November 7, 2018

A Disturbing New Trend in Men’s Health

The other weekend, my housemates and I were watching NFL football on television. After a series of plays, the network cut to commercial break. I normally drown out commercials, but one caught my attention.

It was a commercial for “ED” (erectile dysfunction) medication. However, something was different about this commercial. In the past, ED medication commercials directed themselves towards middle-aged men with graying hair – the demographic most commonly associated with erectile dysfunction. On the contrary, this commercial featured younger men in their 30s, perhaps late 20s. It also alluded to the fact that young men don’t enjoy openly talking about their erectile dysfunction.

Pharmaceutical companies are now targeting a younger demographic for erectile dysfunction medication. This calculated decision rides on the back of new studies showing increased erectile dysfunction amongst young men. The culprit? Internet pornography.

One recent study found that 26.4% of males age 16-21 exhibited problems with erectile dysfunction. Studies analyzing time periods prior to pervasive Internet porn use reported ED rates between  2-5% for men under 40. Erectile dysfunction is becoming much more common, particularly among young men, and its rise coincides with the rise of Internet pornography.

Gabe Deem, founder of the pornography addiction recovery organization Reboot Nation, summarized his own personal experience: “How could I possibly have erectile dysfunction? I was only 23 and physically healthy. I went searching and found long threads of guys saying they thought porn had caused their ED. Unbelievable, but turns out it potentially had for me, too. It took me nine months to recover normal sexual function.”

The fact that pharmaceutical companies are now after a younger demographic highlights the rise of this issue. Pornography is causing a public health crisis. Porn-induced erectile dysfunction is now another major problem proving this.

Are you struggling with compulsive pornography use? Visit our resources page to find help.

Ben Miller

Digital Strategies Coordinator

Ben joined the National Center on Sexual Exploitation as Digital Strategies Coordinator in July of 2018. As Digital Strategies Coordinator, Ben raises awareness for issues of sexual exploitation through digital media, email marketing, and website development. He works to create a community of activists who are enthusiastic about combating sexual exploitation and changing culture.

Ben earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. He graduated with Honors in the Liberal Arts and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. During his college career, Ben spent a semester studying in Washington, D.C. and interned for a member of Congress. On campus, he actively sought to change Greek culture, especially with respect to sexual exploitation, through his membership in Phi Kappa Theta fraternity. Ben also supported his peers who were afflicted by the harms of pornography through a weekly men’s purity group.

Ben’s deep commitment to fighting sexual exploitation was ignited in part by the work done by NCOSE. While writing a research literature review for a public policy class in college, he came across Porn Harms Research and the initiatives being carried out by NCOSE. Ben, a strong anti-pornography activist at the time, began to learn more about the connections between all forms of exploitation and how prominent these issues are in today’s society. He devoted himself to raising awareness about the web of sexual exploitation and is deeply grateful for the work NCOSE has done on these issues. Ben is excited to be a part of the team at the National Center on Sexual Exploitation and to contribute to this important cause.

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