Kids These Days: A 1950s Guide to Hooking Up

An archival film teaches the high school kids of yesteryear about how physical to get on a date.

Jeff and Mary are two normal high school sweethearts. They go to dances, hold hands, even kiss, but when the option to go to “lovers lane” comes up Jeff and Mary start thinking about worst-case scenarios.

This excerpt from a 1950s instructional film tries to teach the dastardly consequences of too much “affection,” a not-so-subtle code word for sex. The short film uses teenage mothers, peer pressure, and a pinch of Victorian guilt to convince these two would-be lovers to battle back against their hormones.

To see more archival films or to view the film in its entirety visit Prelinger Archives.

Paul Rosenfeld writes and produces for Atlantic Video. His work has also appeared on The Daily Beast and CNN.com.

Our Incredible, Microscopic World

Highlights from Nikon's Small World in Motion competition, featuring zebrafish embryos, killer T cells attacking cancer, and much more

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

The Horrors of Rat Hole Mining

"The river was our source of water. Now, the people won't touch it."

Video

What's Your Favorite Slang Word?

From "swag" to "on fleek," tweens choose.

Video

Cryotherapy's Dubious Appeal

James Hamblin tries a questionable medical treatment.

Video

Confessions of Moms Around the World

In Europe, mothers get maternity leave, discounted daycare, and flexible working hours.

Video

How Do Trees Know When It's Spring?

The science behind beautiful seasonal blooming

More in Video

Just In