by Hannah James and Sean O'Shea
© Shaw Media, 2014
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Part 1 of 4
[Transcribed from the video by Tara Carreon]
[Hannah James] It's a disturbing byproduct of the Internet age: healthy young men who suffer from sexual dysfunction because of an addiction to online pornography. It's a condition that causes shame, depression, even thoughts of suicide.The appeal of doctrines (on the right or the left of the political spectrum) that glorify violence can be understood more readily if we recognize their close relationship to commonly held stereotypes of masculinity. In our culture, as in many others, violence is often taken as evidence of the toughness and aggressiveness, the lack of sentimentality, and the emotional stoicism that males are expected to demonstrate. Thus the readiness to proclaim or endorse the glories of violence is often a response to the perceived requirements of the male sex role; to shy away from violence is to fail a challenge to prove one's manliness. Similarly, those who feel particularly oppressed by their powerlessness and lack of personal agency may resort to violence because they see it as a way of regaining their lost manhood.
-- Violence Without Moral Restraint: Reflections on the Dehumanization of Victims and Victimizers, by Herbert C. Kelman
So they turn to drugs like Viagra to restore normal sexuality instead of seeking treatment for their addiction. Tonight, Sean O'Shea has a candid account of one of these men who agreed to tell a story to 16x9.
GENERATION X-RATED, producer Hannah James
[Sean O'Shea] Gabe Deem is strong, athletic and all-American. You could say he's the picture of male virility.
But three years ago, this is how this 26-year-old from Irving, Texas spent most days:
in front of his computer alone, enveloped in an x-rated fantasy world.
[Gabe Deem] When I was around 8 years old, I was walking around my neighborhood on just a normal day.
I was walking around and I found a Playboy magazine sitting under a bush. And I still remember when I first saw it. I was completely captivated by it. Seeing a naked woman when I was 8 years old just captivated me and blew my mind.
[Sean O'Shea] A normal discovery and curiosity, soon became an all-consuming obsession.
[Gabe Deem] Things got really bad when I was around 12. And this was when my family got Internet, high-speed Internet.
I had unlimited access to the most hardcore porn you can think of.
So what I would do was, I would get out of Middle School and come home as fast as I could and watch porn, look up whatever I could for about three or four hours before my parents got home from work.
[Sean O'Shea] Alone in his room, mesmerized, it was an online world he couldn't turn his eyes away from. It also shaped his view of sex and girls.
[Gabe Deem] I became sexually active also when I was 14ish. And I immediately began to treat girls as sex objects.
I just kind of used them and objectified them. And I do think that porn played a huge part in that.
[Sean O'Shea] Through his teens and into his 20s, that attitude got worse.
A boy's fascination with sex turned into a compulsion.
[Gabe Deem] I was so addicted to pornography that I literally refused to go spend time with my family on Thanksgiving.
It led me to a point where I would rather ...
sit at home and get all my pleasure from a screen ...
than actually talk face-to-face with people who I love spending time with.
[Sean O'Shea] Gabe didn't realize how bad his porn addiction was until one day he discovered his body was failing him at the most basic level.
[Gabe Deem] I never really noticed that porn was becoming a problem until my wiener no longer worked.
When I was 23 years old, I was with a gorgeous girl who I found extremely attractive, and we went for sex and nothing happened.
I couldn't get turned on at all. And you know, I freaked out.
[Dr. Abraham Morgentaler] I'm worried, I'm worried about the impact of porn on men and on women.
[Sean O'Shea] Dr. Abraham Morgentaler is a urologist and director of the Men's Health Clinic in Boston.
He sees a whole generation of young men just like Gabe, with unlimited access to porn ...
and that is causing a new condition called Porn-Induced Erectile Dysfunction.
[To Dr. Morgentaler] What's wrong with porn when it comes to a man's ability to have a successful sex life?
[Dr. Abraham Morgentaler] A lot of the men who grow up now watching Internet porn or anything else ...
learn their sexuality and how to get stimulated down there in a way that is not mimicked by actual sex.
What porn has figured out is what really works for the brain of the guys.
It's the maximum stimulus.
[Sean O'Shea] But that maximum stimulus can interfere with how a man gets aroused. Morgentaler remembers the days when impotence was a taboo subject.
[Dr. Abraham Morgentaler] Nobody would talk. Conversations in the office were awkward and stilted. And then, Boom! Viagra came out in 1998. And the next thing you know is everybody's talking about this thing at the water coolers, and it changed everything.
[Viagra ad] Good morning!
We talked the whole night through.
Good morning to you!
[Sean O'Shea] Ads for viagra, that new miracle drug, started popping up everywhere.
But it was targeted exclusively to older men.
Now, a lot of young guys ...
are trying to get their hands on that little blue pill, too.
[Dr. Abraham Morgentaler] I get men who come in to see me, often young men ...
who actually have no problems whatsoever sexually ...
and they're coming in and they are asking for these pills.