Wallstein Verlag

Anja Laukötter

Sex, the right way!

Body politics and emotional education in 20th century cinema

543 pages, 15,5 x 23,0 cm
ISBN: 978-3-8353-3898-2 (2021)


German Version

How did moving images influence people’s attitudes and behaviour in our global media-oriented society?

From the beginning of the 20th century, a global media society originated through cinema. Especially sex education films circulated, thereby crossing national borders. They provided information on sexually transmitted diseases, from syphilis to AIDS, and aimed to shape people’s attitudes and behaviour in order to safeguard physical health, drawing on medical science, education science as well as (experimental) psychology.
In spite of a changing emotional culture in the 20th century, emotions have always been attributed a great importance. During World War I, for example, fear was supposed to discourage soldiers from having unprotected sex with prostitutes. In the cinemas of the Weimar era, the population was mobilised against »false shame«. And during the time of National Socialism, the emphasis in cinema was on unconditional trust. The GDR or the FRG focussed on »positive emotions« to promote the formation of the »socialist personality« and the self-guidance of the young generation. With the emergence of AIDS, emotions were merged with conveyed knowledge.
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