Time magazine’s cover story this week is about what ubiquitous hardcore pornography is doing to men. I can’t link to it because it’s a subscribers-only piece, but Southern Baptist pastor Denny Burk has a detailed (but not NSFW) rundown of what it reports. The gist of it is that porn is changing the brains of young men, who have been watching it from a young age, such that they are impotent with actual women. Burk, quoting the article:

A growing number of young men are convinced that their sexual responses have been sabotaged because their brains were virtually marinated in porn when they were adolescents. Their generation has consumed explicit content in quantities and varieties never before possible, on devices designed to deliver content swiftly and privately, all at an age when their brains were more plastic—more prone to permanent change—than in later life. These young men feel like unwitting guinea pigs in a largely unmonitored decade-long experiment in sexual conditioning.

More Burk:

But it is precisely here that the picture gets really dark. Pornography has been a ubiquitous fixture in their lives for the better part of a decade. Two dates are important to remember in this discussion. In 2007, broadband internet reaches over 50% of American households. In 2013, smartphone ownership exceeds 50% of the population. That means that at some point around 2007, more Americans than not had access not simply to still images but to free video images of people engaged in sex acts. By 2013, more Americans than not had access to video porn at any time and at any place through their smartphone.

The average age that a young man first encounters pornography is 11-13 years old. That means that countless young men have spent the better part of the last decade with access to moving porn. For many of them, everything they have learned about sex has come from pornography. Their sexual preferences have been shaped by this content.

One more bit from Burk:

One of the most striking aspects of Luscombe’s article, however, is the complete absence of a moral framework. The big debate is whether or not porn use is a “public health crisis.” In other words, the main problem with porn is that keeps men from fornicating with lots of women. That is why the title of the article is “Porn and the Threat to Virility.”

We are at a place in our culture in which sexual morality has been reduced to consent. And that is why Luscombe’s article—even after narrating the devastating consequences of porn use—cannot bring itself to condemn pornography as a moral evil. And that is what is so sad about this article. It documents a real problem in our culture, but it has very little to offer by way of remedy.

I am not being hyperbolic when I call porn use a civilizational calamity. The sexual revolution promised us more sex and more pleasure. It has actually delivered to us a generation of men who think of women as objects to be used and abused for their sexual pleasure. It has not given us men who know what virtue and honor are. It doesn’t teach men to pursue their joy in self-sacrificially loving and being sexually faithful to one woman for life. It teaches young men to use women for sex and then to discard them when they become unwilling or uninteresting. This means that it has given us a generation of young men completely unprepared for marriage and for fatherhood.

Read the whole thing. It’s a very, very important piece.

There you see the attack on the family, down to the neuroscientific level. Brilliantly evil. Think about what you might be setting your son up for by giving him a smartphone. A junior high school principal said to me recently that she invited a specialist in porn addiction to give a talk at her school about this, but parents balked, saying their kids didn’t even know what that was.

Fools.

This is not simply a matter of getting a smartphone out of your kid’s hands. Remember my telling you about the family I know who removed their kids from a school because fifth grade boys in her son’s class were watching hardcore porn on smartphones their parents gave them? The boys were building a pornified culture of boyhood. Fifth graders.

How much do you know about the porn habits of your teenage or adolescent son and his friends? It’s important to find out.

This civilization of ours has a death wish. You see it more and more with each passing day.