. Convicted of possessing child pornography and of crossing state lines while seeking sex with a 13-year-old girl with whom he had made arrangements over the Internet, he reaped the sad fruits of his addiction. His career, his marriage, his life was ruined.
Grandfathers and Pornography - A Human Tragedy
As men grow old and gray, most become wise to the trappings of the world. They develop greater perspective, self-discipline and self-control. Most people think Internet pornography is a young man's problem. Grandfathers are above this sort of thing. They can no longer be lured in by such juvenile trash.
As much as I would like to tell you that this is true, statistics don't bear it out. The male brain and body is structured in a way that it is susceptible to pornographic images whether he is a 12-year-old boy or a 70-year-old grandfather. I have the deepest respect for our senior citizens. The more I meet with them and spend time with them, the more impressed I am. I often think to myself, "This woman has a lifetime of experience and knowledge. That man is a walking, talking library on life! These people are our most precious natural resource. We must not let them go to waste. Let's tap into their wisdom and knowledge and use it!"
I marvel as I see elderly couples who have been together for half-a-century or more, and are more deeply in love than ever. I reverence the elderly as they age with grace and dignity. What great wells of wisdom. What a tremendous gift they are to our society.
So it pains my heart deeply when I see loving grandfathers fall into the pornography trap. With their distinguished gray hair, their deep wrinkles of experience, their quiet wisdom, grace and dignity, it seems all the more tragic to see one of them shot down by porn's poisonous dart.
Out of my deep respect for grandfathers, I hesitate to share the following stories. But I feel compelled to do so as a cautionary voice of warning. No matter what your age is, you cannot afford to indulge your curiosity when it comes to the highly addictive drug called Internet pornography.
Grandfather Case Study:
An acquaintance recently told me of a grandfather in the family who had discovered pornography on the Internet and had begun viewing it on a regular basis.
One afternoon, when the family was off running errands, it was just the grandfather and his 12-year-old granddaughter in the house. The grandfather was in his bedroom with the door locked, getting his Internet porn fix, consisting of images of naked teenage-looking women.
Having descended to the narrow bottom of the funnel in his arousal, he rose from his chair and proceeded to the room where his granddaughter was. He doesn't remember what he said to her, but he exposed himself and attempted to sexually molest her. She fled to the house of the next-door neighbor. I'm sure you can imagine the sequence of painful events from that point.
This example isn't so different from hundreds of others. But there are several facts about this case that I will never forget. First, there was no denial, no deception or concealment on the part of the grandfather, only total and complete despair, humiliation, regret, shock and disbelief.
"Shock and disbelief?" you ask. "Wasn't this grandfather accountable for his actions? Didn't he make a conscious decision to do what he did?" Yes. The grandfather acknowledged that he was responsible. He made no excuses. The reason he suffered such shock and disbelief, is how quickly it had happened and how he could not remember exactly why he had risen from the chair in the first place. It was like he had been in a "trance," like he was a different person.
At the moment his granddaughter screamed and ran from the house, it was as if he had been shocked back to his senses [regained his big-picture perspective at the top of the funnel]. He just stood there in total horror at what had just occurred.
In fact, I was told that the family found him sobbing uncontrollably when they arrived home later that day. This distinguished, dignified and loving gentleman had been cut down by the crushing force of pornography. The pain, shame, guilt and regret of that moment will follow him for the remainder of his life.
Here is a grandfather who would never harm one of his grandchildren for anything in the world; rather in an instant he would give his life for any one of them. Yet, in a moment of sexual indulgence he temporarily abandoned everything he loved and violated his values, his morals, his beliefs. How could this happen?
His initial mistake was the moment that he took that first peek at those pornographic images on the Internet. For this grandfather, at least, from that first glance the tragic outcome was set. He didn't understand the power of the pornography he was looking at. He knew it was wrong, but he probably figured he could give it up just as easily as he embraced it, and it would be no big deal. After all, he was a grandfather, an old man, a religious family man. He was in control. It wouldn't hurt to indulge his curiosity just a little bit.
This tender grandfather didn't realize beforehand how pornography "narrows" the male brain and robs the viewer of his logic, reason and sound judgment (regardless of his age); how it forces him into a narrow tunnel where nothing else matters but satisfying the fiery urges the porn has ignited. It was in this "narrow tunnel" that this grandfather lost his way for but a moment-a moment that would haunt him and his family for the rest of their lives.
Alongside this devastating image, I would create a monument to all of pornography's tragic victims: The women, the children, the wives, mothers, sisters and daughters, the little boys, sons and brothers-all innocent bystanders from whom the thief took so much. The men, fathers and husbands who could have been so much more and given so much more, were it not for the thief called pornography.
So, as you can see, my 12-year-old friend was right-pornography really does make you "stupid." However, the examples I have given, tragic though they may be, represent only the beginning of the carnage and catastrophe that pornography addiction can-and will in the future-create.
In Some Men Pornography Brings Out the Darkest Evil
We have seen that under the "narrowing" influence of pornography, men momentarily forfeit their reasoning and judgment. As a result, they do stupid things that bring shame, embarrassment, broken marriages, scarred families, ruined careers and lost opportunities.
Many of these men could have made significantly greater contributions of love and service to those around them and to the world, if they had not spent so much time trapped in their own "narrow world" of pornography.
But porn's ability to make men do stupid things is only the tip of the proverbial iceberg. The industry, with the Internet as its primary ally, is now leading more and more men and women, teens and children down a dark and sinister path. It is seducing them to become part of a world where innocent bystanders bear the hellish, hideous impact of pornography's progeny.
In his work Pornography's Effects on Adults & Children, clinical psychologist Dr. Victor Cline reports:
In research conducted by Dr. W. Marshall, almost half of the rapists that he studied used pornography depicting consenting sex to arouse themselves preparatory to seeking out a victim to rape. Another investigator, Dr. M. J. Goldstein, found that far more of the sex offenders than the non-offenders he studied wished to, and often did, emulate the acts they saw depicted in pornography.
In still another study, most of Dr. E.G. Abel's sex offenders said that pornography increased their appetites for deviant activities (and these were the men who reported the least control over their deviant activities). Other investigators have reported that rapists and child molesters use pornographic materials fully, both immediately prior to their crimes and during the actual assaults.
Still another type of evidence comes from a study conducted by Darrell Pope, a former Michigan State police officer, who found that of 38,000 cases of sexual assault on file in Michigan, 41% involved pornography exposure just prior to the act or during the act.
Porn users don't live in a vacuum; they live among people, real, living, breathing people: spouses, children, neighbors, co-workers. Any or all of these can be hurt when a porn addict spins out of control.
People imitate what they have seen in pornographic images. Dr. Judith Reisman calls this type of acting out copycat crime. Based on what we know about cellular memories and the mindbody using these memories to bring about our desires for a peak experience, this makes perfect sense.
If a man or teenage boy has been masturbating while viewing porn, the images he sees are linked by the mindbody as the way to arrive at the highly desirable peak experience of orgasm. The mindbody links these images with pleasure, release, arousal and climax. And what are these images? In their obsession to capture as many viewers as possible, to appeal to every fetish and appetite, no matter how twisted or deviate, Internet pornographers display an incredible variety of images-from the traditional pin-up girl to the bizarre, depraved, debauched and vile; sexual images mixed with traditional fantasy, but also co-mingled with images of children, animals, rape, torture, murder, expectant mothers, and many other shocking connections.
Do you recall that the mindbody does not distinguish between reality and fantasy when it comes to material that is highly erotic, violent or shocking? When men look at Internet porn photographs, videos and live transmissions, their mindbody accepts the images as reality.
An Internet site shows girl-like women dressed in Girl Scout uniforms being raped; a few weeks later a local newspaper reports the brutal rape of a girl scout while selling cookies door-to-door. After viewing a graphic video on the Internet portraying little girls in their school uniforms, a porn addict kidnaps, rapes, tortures, mutilates and murders two children in their Catholic schoolgirl uniforms. Mere coincidence? Sound too far-fetched? These are actual cases! They are only two of the thousands of such copycat crimes committed by porn addicts each year.
Taking into account the litany of sexual perversions linked to acts of violence that can be accessed on the Internet, can you begin to understand the source of grizzly sex-murders, tortures and mutilations occurring with increasing frequency around the world?
In the past, the most extreme examples of porn-related copycat crime were men like Ted Bundy and Gary Bishop. With the Internet now exposing tens of millions of men and teens to pornography day in and day out, in what direction and magnitude will the number of copycat crimes committed against innocent women and children go?
Next month we will discuss how pornography makes women stupid.
Mark B. Kastleman is the author of the revolutionary new book titled The Drug of the New Millennium-the Science of How Internet Pornography Radically Alters the Human Brain and Body-A Guide for Parents, Spouses, Clergy and Counselors. Many leading scientists, psychologists, therapists and religious leaders consider this book to be one of the most important works ever written on this subject, and a must-read for parents, spouses, clergy and counselors.