A Boy Today…A Man Tomorrow: 1972 sex-ed manual


51 Responses to “A Boy Today…A Man Tomorrow: 1972 sex-ed manual”

  1. Modusoperandi says:

    theMage “Don’t believe me? Try to find anyone going in for penis reduction surgery.”
    I have. A few times. After the third attempt, the doctors refused to try again. They were of the opinion that they were just making it mad. Now it just lays there on my belly, staring at me, red with rage and with hair in disarray.
    I think my penis is secretly the Unibomber.

  2. OM says:

    “I think my penis is secretly the Unibomber.”

    …Actually, it’s Jimmy Hoffa. It just hasn’t come to terms with being dead.

  3. zuzu says:

    Wow, that brings back so many memories… and dick jokes.

    I think my penis is secretly the Unibomber.

    Oh, is it wearing a hood?


  4. Modusoperandi says:

    No hood. Just a turtleneck.

  5. sswaan says:

    Yeah, I’m not laughing either.

    This was so much better than the information we (girls) got in the 80s. It offers a factual, objective, non-judgmental view of sex and sexuality. Masturbation: okay. Homosexuality: okay. Condoms: good. Check, check, check. Hooray!

    Of course, most of my sex ed came from Truly Tasteless Jokes…

  6. Chocolatey Shatner says:

    @#14: So, uh… you doing anything later?

  7. arkizzle says:

    And one good eye.

  8. Modusoperandi says:

    It’s nice that we have a place like boingboing for these highbrow conversations, eh?

  9. Falcon_Seven says:

    I flushed the cache on my DNS just to make sure that I wasn’t being re-directed to 4chan through a cache-poisoning attack. Imagine my disappointment when I was returned to the same page.

  10. arkizzle says:

    #39 / #40

    You’re both clearly missing the existential omnipotentiality, of the unique underlying interconnectedness of both penises and terrorists.

    It’s facinating, really.

  11. Modusoperandi says:

    Falcon Seven: As I have no idea what a “4chan” is, I will assume that you’re being complimentary.

  12. arkizzle says:

    Which of course, is not to discriminate the unique underlying interconnectedness of both vaginas and terrorists.

    Omnipotentiality is an equal opportunity framework.

  13. arkizzle says:

    “I will assume that you’re being complimentary”


  14. arkizzle says:

    Wait.. my chest-rug doesn’t make me more manly?

    ..I’m truly gutted.

  15. Anonymous says:

    #47: You are correct. I wish I’d come across this five years ago while I was working on my masters thesis. While this isn’t the same book I saw as a kid, the language about homosexuality is exactly what I remember. Within the context a homophobic society, it is relatively tolerant, and to a straight boy who’s had some “thoughts” or done some “fooling around,” it’s probably reassuring. The message is, “don’t worry, you aren’t gay,” and the audience they’re saying that to is all boys. One implication is that clearly the authors think none of the boys that read this are gay, which is an incredibly isolating message to the queer kids who were reading it. Also, by saying that the reason not to worry is that you aren’t really gay implies that actually being gay would be something to worry about. Incredibly damaging “information” for the tens of thousands of young homosexuals who were given these sorts of otherwise innocuous pamphlets.

  16. mattharvest says:

    So, even back then we were miseducating kids about the importance of penis size? Hilarious.

  17. RJ says:

    Sitting around and droning about your dink ranks just above a herpes support forum and just below having a philosophy major explain the latest Godspeed album to you.

  18. JoeKickass says:

    As I scrolled down the page as soon as I saw the image of the circle silhouette whispering to the other dude I knew exactly what it was. I was given that sex ed manual when I was in Jr High School in Saskatchewan in the 1970′s.

    Wow, that brings back so many memories… and dick jokes.

  19. Anonymous says:

    This is awesome. I still have my copy of the book. It was given to me in 8th grade. (1974) They gather all the boys together and took them to the “gym” shower area. The coaches showed us a video, something about puberty, gave us the book, and expected us to ask questions. Sat there for about 15 minutes. I don’t remember anybody saying anything, then we went home.

  20. Antinous says:


    Put up some pics and I’ll give you a full manliness appraisal.

  21. buddy66 says:


    I see where masturbation,
    once thought to be a disease,
    is now considered a cure.
    I was taught Onan’s sin
    results in weak minds,
    dark, circled eyes,
    & hair on the palms.
    “Nonsense,” say the new
    advocates. “It’s good for people
    who suffer from loneliness
    or excessive sexual tension.”

    Now they tell me.

  22. Camilo says:

    Well, I masturbate furiously and I’m bipolar (the crazies). Coincidence?

  23. Modusoperandi says:

    RJ: Ah…furryswithherpesonline.org…I thought I recognized you. How’s the Abreva working out for you?

  24. arkizzle says:

    Thanks! Antinous, I’d really appreciate it :)

    It’s not a very flattering shot, so be nice.. Also, you can see my apartment set-up in the background, to the left.. what do you think? It’s pretty airy and has great security, weirdly the lock is on the wrong side of the door.. And there’s not much privacy, but I like it..

    rar (!)

  25. LogrusZed says:


    1) “The larger the penis the more satisfaction during intercourse”. May or may not be false, but what is undeniably true is that “The larger the penis, the more satisfaction in the showers after gym class.”

    2) “Masturbation makes you crazy.” TRUE. Crazy for more masturbation.

  26. PaulT says:

    Yeah, I don’t see what’s wrong with this, exactly. It’s cheesy but at least most of the advice is sound so it’s not in the “Reefer Madness” section. Some of this advice would be good for kids today.

    @Zuzu: I’m in the camp of hating fake breasts. I do prefer a woman with larger breasts, but I’m more put off by a woman with balloons stuck to her chest than one with naturally small breasts. If more girls are getting the operation, it’s probably got more to do with the image presented in magazines and/or porn of the “ideal” woman.

    Every man has his idea of the perfect woman, and for some of us natural breasts and curves are the true ideal, not the surgically enhanced stick figures that most women seem to be told they should be.

    (I honestly think that’s the most I’ve ever typed the word “breasts” in one message. Mmmm… breasts :)

  27. Boba Fett Diop says:

    My nocturnal emissions were usually caused by bad thoughts, which was exactly the way I liked them.

  28. Antinous says:

    Photoshopped. I can tell by the absence of a pint in your hand.

  29. Yamara says:

    Masturbation does seem to repel sound waves, however.

    Assuming the diagram is accurate.

  30. OM says:

    …Heh, that ranks right up there with this classic from the “Duck and Cover” era:


  31. gobo says:

    @22… Er, the pamphlet doesn’t exactly say that “homosexuality is okay”. After explaining what a homosexual (“gay, fag, queer”) is, it reassures boys that if they know someone with a slim physique or a high, soft voice, it doesn’t mean they’re gay; no, they’re probably a “healthy, normal boy”.

  32. Chuck says:

    But in the original tale about Samson (never mind the one you see in the Bible), Delilah shaved Samson’s chest, which resulted in his loss of strength and his conversion to homosexuality.

  33. arkizzle says:

    Ant, win! :D

  34. Baldhead says:

    If testosterone= manly then YES deeper voice and more body hair mean more manly.

  35. Megan Lane Patrick says:

    If you find this amusing, check out For Girls Only/For Boys Only
    . It includes the full text from two sex ed books from 1952 reprinted with new illustrations (there weren’t any in the original books).

    My favorite quotes include:

    “I say, doctor, just what is the fun what the older fellows are always beating their gums about—petting, or necking, or boodling? Is it the same as what the older people used to call spooning? How can a fellow who’s as good an athlete and all-around outdoor man as Bill, stand it to stay hanging around with some girl who isn’t interested in a single thing a boy enjoys doing? I just don’t get it.”

    Question: Doesn’t a shot of liquor increase a fellow’s ability to be—er,—manly?
    Answer: Not in the slightest. What it does do is simply to make him think he’s more of a man than he actually is! Even a little drink makes a fellow’s opinion of himself go up, while it strengthens his desires. At the same time it blunts the good sense and self-restraint that might otherwise have kept him from doing harm to a girl he’s supposed to be reliable enough to be with. And its avoidance might well prevent him form getting a disease, or from becoming a father of an illegitimate child. You can imagine what a tragedy either of these must be!

    This internal secretion put out by the testicles changes you in some mysterious way that no one really understands, so that you begin to feel the way a man feels and have some of the thoughts and wishes that a man has and that a younger boy doesn’t have. For example, you begin to have courage and backbone and guts, that are not expected of a small boy but are taken for granted in a man. You get more and more interested in girls, where before as a little fellow you thought they were just a nuisance to be teased and then pushed aside. You look forward to having more to do with them—first with any girl, later with one particular one.

  36. stellar678 says:

    Why is this a comedy goldmine? It actually seems like pretty level-headed information, and not unlike what you’d get in a well-designed, progressive sex ed program today.

  37. theMage says:

    Sorry to disapoint some of you, but size DOES matter (thats what she said).

    Don’t believe me? Try to find anyone going in for penis reduction surgery.

  38. JNINLA says:

    Ah, not ALL those statements are false . . .

  39. semiotix says:

    Unfortunately, masturbation does make you gay. I didn’t do it nearly as much as some of the other kids, and even so, look at me now.

    If only I’d known then, I’d have masturbated a lot more and become a fabulous Ms. Thing, instead of the schlubby semi-closeted rough trade I am today.

  40. antidisestablishmentarianism says:

    Then how come the lady with lump on her throat had such a deep voice?

  41. Michael A. Banks says:

    So THAT’s why we’re all crazy!

  42. SeamusAndrewMurphy says:

    Actually, masturbation is due to excessive pimples and not vice versa.

  43. JoshuaZ says:

    This manual seems by and large to be pretty reasonable. I wouldn’t use it today because the relevant urban legends aren’t quite identical and also because it seems to take for granted that being “queer” is a bad thing, but overall it isn’t so bad. I’m failling to see the humor here.

  44. dannysland says:

    “A boy today, a man tomorrow… and then I’m coming after YOU!”

  45. lysdexia says:

    I was given a copy of this by someone my mom went to church with back in the late`70′s, so this pamphlet may have been in circulation for several years. Both mom and dad had clued we kids in on the mechanics of sex _way_ before we were Teenage Werewolves so my reaction was “Ew, why is this old guy (he was probably 45 …) handing out puberty pamphlets at church?”

    It was good to get a chance to re-read it. Yep, this pamphlet is indeed dry: but I guarantee that in the pre-”Midwest Teen Sex Show” days it was about as good as you can get. Even the god-bothering is kept to a dull roar.

    So, I guess I would answer this way to my 14-year-old self. “He’s in a club that would prefer you not:

    A. knock up your girl friend

    B. Stink like a locker room

    C. Hate yourself for beating your meat.

    Yeah, he’s an old guy in a suit, but wait until you get to college and watch the primate-house antics of your future roommates. He’s cool enough”

  46. Cpt. Tim says:

    I have to agree with the other posters. The page you present here at least is only a comedy goldmine when you’re young enough that the word “penis” makes you giggle.

    Otherwise its sound advice for kids who could have otherwise been brainwashed by the morality squad about the evils of masturbation.

  47. OM says:

    “Don’t believe me? Try to find anyone going in for penis reduction surgery.”

    …While I was getting “Stumpy”, the sawbones and I talked about various amputations, and he admitted there are rare conditions where it’s better to have a segment taken out of the penis. These are conditions where the poor schlub has one that’s in excess of 12″ but cannot get it erect. Cutting out a 3-5″ segment will actually be safer for him health-wise because these guys have a risk of urinary tract infections on the order of several magnitudes greater – usually from having sat down in a toilet and letting the head come into contact with the unsanitary surface and/or toilet water.

    …The downside? There’s no guarantee they’ll be able to achieve erection even with the increased blood flow, and odds are even higher that any sensitivity they already had will be long gone by the time the morphine wears off.

    And yeah, the same thing applies for most surgical penis enlargement techniques, which is why most of us aren’t springing for those anywhere near as often as women do for any sort of breast modification…

  48. Jeff says:

    Oh, so –that’s– what happened. Okay, now it all makes sense.

  49. ivan256 says:

    This same book was used in my 6th grade sex-ed class…. In 1989.

    Of course we also had an abusive, perverted, grumpy middle-aged man of a teacher who wore a brown tie with pigs asses and “MCP” (He said it meant “male chauvinist pig”) embroidered into it to class every day. He also showed us slides of his wife giving birth to his third son… Who was in 5th grade and saw all of us at recess every day.

  50. zuzu says:

    Sorry to disapoint some of you, but size DOES matter (thats what she said).

    The point remains, that this is true. “Size doesn’t matter” is one of those classic, uh, lies, where people say the exact opposite of what they believe. Specifically, though, it’s girth more than length. (Women will also complain of being “stabbed in the uterus” by particularly long members.)

    This is just like how most of the hetero men who say they “don’t” like augmented breasts. Most of them are just scheming in the hopes that sympathizing with common female cattiness will help them get laid. Of course, the ever increasing popularity of breast implants strongly suggests that men and women in reality prefer them.

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