A straight shooting sex ed film from 1955? That’s hard to imagine. In my experience, the films of that period tend to beat around the bush. The reticence of those sharing its playing field makes Your Body During Adolescence (watch it online here) all the more remarkable. It doesn’t seem so at first. The first minute is devoted to observing a group of coed, clean cut, and unsurprisingly Caucasian teens, posing for a yearbook photo.
The narrator seems destined to soft peddle things, mildly taking note of differences in height and weight. I freely admit that I underestimated him. The teens in whose classrooms this work was screened may have audibly squirmed at the mention of certain words, but our narrator is undaunted by penises, scrota and labia… Shout out to the educational consultants, Dr. Harold S. Diehl, Dean of the University of Minnesota’s Medical School and Anita Laton, an author and professor of Health and Hygiene at San Jose State. Alfred Kinsey would’ve approved. The diagrams are less straightforward, but I kind of liked that. They look like Mid Century Dinnerware patterns, which is to say, a lot sexier than most of the sex organs one can find on the Internet. For fun and comparison, have a look at Fuzzy Bunny’s Guide to You Know What, the Simpsons’ infamous “sex eductation” film.
I’d say they both get it right.
via The Atlantic