How Much Affection? Youth, Sex, and Social Norms in Cold War America

During the 1950s, some American thinkers expressed concern that deviation from accepted behavior, would contribute to a weakening of American society. This educational film from 1958 addresses some of the perceived consequences of premarital sex. While premarital sex was certainly not invented in the 1950s, concerns about “proper” behavior were enhanced by the tensions of the Cold War.

  1. How does the film characterize the consequences of pre-marital sex? Be specific.
  2. How do the topics discussed in this film related to other social and political concerns in the United States during the Cold War?
  3. To what degree is gender a factor in this film? How do the film’s creators assign specific roles or characteristics to male and female characters?

Source: The Prelinger Collection (direct link to video)