Your Body During Adolescence: A Nakedly Unashamed Sex Ed Film from 1955

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

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Watch Fam­i­ly Plan­ning, Walt Disney’s 1967 Sex Ed Pro­duc­tion, Star­ring Don­ald Duck

The Sto­ry Of Men­stru­a­tion: Walt Disney’s Sex Ed Film from 1946

Ayun Hal­l­i­day is the author of sev­en books, and cre­ator of the award win­ning East Vil­lage Inky zine. Fol­low her @AyunHalliday

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