Philip Zimbardo on if video games can cause arousal addiction

Alone and to excess:?a dangerous combination

Teaming up with artist and psychologist Nikita Duncan, Dr. Philip Zimbardo tackled a long-standing interest in the harmful effects of video games and pornography on young men for the new TED Book, “The Demise of Guys: Why Boys Are Struggling and What We Can Do About It,” which covers the threats of “arousal addiction” and fatherlessness. We spoke with Zimbardo and Duncan about their research, alarming conclusions and what parents can do.

On the “enchantment” of porn and video games:
These things contribute to an arrested development. So much of what kids do happens in phases — you do one thing, you get bored with it, you move on. The problem with video games and pornography is that they’re enchanting the youth, and by enchanting, we mean drawing them away unfairly from advancing through phases. These things are designed to be addictive and benefit from your addiction, and so it becomes very difficult to move forward and develop further into maturity for a lot of boys since they feel their needs — sexual and social — are being met. This is especially dangerous when these activities are done alone and to excess.

On communication breakdown:
This is an epidemic. It’s not a phase that boys just go through. Living on the Internet is becoming a problem for the whole society, let alone around the world. There’s an illusion of connectedness. People can play video games over the Internet with each other, but there’s no one side-by-side. That means you’re not learning the basics of social interaction. So, when you meet someone, you don’t know how to talk to them.

On single-mothering:
Parents show love to their children differently. A mother’s love is unconditional. A father’s love is conditional — a father sets terms for a child to meet in order to receive approval. In a single-mother household, it is very important that the mother shift into a split role of both parents, offering love but also guidelines and discipline, to account for the lack of a male mentor present at home.

Gone, daddy, gone
“The phenomenon of boys growing up without fathers is critical,” Dr. Zimbardo says. “There’s a lot of research showing the devastating effects of growing up without a father — cognitive functions, health functions, social functions. That’s a killer combination.”



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

California passes 'yes-means-yes' campus sexual assault bill

Californian lawmakers passed a law on Thursday requiring universities to adopt "affirmative consent" language in their definitions of consensual sex, part of a nationwide drive to curb sexual assault on…

National

Syrian refugees top 3 million, half of all…

By Stephanie NebehayGENEVA (Reuters) - Three million Syrian refugees will have registered in neighboring countries as of Friday, but many remain trapped by the advance…

International

North Korean leader's money manager defects in Russia:…

A senior North Korean banking official who managed money for leader Kim Jong Un has defected in Russia and was seeking asylum in a third country, a South Korean newspaper…

Local

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 29,…

The Department of Transportation and NYPD said there may be residual delays near all of the street closures on August 29, 31 and 31. Several streets and avenues will be…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

Movies

Criterion's new Jacques Demy box mixes the light…

Jacques Demy, the most effervescent of French New Wave filmmakers, gets a Criterion box all to himself, with classics like "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg."

Entertainment

Comedian Joan Rivers, 81, rushed to New York…

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Acerbic comedian and fashion critic Joan Rivers was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York on Thursday after she reportedly…

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

4 healthy ingredient swaps to make your meals…

When it comes to eating well, everyone knows they could be doing better. But cooking in an apartment on a busy schedule is a recipe…

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…