Sex, violence, and self-esteem

By Tom Quiner

Jimmy threatened to hurt his mom.

He was the son of a family friend. I changed the name, even though Jimmy and his folks are long gone.

I don’t know what his condition was, other than he was mentally ill. When he was an adult, his parents were forced to turn him away out of personal safety for the mom. He had threatened her. For the record, Jimmy’s mom was a wonderful woman.

It tore her up to boot him out of the house.

She and her husband didn’t know what else to do. There was no place for Jimmy. Back in the 50s and 60s, the ACLU forced changes in our mental health laws which released people from mental institutions who had been involuntarily committed. Many of those “freed” from these institutions ended up as members of the growing homeless class. Many ended up in our prisons.

I don’t know if Jimmy ever hurt anyone, but he died sometimes in his fifties of a drug overdose.

What do we do with these poor kids when they become adults?

I ask because a lot of mentally ill people have gotten their hands on guns and killed a lot of innocent people. Last week’s shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, which took place 10 minutes from my sister’s house, is the most recent.

I don’t think guns are the root issue here, but they are an issue.

Republicans would be wise to quickly propose a bill that bans a specific type of gun,those that allow users to use a clip with 10 bullets or more.

Forget comprehensive reform. Pass a simple law to once again take this type of gun off of the market, as it was just eight years ago.

I admit, I’m not a gun guy. I don’t own guns and hope I never have the need. I believe in the 2nd Amendment, but not in guns that allow nuts to kill more people faster.

Which leads to my second point. We’re breeding more sociopaths in America.

The average teen age boy spends 13 hours a week playing video games. These games are really violent, and they glorify killing. Lots of killing. With guns.

In addition, some studies reveal that the average teen age male spends two hours a week watching internet porn.

Both of the these forms of entertainment reduce human beings to objects. Both de-humanize.

At the same time that our kids are spending so much of their free time corrupting their soul, they’ve stopped going to church. Some studies show only 20% of kids attend religious services regularly.

Do you think this is affecting the next generation? Yes …

√ Last year’s SAT scores for young men was the worst in 40 years.

√ Seventy percent of D’s and F’s go to boys.

√ Boys are no longer interested in being husbands, fathers, or heads of households say researchers.

√ 60% of bachelor’s degrees will go to women by 2016.

√ Research shows that porn is inhibiting the ability of young men to form meaningful romantic relationships.

The objectification of humanity is turning healthy boys into unhealthy ones, and a small percentage of unhealthy ones into killers.

Most of our mentally ill don’t snap like this. But we’ve seen way too many mass public murders these past several decades.

We are watching our country be destroyed from the inside out.

It has to stop. It just has to if we want to save the country.

Porn should be illegal. Human degradation is not covered by the First Amendment.

Ultra violent video games should be restricted.

And the entire thrust of our approach to dealing with kids in our schools needs to change from a slobbering devotion to “self esteem” to an approach that builds self-discipline, which leads to self-respect.

One of the self-esteem movement’s advocates, Roy Baumeister, was commissioned to study the impact of self esteem curriculum. Mr. Baumeister is a professor of psychology and Francis Eppes Eminent Scholar at Florida State University.

He discovered that self esteem curriculum didn’t deliver on its promise. Even more, that it was counterproductive:

“Recently, though, several close analyses of the accumulated research have shaken many psychologists’ faith in self-esteem. My colleagues and I were commissioned to conduct one of these studies by the American Psychological Society, an organization devoted to psychological research. These studies show not only that self-esteem fails to accomplish what we had hoped, but also that it can backfire and contribute to some of the very problems it was thought to thwart. Social sector organizations should therefore reconsider whether they want to dedicate their scarce resources to cultivating self-esteem. In my view, there are other traits, like self-control, that hold much more promise.”

Let’s recap:

Today’s youth is fed a diet of violent video games and movies.

Today’s youth is fed a diet of porn.

Today’s youth are moving away from God.

Today’s youth are told they’re wonderful (even when they’re not) by self-esteem gurus in the school who think that if you slobber enough on these kids, they’ll believe it and act better.

All of this is a dramatic reversal of the way kids were raised a generation ago.

How is this diet of depravity-laced entertainment and esteem-laced education affecting the mental health, the spiritual health, and the moral health of our kids?

It is ruining lives and destroying a nation.


  1. Bob Vance on December 19, 2012 at 11:48 pm

    You must have missed this reply on a previous page “Atheist files discrimination lawsuit”. You asked me what my point was. To tie this into the current topic, I think maybe you left out hubris.

    To make a comparison, your joke is equivalent to a table full of skinny women telling fat jokes knowing there is an overweight woman sitting at the next table who everyone knows can hear. When she gets upset and walks away, someone comments as to why fat people are so angry.

    The core of this joke is that you believe you are morally superior to me (I am a fool no less) because you believe in God – a belief based on faith, which by definition is not based on facts.

    Now you can say that you were only joking, but when I post several jokes, you failed to post one because you found it offensive. To you, it crossed the boundaries of being a joke.

    For the same reason you found that joke offensive, many atheists find your “fool” joke offensive. I do not believe in the supernatural – which includes virgin births, talking bushes and asses, living inside a fish for days, and boats that can hold every creature living on earth. I believe everything has a scientific natural explanation. I believe murder is wrong because it disrupts society. We would not have evolved into the society we are in if murder was the norm. Having been raised a Christian, this was not a conclusion I came to lightly.

    I believe in science, which is based on scientific methods of predictability, repeatability, etc. If I drop a quarter off a tall building, I can calculate how long it will take to hit the ground and what speed it will hit the ground. I do not calculate tiny angels pushing it towards the ground.

    • quinersdiner on December 20, 2012 at 7:55 am

      Science and religion are not incompatible. Jokes about the de-flowering of the Blessed Virgin are incompatible with this blog.

      • Bob Vance on December 20, 2012 at 8:18 am

        I agree that joke was offensive, which was my point. I would never tell that joke to anyone even if I knew they wouldn’t be offended.

        Am I right then that you claim the moral ground yet have no problem throwing out jokes that you know some will find very offensive?

        • quinersdiner on December 20, 2012 at 8:33 am

          The nature of jokes is to poke some gentle fun at someone. If you found my atheist joke offensive, you have awfully thin skin.

    • quinersdiner on December 20, 2012 at 7:57 am

      Religion and science are friends. They support each other.

      • Bob Vance on December 20, 2012 at 10:11 am

        My mom always claimed to not be racists but that never stopped her from telling jokes about blacks. One of her favorites was on how to babysit black babies.

        I remember a small group of kids playing when the blonde little girl did the “eeny meeny miny moe, catch a …” At eight years old, she realized one of the kids playing was black and word she was about to use was not nice. She didn’t know what to do, so I helped her out and said “tiger”. That obviously wasn’t the version she was taught.

        Knowing that what you put offends some people, will you ever repost or tell that joke? Or is it that anyone who disagrees with you is thin skinned, and only you are allowed to be offended?

        • quinersdiner on December 20, 2012 at 12:38 pm

          Thanks for weighing in. Always appreciate your perspective, Bob.

  2. juwannadoright on December 20, 2012 at 7:13 am

    Thank you for this intelligent summary. It deserves to be read by everyone who is involved in the educational process – and should be forwarded to the CEO’s at those companies that produce video games and to the heads of all Hollywood studios.

  3. irishsignora on December 20, 2012 at 7:37 am

    Mr. Quiner, I spent a few years teaching boys like Jimmy in a program for kids with emotional disturbances and behavioral disorders. The most difficult part was meeting with the parents who despaired of what they would do once their children had “aged out” of special education programs.

    For what it’s worth, I concur with your assessment of guns with large clips.

    Peace be with you, sir — as always, your posts make me think and remind me that maybe I’m not as crazy as some of my friends think I am 😉 –Kelly

  4. Paul Sharp on December 20, 2012 at 10:30 am

    Regarding causes of the Connecticut disaster and the role of males in society — what was the father’s role in the life of this very troubled young man? I understand the father provided plenty of money for his ex wife but did he expect her alone to care for their son? Didn’t this young man need a dad? Maybe I’ve missed something; the event is so sickening I don’t keep up with all the news coverage.

    • quinersdiner on December 20, 2012 at 12:40 pm

      Good questions, Paul. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of info available about the family dynamics at this point.