Why are so many young men flaming out? Too much gaming and internet porn.

So Jon wants to watch “The Funny Guy” before bed last night, that is Funny Guy Rick Mercer, and we find a clip online of Rick getting some fashion advice from Don Cherry and before it’s all over, RM has a new Cherry-like zebra suit.

Jon laughs and I put him to bed and stroke his head and he’s soon asleep, but, like many Dads, I can’t help but wonder about how to break the new paradigm that so many boys and young men apparently find themselves in.

While fishing around the net with Jon, I had also found a TED talk on fatherlessness, the speaker, Jason Mateo, suggesting that fatherless fathers can actually make better dads.

“So he’s saying, guys without a dad can make better dads themselves, that they’d be better because they’d work at it extra hard,” I explained to Jon.

I continued. “So why do you think that other fathers without their own fathers might not make very good dads?”

“Well,” said Jon, “they might not know the rules of the house.”

“Okay, like what rules?”

“Like no chain saws.”

So true.

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But it was this other TED talk here – Jon in bed at this point –  that was more substantive and interesting, if not alarming, one by psychologist Philip Zimbardo who notes that guys are flaming out — 30 per cent more likely than girls to drop out of high school, getting 10 per cent fewer university degrees than girls, five times greater rate of ADHD and now, thanks to extended hours with video gaming and internet porn, extreme social awkwardness in their college years, especially with girls.

More and more, young men are out of sync academically and socially, Zimbardo says. And who should care?

Mom and Dad, for starters.

And, he adds, “women who would like a real man to talk to, who can dance, who can make love slowly and who can contribute to the evolutionary pressures to keep our species above the level of banana slugs – no offense to owners of banana slugs.”

Ouch.

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