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

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"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.

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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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