Daddy, Where Do Babies Come From? This Handy 1940s Sex Ed Film Is Here to Help

By Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg

"This is the information which you, dad, should clearly understand before you can pass on correct knowledge to your child when he is old enough to understand," a wry narrator tells a terrified-looking father, faced with answering his son's questions. Human Reproduction, produced by McGraw-Hill in 1947, promotes a book from the publisher, Textbook of Healthful Living, by Dr. Harold S. Diehl. This 15-minute excerpt from the film (available in its entirety at the Prelinger Archive) covers female* and male anatomy, as well as the development of the fetus. Sexual intercourse is glossed over in favor of a brief and purely anatomical description. Yet with today's debate raging over reproductive rights, some pundits might benefit from revisiting the basics in this classic educational film.

* Clitoris not included.

For more films from the Prelinger Archive, visit http://www.archive.org/details/prelinger.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2012/09/daddy-where-do-babies-come-from-this-handy-1940s-sex-ed-film-is-here-to-help/261979/