Interview with Declan Kenny, the producer and presenter of Raised On Porn: A documentary questioning whether we should educate young people on porn, rather than trying to censor the internet and the industry.

 1. Why the title Raised on Porn?

The title was originally a working title used for practical reasons, but when we stopped to think about it we realised how fitting it was. We’re a documentary concerned with the fact that there’s no alternative to porn, porn has become the only narrative and we want to explore why it is that children are Raised On Porn – we believe that it’s because of the lack of sex education in the UK.

2. Do you think porn is to readily available now?

Porn is readily available and our children are watching it, and in some cases, in high volumes. We’re more concerned with the lack of education surrounding pornography. We don’t believe the answer to the dangers of porn are to censor an industry of adult workers who make porn for other consenting adults. By putting blocks on their industry you are limiting their potential to work and most importantly you’re not addressing the real problems. This isn’t to say that parents shouldn’t put blocks on their own computer, it’s to say that censoring an industry is lazy and doesn’t give young people a platform to discuss a form of entertainment that has always existed.

3. Do you think the next generation has very misguided views on sex due to porn?

Children who are Raised On Porn most likely have a warped view of what is normal. It is important that we, as adults, stress that it is most likely an unrealistic expectation. What’s important is that we discuss pornography in order to answer these questions together, and this can only be done if we start to provide better sex education.

4. Is Sex Ed in the UK doing enough to counteract the unrealistic vision of sex that porn creates?

It’s not really a matter of counteracting, it’s a matter of discussion. In terms of sex education per se, cast your mind back to your own school days. I went to a really liberal school and it was very advanced in terms of sex education and not once was I given the opportunity to discuss porn or it’s potential implications, but that’s not to say that sex education has to discuss porn in that manner because people may well have consensual sex much like the sex in porn.

5. Do you think porn can be an aid in sex education or is it only negative?

I don’t think it aids sex education, but it’s a strong reason to promote sex education. Porn exists, de facto, let’s educate.

6. Do you see Cameron’s Attempt to censor the porn industry online as a positive or negative solution?

It’s categorically negative: it blames an industry that makes porn by adults for adults, it silences the voices of young people who have serious questions, and it adopts an out-of-site-out-of-mind type mentality. I’d prefer to see the blocks taken away and people educated. Another point to make on this is issue is that blocks work by blocking key words. Meaning that potential advice or information could be restricted from those who need it.

7. Is blocking access to porn the right thing to do?

If a parent wants to put blocks on a child’s computer then they have every right to and it’s probably not a bad idea. A universal block which limits people’s access to legal material on the internet is very different, as i’ve outlined in the previous question.

8. What is your view on porn and it’s link to the degradation of women in the porn industry?

My view on porn is that it exists and it’s here to say. I would go further than that and say that, as a liberal, I believe that consenting adults should be able to make a form of entertainment for other consenting adults.

Whether it degrades women or not is not really the main concern of the documentary, it is, however, an issue that could be discussed in sex education lessons and a discussion which would broaden young minds.

9. Some claim to be addicted to porn, can this be true?

This is most certainly true. We went to interview Paul Hall, a leader in the field of porn addiction counselling, and we can tell you it exists. We were made aware of people who watch 11 hours a week and even edit their own videos in the hunt for a ‘perfect’ scene. Furthermore, I think you can be addicted to anything because addiction is a matter of attaching meaning to a particular act and justifying it in a high quantity. Why wouldn’t people do that with a form of entertainment that depicts something that we all desire: sex?

10. What would you suggest as a possible solution to the growing lack of good sex education in schools?

That there be a growing emphasis on the need for education. Sex education isn’t particularly British and we would like to change that. Sex education exists in better form in other parts of the world because their government put it there, ours could do the same.