As we enter our third month of the Pervert Explosion, it may be time to consider why we have so many perverts, where they come from, and what sorts of things might be contributing to their perverseness. To that end, might I point to the fact that we spend four billion hours a year watching porn?

Sorry. Let me correct myself. I've just understated the problem. We dedicated well over four and a half billion hours to watching porn on one porn site in 2016. Just on Porn Hub, humanity spent twice as much time viewing porn in a year as it has spent existing on planet Earth. The site had over 90 billion video views and 44,000 visitors every minute of every day. It all adds up to over 500 thousand years worth of porn consumed in the span of 12 months. Since 2015, human beings have spent one million years watching porn.

One million years.

One. Million. Years.

I'm telling you this not only because it's an interesting bit of trivia you may want to remember in case you're ever a contestant on the weirdest Jeopardy episode of all time, but also because these figures are serious. More than serious: staggering, incomprehensible, unthinkable, apocalyptic. All the more so for Americans, because we watch more porn than anybody else on Earth (at least we're still number one in something).

Porn is obviously America's favorite pastime. According to surveys, almost 80% of American men between the ages of 18 and 30 admit to watching porn regularly. Nearly 70% of men between 31 and 49 admit to it. Half of men from 50 to senior citizen age also confess to regular porn viewing. 30% of younger men say they watch porn every day. Porn viewership is not quite as common among women, but it's far more common today than it was 10 years ago. Remember, too, this is just what people will admit to doing.

It's no wonder that the porn industry is worth $97 billion, which is only slightly higher (about 100 times higher) than the $750 million it was worth 20 years ago. Today, porn grosses more in a year than Hollywood. It also brings in more money than the NFL, NBA, and MLB combined. And this is just "the porn industry" we're talking about: meaning only the respectable, official sort of smut, starring people who have "porn star" on their W-2. If we were to quantify amateur porn and figure out what it's all "worth" in dollars, who knows what the number would be. 200 billion? I have no idea.

The science is pretty clear that all this porn consumption is bad for the brain — it may even shrink your brain, according to some studies. It’s even worse for your marriage, with your chance of divorce doubling if you use porn. There is also a very clear and established link between sex predators and porn. It isn't that watching porn will automatically turn you into a predator, but it's no coincidence that rapists and pedophiles always begin with porn. You'd be hard pressed to find a criminal deviant in 2017 who didn't begin by exploring his "fetish" in the freedom and anonymity of cyberspace. This is especially concerning when you consider some of the most popular porn search themes: namely, "incest" and "teens."

You can read the studies and the statistics which I've provided in the links above. But you shouldn't need to study the issue extensively to figure out if four and a half billion hours of porn is healthy for human beings individually and human society as a whole. It also doesn't take a detective or a scientist to see how a guy who spends hours of his day indulging in perverse sexual fantasies may one day bring those fantasies into the "real world." If you enjoy the simulated version of something, it means, obviously, there is something about the thing itself that you enjoy. Watching rape porn doesn’t make you a rapist, but it does make you the kind of person who finds something tantalizing in rape. Watching porn where the woman is deliberately made to look like a school girl doesn’t make you a pedophile, but it does make you the kind of person who gets turned on by pedophilia.

But even if most people just watch regular, consensual, adult-on-adult porn, what do they like about the sex they see on the screen? Well, they like how it gives them pleasure. That's it. The porn viewer is not concerned with any other aspect of sex. Pornography completely severs the sexual act from any notion of love or dignity. Sex is used like a product, and the humanity of the person on the other side of the camera is not taken into account. They are just objects to be consumed. The porn watching experience is by design empty, hollow, lifeless, and dehumanizing.

This is what fuels us. Four and a half billion hours of this. A lifetime of this. The average child starts watching porn around 10 or 11 (an optimistic figure, I think). He is fed with a steady diet of soul-deadening, empathy-destroying hardcore porn throughout his formative years. Long before he ever has an intimate, real-life, physical moment with a woman, he has already seen women from every angle and position imaginable. He is bored of the naked female figure without ever having witnessed it in person. He never had the chance at a healthy sexual relationship because he's been in unhealthy, simulated ones since puberty.

Scores of young men are seeking prescriptions for Viagra because of a mysterious plague of early onset “erectile dysfunction.” It’s no mystery. They are not able to get excited about normal, in person sex because they are numb and desensitized from all the porn. And the problem just gets worse over time as they seek our weirder and weirder porn in order to make themselves feel something again. You don’t have to be a genius to see how, through this process, porn can take a decent man and turn him into a sex predator. It happens all the time.

I'm not making excuses for anyone. And I realize that many of the sex predators currently in the news did not grow up watching internet porn anyway. What I'm saying is that this current wave is nothing compared to what's on the horizon. The first step in becoming a sex predator is to see sex as an entirely selfish exercise. The next is to deny the humanity and dignity of the other person involved. The final stage is to develop a fetish for the weird and the depraved. Our porn-addled culture moves people through all three stages rapidly and at a very young age. Our society is now like a conveyor belt where narcissistic degenerates are assembled by the truckload each day.

You think it's bad now. Watch out.