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

"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.

Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg is the executive producer for video at The AtlanticMore

Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg joined The Atlantic in 2011 to launch its video channel and, in 2013, create its in-house video production department. She leads the development and production of original documentaries, interviews, and other video content for The Atlantic. Previously, she worked as a producer at Al Gore’s Current TV and as a content strategist and documentary producer in San Francisco. She studied filmmaking and digital media at Harvard University.

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