The Longest Shortest Time

EPISODE #134: How to Make a Fella Feel Relaxed

The thing I remember most about my sex ed class in seventh grade is the teacher drawing a big ole erection on the chalkboard. She seemed to enjoy saying the word erection a little too much. Then the wood shop teacher came in, I guess so that the class would have a guy teacher, too? And he and the health teacher kept smiling at each other in this weird way throughout the class. It made me never want to hear the word erection again.

Lisa Andersen is a historian — and my neighbor. She’s co-authoring a book about the history and philosophy of sex ed in American schools. Her first sex ed class was taught by a woman with peach fingernails, who ate chocolate covered strawberries in class.

But neither of our sex ed lessons were quite as cringeworthy as this video from 1949, Dating Dos and Don’ts.

Tune in to hear how people learned about doin’ it before it was part of school curriculum, what drove sex education into the classroom in the first place, and the cultural forces — ahem, communism — that have shaped sex ed through the decades.

More Fun — I Mean, Educational — Sex Ed Videos!

Sex Ed At Home
Looking for resources for talking to your kids about sex at home? Check out this post with Lisa’s recommended books and websites, along with a few of our faves!

What weird stuff do YOU remember from Sex Ed?
Anyone else got memories of peach fingernails and chalkboards covered in erections? Reminisce with us in the comments.

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