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The Porn Factor

//The Porn Factor

The Porn Factor

Exposure to hardcore pornography is now mainstream, with porn becoming the default sexuality educator for young people. If you’re a parent, teacher or guardian you should be very worried about how it is shaping young people’s expectations and experiences. It is because of this huge concern that a documentary called The Porn Factor, will be screening in Melbourne, Australia, next week on June 22. We caught up with the director of the film, Maree Crabbe, to find out more about the documentary and why she created it.

Hi Maree. If you had to summarise the documentary The Porn Factor in one line, what would that be?

The Porn Factor is a documentary film that explores pornography’s impact on young people through candid interviews with young people, experts and pornography industry professionals.

What made you decide to make the documentary?

Pornography has become the most prominent form of sexuality education. It is impacting on young people in ways that are unprecedented. Yet many adults are unaware of porn’s prevalence, nature and impact. The Porn Factor seeks to support the adults in young people’s lives – parents, teachers, youth workers, doctors, police, policy-makers and others – to understand the issues and the need to support young people to navigate this relatively new territory.

What are you hoping that people will take away from watching it?

An understanding of pornography’s prevalence, nature and impact, its relationship to violence against women, and the need to address it in homes, schools and the broader community.

When you made the documentary did you find out anything that you didn’t know? Anything that shocked or surprised you?

I was surprised by how open the industry was with us about the aggressive nature of the material they create, and how well aggression towards women sells. They didn’t try to pretend that isn’t the case. And they generally didn’t seem apologetic about that reality. It was just so mater-of-fact for them.

We’ve seen a few documentaries over the years that deal with difficult subjects. It’s sometimes hard for them to provide a solution. Where do you see The Porn Factor making a difference?

The Porn Factor doesn’t seek to provide a solution. It seeks to raise awareness and understanding about pornography’s impact on young people, and point to the need to address it, so in that sense it points to a problem and points to a solution, but it isn’t the solution itself. There are limitations on what a film can achieve in and of itself. But this film has been produced as part of a broader violence prevention and community education project.

Who should be watching this documentary and why?

The Porn Factor was produced for adult education – to support the adults who live and work with young people, and those who impact on policy, to understand the 21st Century challenge of pervasive, often-aggressive pornography and its impact on young people. We hope it will be viewed by lots of adults, including those new to the issues. It’s a sensitive and challenging topic, but it’s one we can’t afford to ignore. To do so, is to leave young people’s sexuality education to the pornography industry. Young people need support to navigate safe, respectful, mutual and consenting relationships and sexuality in an age of pornography. And the adults in their lives are key players in that work.

Do you think The Porn Factor would be triggering for people struggling with compulsive porn viewing?

The Porn Factor takes a critical view of pornography and its influence, so it certainly doesn’t promote pornography consumption. However, in order to support viewers to understand something of the nature of contemporary pornography, it does contain carefully framed screenshots of porn, and these images may be triggering for people struggling with compulsive consumption. It’s always challenging to determine what to show and what not to show when using a visual medium such as film to critique pornography. Our test screening indicated that the use of some imagery from pornography is important for some viewers.

Watch The Porn Factor trailer (above). Please note this might be triggering for those struggling with porn.

What are your plans for the future? Do you have more documentaries in store for this topic?

There’s a great deal more work to do on this topic, and I can see how more documentary films could be useful, but I don’t have any specific plans to produce another one at this time. At the moment, I’m working on developing some resources for a Central Australian context, and resources for use with young people with Autism Spectrum Disorder and their parents and teachers.

You’ve produced a documentary on porn before. Tell us a little about Love and Sex in an Age of Pornography and how The Porn Factor is different.

Our first film, Love and Sex in an Age of Pornography aimed to open up a conversation in the polarized porn debate. We particularly wanted to engage an audience who didn’t already agree with us. So we used a character-based approach – following the stories of young people and people from the international pornography industry – with the hope that people would be so engaged by the characters that they wouldn’t turn off the tv or change channels when the story became more critical – and confronting.

Following the release of Love and Sex, we also identified a need for a film that provides a more overt analysis of porn’s impact on young people, for use in adult education – with parents, teachers, youth workers and others involved in young people’s education and care.

We had already conducted interviews with range of experts, including with some of the world’s leading scholars. We drew on these, and our interviews with young people and people from the pornography industry, to produce The Porn Factor.

The Porn Factor wasn’t produced for broadcast, but we’re delighted that SBS in Australia has picked it up. Its first broadcast will be on SBS2 on Thursday 4 August at 9:30pm AEST.

You don’t just spend your time producing documentaries. Tell us a little about what you do through the Reality & Risk Project.

Reality & Risk seeks to support young people, parents, schools, government and the community sector to understand and critique pornography’s influence and to promote relationships and sexuality that are safe, respectful, mutual and consenting. It is a multi-faceted project, with a focus on the development of education resources, engagement in public conversations about pornography, and advocacy and training.

Apart from our two films, during the course of the project, I have developed resources for use with young people, parents, teachers and others, including contributions to government sexuality and respectful relationships education resources. I deliver a lot of professional learning to people from a wide range of sectors – teachers, youth workers, police, psychologists, sexual assault and family violence workers, and people working in fields such as health promotion and violence prevention – in Australia and in other countries. And we have developed a website, www.itstimewetalked.com, with resources for young people, parents, schools and community organisations.

Will The Porn Factor thread into some of the other work that you do? If so, how?

The Porn Factor will complement the rest of the project’s work, by building awareness of pornography’s impact on young people and the need to address it.

 

If you live in Melbourne, Australia, and you’d like to see The Porn Factor, you can make a booking via Collective Shout’s website here. They are hosting the screening at Cinema Nova, in Carlton at 6.30pm on June 22, 2016. Maree Crabbe will be attending the cinema for a Q&A session after the screening.

Please note: The Porn Factor is rated MA15+ and contains strong sexual themes and sexualised aggression, so it’s not suitable for younger teenagers, but it could be viewed by older teenagers. 

 

Share this article so others can learn about The Porn Factor and the way that hardcore pornography is shaping the lives of our young people.

 

By |2016-10-14T11:11:04+00:00June 14th, 2016|REDColumn|0 Comments

About the Author:

Jason
Jason Huxley is the founder of Guilty Pleasure. In 2005, having taken his marriage to the point of divorce, Jason was somewhat forced to deal with many issues in his life and started a journey of recovery from porn addiction. From personal experience he knows the incredible guilt and shame that porn addiction creates and the implications it has on relationships and marriages. Both Jason and his wife, Laura, know that freedom from sex and porn addiction will restore people’s lives. They are passionate about educating parents on the traps of pornography, encouraging them to talk about it with their children before it becomes a part of their lives. You can read more of Jason's story right here.

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