How Did You Learn about S-e-x?

March 28, 2014   |   posted in Filmmakers


Parental chat, instructional filmstrip or porn? How did you find out about sex? If it was a film you saw in school health class, chances are you may have gotten incorrect information.

Filmmaker Brenda Goodman's documentary, "SEX(ed) The Movie," examines sex education over the years, and what she found may surprise you -- not a lot has changed.

She grew up in the south, “where there was a certain etiquette to most situations, including how to comport oneself in sexual situations,” she says, but inspired by "The Atomic Cafe," a collection of 1940s and 1950s U.S.- government-issued propaganda films made to reassure Americans that the atomic bomb was safe, she started to wonder what viewing sex education films through the ages would turn up.

Goodman, a professor of the Practice of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California, had access to an "amazing archive" housed in the basement of the theater at the university.

"My co-producer, Caitlin Krapf, and I spent a lot of time in that basement," she says. They pored through films from the 1920s up to the present day. Her desk is still stacked with about 300 sex education films.

Those clips, along with on-camera reflections from various folks about their own sex education memories, make up her film. (One of the film's editors is Thomas Miller, a Cleveland native.) Whether she was talking to a pre-teen or someone in their 80s, the same thing kept coming up, she says,"no one received the right information." It "was almost universal ... that surprised me."

Want to share your story about how you formally learned about sex? The film's website,, encourages you to do so. Stories submitted may make their way onto the site or to the movie's social media pages.

— Anne M. DiTeodoro

PDF  Download Related PDF [887.5 KB]

Related Screenings:
03/28/14 @ 8:00 PM – SEX(ED) The Movie
03/29/14 @ 4:50 PM – SEX(ED) The Movie
03/30/14 @ 7:25 PM – SEX(ED) The Movie

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