Growing Up (1971 film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Growing Up is a sex education film for schools, 23 minutes in length, first shown in April in 1971, which was made by Dr Martin Cole. It is now available as part of The Joy of Sex Education DVD[1] and was described by one critic as "the most famous and controversial inclusion",[2] and by Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian as the "undoubted masterpiece of this double-DVD set".[3]

At the time of its release it was said to be "the most explicit and frank film ever made for use in schools",[4] and attracted condemnation by Mary Whitehouse, Lord Longford,[5] Margaret Thatcher[6] and members of the Women's Liberation Movement who attended the first public screening.[7] Made two years before its earliest screening, Cole though regretted a traditionalist description of gender roles in the film's opening commentary. There was a version of the film shown to Aston University students earlier for feedback prior to the final version being released.

It featured actual film rather than drawings of naked people, which included intercourse and masturbation. Teachers and pupils gave it positive feedback, but the absence of a discussion of venereal disease (VD) was noted by sympathetic reviewers.[7] The film triggered a national controversy;[8][9] the education authority in Birmingham, where Cole lived, banned the film from being shown in the city's schools.[10] There is no record of the film being shown to school children anywhere by the end of 1971, although it was shown to students at Oxford University.[11]

Further reading[edit]

  • Limond, David (2008) History of Education 37 (3) 409–429 "‘I never imagined that the time would come’: Martin Cole, the Growing Up Controversy and the Limits of School Sex Education in 1970s England"

References[edit]

  1. ^ BFI video (2 Feb 2009) ASIN: B001MGUAEW
  2. ^ Moviemail Film Reviews By Alex Davidson
  3. ^ Peter Bradshaw "Sex education films: they don't make them like they used to", The Guardian (film blog), 11 Feb 2009
  4. ^ "A sex-act film for children", Daily Mirror 13 January 1971
  5. ^ "Peer slams school sex film", Daily Mirror, 17 April 1971
  6. ^ "That sex film gets 'X' certificate", Daily Mirror, 22 April 1971
  7. ^ a b Roger Lewin "Growing up too fast", New Scientist and Science Journal, 6 May 1971, p.301
  8. ^ Limond, David (2008) History of Education 37 (3) 409–429 "‘I never imagined that the time would come’: Martin Cole, the Growing Up Controversy and the Limits of School Sex Education in 1970s England"
  9. ^ "The Joy of Sex Education", BBC Magazine, 16 Feb 2009
  10. ^ Chris Arnot "How lack of orgasms turned to lack of interest", The Independent, 28 July 1993
  11. ^ Dominic Sandbrook State of Emergency, The Way We Were: Britain 1970-74, London: Allen Lane, 2010, p.422