Let’s Talk about Sex – A Century of Sex Education (2023, ARTE, WDR, NDR, SVT)

My first project with Gebrüder Beetz from Hamburg. An exciting project looking back at 100 years of sex education.

Story:The history of sex education in the 20th century is a perfect mirror of the great social upheavals that have occurred in society as a whole-whether social, political, economic, or technological-and our ever-evolving attitudes toward relationships and sexuality.

This series is therefore nothing less than the story of 100 years of social change as seen through the lens of sex education.

Since the beginning of Western civilization, the main purpose of sex education has been to maintain existing power structures. It has been used by the church and state to gain control over people and their private lives, to maintain patriarchal power structures, and even to fuel capitalism. Sex education has been used to suppress people’s dreams, to control and shame women’s bodies, and to protect the heteronormative order.

These conservative power structures are now being confronted by progressive Enlightenment pioneers. Their weapons: Uncensored access to information; technological and scientific progress; political upheaval; new, alternative lifestyles tried in practice and challenging the status quo.

The story of sex education is the age-old struggle of conservative powers against the desire for consciousness, freedom, and happiness, played out anew each and every decade against the shifting backdrop of social change.

With a twinkle in our eye, we talk about the enlightenment of young people, about sex and sexuality in our 2-part series. But we also want to make people think, because the struggle for enlightenment is also a struggle for information and for equality.

Director: Ina Kessebohm, Nadine Neumann, Cosima Dannoritzer
Production Company: Gebrüder Beetz Filmproduktion

Photo Credit: © American Social Health Association Records, 1905-2005, Social Welfare History Archives