In his book, The Culture Code, Clotaire Rapaille reported his observations about the obesity crisis in America. In a seminar filled with experts, he debunked the belief that obese people would lose weight if only they were educated about the harmful effects of being overweight and the health challenges that accompanied it. He remarked that if in a seminar room filled with professors and highly educated people, there were many who were obese, then the issue wasn’t education.
Rapaille’s theory was that for many people, obesity is not the problem. It is the solution. Obesity is the solution to depression, to loneliness, to identity crisis, to unwanted attention by a mother’s boyfriend and so on. I believe it is the same for masturbation and its accelerant, porn, in Nigeria.
Nigeria has a youth unemployment crisis. The unemployment rate is spiraling and Government’s solution – a push for entrepreneurship will not work. In any population, maybe only 10% will have the personality to succeed as entrepreneurs and of those who start businesses, perhaps only 10% will survive after year three. So, for the masses, paid employment is essential. Government must therefore shift its focus from encouraging mushroom businesses to enabling enterprises that can scale to employ many. With no work to do, our youth are dealing with both idleness and desolation. Sitting at home for years with no job is enough to cause depression. Into this vacuum enters porn and masturbation as solutions.
For some, they are dealing with family issues and grappling with the daily news of corrupt government agencies, massive looting and terrorism. It’s enough to drive anyone to despair. Enter the quick hormonal rush called masturbation. It’s cheap, does not require external participation and can be done without leaving the house. All you need is an active imagination and cheap porn on your phone as a stimulant.
There’s the existence of mind numbing loneliness and the desire to belong somewhere and to someone. Loneliness is not the absence of people. It is the absence of people who connect with you and “get” you. Finding that is not as common as people think, hence the solution – masturbation. If you cannot connect with someone, then at least you can numb the loneliness. There are also people dealing with serious identity conflicts.
There are restrictions placed by religion on young men and women. They are told pre-marital sex is a sin but are not told what to do while they wait for marriage, sometimes for decades. Enter masturbation, the substitute, while they wait for marriage. Some religions forbid talking to the opposite sex because it is said to lead to temptation; talk less of permitting going to the movies or a secular concert. So, the normal rite of passage for young people – socializing with the opposite sex – is truncated. Enter masturbation to help relieve the pressure and the feeling of inadequacy.
Finally, there’s the natural curiosity every young person has about sex and the normal daily sexual arousal they have to deal with. If there are no safe spaces to vent or find knowledge, the alternative will be to employ whatever is readily available.
So my friends, porn is not really the problem. It has become the solution for many other underlying problems. We must fix those problems or at least intervene with urgency if we hope to address the prevalence of porn in Nigeria.
PS: In case you haven’t seen Nigeria’s porn prevalence stats, please go here.Porn has become a solution for underlying problems. We must fix those problems. Click To Tweet