Disney ’46 The Story of Menstruation
The Story of Menstruation is a 1946 10-minute animated film produced by Walt Disney Productions in 1946.
It was commissioned by the International Cello-Cotton Company (now Kimberly-Clark) and was shown to approximately 105 million American students in health education classes.
It was one of the first commercially sponsored films to be distributed to high schools. It was distributed with a booklet for teachers and students called Very Personally Yours that featured advertising of the Kotex brand of products, and discouraged the use of tampons, where the market was dominated by the Tampax brand of rivals Procter & Gamble.
The Story of Menstruation is believed to be the first film to use the word vagina in its screenplay. Neither sexuality nor reproduction is mentioned in the film, and an emphasis on sanitation makes it, as Disney historian Jim Korkis has suggested: “a hygienic crisis rather than a maturation event.”
Molly Grows Up (1953)
Menstruation education film for young teenage girls, redolent with dated detail.
This is the companion film to “As Boys Grow,” both written and produced by D.M. Hatfield. And it’s quite clear, from his point of view, that girls end up with the short end of the stick. This film’s seriousness about menstuation makes “As Boys Grow” seem light-hearted and cavalier by comparison. This film is such a downer! The boys literally get the “have fun, go ahead and masturbate!” message where girls get the “don’t go square dancing!” message. A very dated film. I mean really, was there EVER a time when classrooms had “During Menstruation…” posters?
A must see.
Producer: Medical Arts Productions
As Boys Grow: Sex Education School Video for Teenagers (1957 Film)
Your Body During Adolescence (1955)
While a lot of the sex education films of the 1950s try to sidestep the issue or attach guilt to parts of the process, this film is surprisingly frank and open.
Using slightly abstracted animation, a friendly narrator describes in detail the changes boys and girls go through as they grow up, using all of the medical terminology. The narrator emphasizes that differences in order or speed of development are normal and details how those changes come about. What is refreshing is the changes that both men and women go through are covered in equal weight. While the actual process of sex is not mentioned, and wet dreams are only mentioned in passing, this still remains a solid piece of information that could still be used and shown to the 13-15 year olds it was originally targeted at.
The terms “labia” and “penis” are both used, which is rare for films of this era.
Production Company: McGraw-Hill Films
Sex Education, 1950s
1950s, school classroom, children discuss babies, draw pictures of what baby looks like in the womb, children painting, playing with clay, children discuss drawings.