How bad is the problem or pornography among children and youth?
The word “porn” means very different things to parents and teens today. Parents think of magazines like Playboy and Penthouse. The average porn film today is graphic and violent towards women, and it’s accessible for free online, on cell phones and laptops. We need to get on the same page with our kids and help them navigate this new online environment. John D. Foubert, Ph.D., author of How Pornography Harms, says this:
I recently had the opportunity to view the documentary, Over 18. As someone who has researched sexual violence for 25 years and pornography for 10, I’m very familiar with the subject matter. Over 18 is the best documentary I have ever seen that explains how pornography harms kids. The production quality is excellent. The film strikes a great balance between providing helpful information, scholarly perspectives, and stories of personal impact. Interviews with women and men who have been in the industry provide an unvarnished view into the devastation pornography causes. Perhaps the most impactful part of the film is the story of a 13 year old boy who is a recovering pornography addict. This is a movie that every parent of a boy — or girl — should see.
Why did you make this documentary?
A youth worker took one of the directors out for lunch and said, “I know thirty teens who all have porn addictions. We need your help.” After a bit of research, it became evident that this is one of the biggest issues teens face today.
Won’t watching this documentary be a trigger for those already struggling with pornography?
While it’s certainly a possibility, the majority of parents have no idea what their kids are looking at online. The film isn’t pornographic, but it discusses mature themes that society simply cannot ignore any longer. As one pastor who viewed the film said,
The content is for the mature. But even those who are mature might find it disturbing if they have been quite sheltered. Perhaps it’s time to see the reality. I can’t think of anything that could be cut. I can only imagine what ended up on the cutting room floor. I thought you handled the editing with sensitivity. I didn’t see anything gratuitous or inappropriate for the topic. Hard to explore the problem if you don’t reveal the necessary details.
This is a very dark subject. Is there hope?
Absolutely! Check out our resources page.
What is the goal of the documentary?
Our goal is to equip parents with knowledge and resources to help them protect their kids from porn exposure and addiction. We would also love to see the government implement a meaningful age verification requirement for all adult websites.
Is there a minimum age recommendation for the film?
As a general rule we say 16+. However, most boys have seen porn by age 12. We’re encouraging parents to ask their kids if they’ve seen porn before. If the answer is yes, this film may be good for them to see. Sometimes parents bring their teenagers with them, and have a conversation about it together afterwards, which can be very effective.
Is there any nudity/graphic content?
There are no explicit images in the film, however there’s some language and terms that some may not be familiar with and may come as a shock. This is the unfortunate reality of what children and youth are being exposed to online.
Where can I buy Over 18?
Currently, we’re only selling screening packages, but the film will be available for personal purchase (itunes, amazon etc) later in 2018.
How many people should I be getting to a screening?
We encourage the host team to shoot for a minimum of 100 adults. We typically average 100-200 per screening, but have seen crowds as high as 500+. We’ll provide you with a screening kit to make sure that your event is a success.
How do I book a screening?
Are there subtitles? Other languages?
Not yet. Thanks for your patience!
Is there a screening happening near me?
You can see our full list of screenings here. If you’d like to host a screening anywhere in the world, please get in touch.
What does a screening look like?
We did a 70-city live tour with Over 18, so here’s the basic set-up we use:
- the host introduces the night and the film
- film plays
- optional: you can round up a panel of local experts, invite one of the directors in for a Q+A (email for more details), or use the discussion guide we provide in your screening kit
- host wraps the event
- people stick around to sign petitions, talk, explore resources, etc.
What are the technical requirements for the host venue?
- a projector and screen
- a sound system
- a hand-held microphone
- DVD player (we mail you a DVD as a part of your screening package)
(Note: for screenings where the one of the film directors is present, the film will play off of a MacBook that they bring with them – they can connect to HDMI, VGA, and DVI inputs)
INTERVIEW QUESTIONS (FOR MEDIA INQUIRIES)
What inspired you to make the documentary?
An old friend took me (Jared) out for lunch and said “I’m a youth leader at my church. I’m working with thirty young men, and they all have porn addictions. We need your help.” So I started asking people: When was the first time you saw porn? How old were you? How did it make you feel? The majority of folks I’ve asked saw porn before 18. And in almost every case, they didn’t go looking for porn – porn found them.
Why is it important for community members to be aware of this issue?
The word “porn” means very different things to parents and teens today. Parents think of magazines, of Playboy and Penthouse. The average porn film today is graphic and violent towards women, and it’s accessible 24/7 for free on cell phones.
How significant is it that OVER 18 was screened in Canada’s Parliament?
It was a great opportunity for bi-partisan discussion. As a result of Motion M-47 being passed unanimously, the government is now studying the public health effects of pornography on kids, teens and adults. The last time Canada studied the effect of porn on kids was in 1985, pre-internet. We’re excited that our government is taking this seriously.
Canada has signed a United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (refer to Article 17.e) to protect our kids from harmful forms of media, but we’re falling way short on the issue of explicit sexual content online. We have the opportunity to protect our kids, and it starts with an uncomfortable – but highly necessary – conversation.
The directors of Over 18 have brought together profound and complex perspectives in a clear and helpful manner that forces the viewer to take a hard look at the reality of accessible sexual violence online. The film was incredibly influential in starting the national conversation in Canada on the impact of violent sexually explicit material.
– Arnold Viersen, Member of Parliament
Over 18 has raised awareness on the negative impacts easy access to pornography has on our community. It also encourages me to bring forward legislation that protects children and youth and helps equip parents with the resources and tools they need.
–James Teitsma, Member of Manitoba Legislative Assembly
You interview people who used to be in the porn industry or people who seem to support it. How was that?
We met everyone through mutual friends, connections, and some good-old fashioned cold-calling. It’s not easy to reach the “Steven Spielberg” of porn directing. No matter who we interview, we want them to feel that their voice was represented in a respectful way. We interviewed so many interesting and incredible people, and really hope we presented a reasonable, compelling documentary on what our culture’s next steps could be.
You also interview a 13-year-old boy who calls himself a recovering addict. What’s his message to viewers?
Jo’s message to viewers is that you don’t have to keep your porn addiction a secret. You can bring dark things into the light and deal with them. Our message to parents is that many of their kids are struggling, and there are things they can do to protect them from exposure and addiction to online graphic sexual content.
Your last film, Red Light Green Light, was about human trafficking and the global sex trade. Why these subjects?
This world is dark and broken, and we want to bring light and healing. We see our role is planting seeds of goodness that can grow into a garden of grace, understanding, and justice. We want the world to be a better place, and ignoring tough subjects won’t get us there.
The film is directed and produced by Jared and Michelle Brock. The charity is called Hope for the Sold. The doc’s website is over18doc.com. If you’d like more information on hosting a screening of Over 18 in your local community, please click below.