From Library Journal
Whether used in schools or special-interest settings, sex education films are generally associated with more contemporary times. But Eberwein (film, Oakland Univ.) traces their roots back to the World War I era, when the army used them as cautionary lessons on venereal disease. In sections including army training, public school instruction, and adult education, Eberwein aims to study this cinematic topic for the social, historical, racial, cultural, and gender questions it raises. He analyzes content, focus, subtle messages (e.g., sexual dominance suggested by male narration), and changing attitudes and issues (teenage pregnancy, masturbation, homosexuality, and AIDS). The titles themselves run the gamut, from the 1914 feature Damaged Goods (about the dangers of syphilis) to such films as The Birth of a Baby (1938), Egg and Sperm (1968), and Becoming Orgasmic (1993). Eberwein has done extensive research, and his conclusions should be of special interest to film students and those interested in the historical and sociological contexts of sexuality.ACarol J. Binkowski, Bloomfield, NJ
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
"With all the work on sexual representation in film during the last decade, it is remarkable that, until Eberwein's excellent analysis, no major attention has been paid to sex education films and videos. This well-researched book makes a compelling case for the importance of understanding those films and videos from current theoretical perspectives." -- Peter Lehman, author, Running Scared: Masculinity and the Representation of the Male Body