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Sex(Ed) The Movie (2014)
Topic Started: Jul 4 2016, 08:14 AM (154 Views)
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Sex(Ed) The Movie (2014) Dir. Brenda Goodman

An affectionate, funny, and sometimes shocking look at the history of sex education films, particularly for young people and soldiers, from the silent movie days up through the present day.

Now, if you know me (and you DO, don't you, you rascals?) you know one of the most popular areas of my film vault consists of numerous 1940s-1970s educational films dealing with drugs, behavior, good citizenship, and, yes, sex, so this wasn't new to me, although some of the facts and figures were, as well as the eye-opening revelation that many of the boys' films were "Well, you're going to do this anyway, so here's how to not get the girl preggers or catch an ugly, ugly disease, a disease we're going to illustrate with this scary-looking little cartoon character with big teeth. Now imagine THIS colorful yet scary cartoon creature on your penis..." while the crux of the lesson for girls was "Do NOT do this, ever ever ever, until you're safely married." If we ever saw a sex ed film in my school (McEbright Elementary, Goodrich Jr. High School) I have no memory of it; I do certainly recall being let out of class to go to the gym and play volleyball while the girls stayed behind to watch a film in 6th grade, however, and I have some memory that I somehow knew they weren't watchin' Island of the Blue Dolphins. Well, now I know thanks to THIS film what they WERE watchin'.

Million-dollar Dialog:
"Johnny, do you notice anything different about me today?"
"I got my first period today!" (from Linda’s Film about Menstruation, 1974)

Equally surprisingly were clips from films discussing masturbation, which seems to be okay for boys but not something in which girls would be interested (hmmmm). Funny, that, since - as the film points out - President Clinton fired Joycelyn Elders, the Surgeon General of the United States, for remarking at a United Nations conference on AIDS that one way to help prevent the spread of the disease among young people is to teach masturbation as opposed to "riskier forms of sexual activity."

In any case, we move on to the 21st century, and the rise of abstinence-only programs, which the sexperts thought the most ridiculous thing they ever heard, a joke masquerading as science, until it became the most popular sex education movement in the U.S. educational system.

More Million-dollar Dialog:
Teenage Boy: "What if I want to have sex before I get married?"
Abstinance-Only Instructor: "Well, I guess you just have to be prepared to die. And you'll probably take with you your spouse and one or more of your children." (No Second Chance, 1999)

Actual Sex Expert Refuting the Above and who Sounds Like She Knows What She's Talking About: "Abstinence is only safe sex until you start to have sex."

Naturally, the government spent $170 million that year for abstinence-only education for kids. You know America.

All of this is interrupted from time to time by people of all ages and sexual preference discussing the effects the films had on them in their life, which in my case, would be zero: I looked at the dirty magazines under my brother's bed, but got no other "sexual training" whatsoever and had to figure things out for myself, which was fine, I turned out to be a pretty good guesser.

A good movie, and two vintage shorts are a DVD bonus, including a weirdo in a bathtub, singing about touching his weenie and how it makes him feel (yeah, really).
"I'm glad that this question came up, because there are so many ways to answer it that one of them is bound to be right." - Robert Benchley
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