GodsDesign Sampler FULLSAMPLER-compressed - Page 53



T he D angers of T echnology
learn valuable relationship skills from his failures and successes. Deeply
rooted social norms made it unlikely in early courtship that the physical
relationship of a couple would advance beyond ­hand-­holding or perhaps
a furtive kiss.
After a number of relationships that served as opportunities to hone
and develop interpersonal skills, empathy, and a host of other important
abilities, a special relationship would develop and move toward marriage.
There would be some limited advancement in the physical relationship in
engagement, but no consummation of it until marriage.
In early marriage, the sexually naive couple would struggle to understand the sexual desires and needs of the other, benefiting from the wisdom of elders who had been through the same process, and gradually they
would experience more and more sexual pleasure with each other. Without
the wide availability of contraceptives, childbearing almost inevitably came
along within a year or two, leading the couple together to experience the
joys and demands of parenting.
At the biological level of the brains of these young people, significant
changes occurred. Their growing social skills led to the development of rich
neural networks supporting the coding and decoding of interpersonal cues.
Pleasurable interpersonal encounters led to modest bursts of the neuro­
transmitter dopamine, which is associated with pleasure and reward. The
process of learning from past failures and misfires enriched the development
of the frontal cortex, the seat of s­elf-­control and mature judgment. The
deep bonding of courtship, marriage, sexual intimacy, and eventually ­child-
­rearing fostered the release of dopamine and also of oxytocin, the neuro­
chemical associated with deep love and satisfaction. This development of
a deep, stable, mature, and productive relationship seems to be what our
brains are designed to experience.
The widespread availability of extreme pornography has totally changed
the picture today, as has the changing cultural understandings of sexuality.
Today, in suburban home settings with fewer siblings, with a parent or parents meeting the demands of work outside the home, without grandparents
in the home, and with technologically based entertainment that requires no
interaction whatsoever, children are already much more prone to isolation.
As result, they develop a more limited range of social skills and often fail
to thrive interpersonally.
In that environment, our young man18 is exposed to online pornography. What is the result?
18 3

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