Mickey Mouse and Sex Ed: The Story of Menstruation

Monday, December 10, 2012

If I told you that a Disney-produced film was responsible for the first on-screen mention of the word vagina, would you believe me? Well believe it, folks--and file that tidbit away in your noggin in case you're ever a contestant on Who Wants to be a Millionaire?

The film in question is called The Story of Menstruation and I came across it the other night on--what else--YouTube. This was a 1946 educational animated short shown in American high schools to teach young ladies about their menstrual cycle. I actually think it's well-done for its time; as expected, it does not mention sexual intercourse or exactly how women get pregnant, but it does dispel some old wives' tales about getting a period. My only complaint is that it downplays menstrual cramp pain ("some girls may feel an occasional twinge"...yeah, right. More like pass the ibuprofen before I pass out, please!) It also seems to be saying that if you powder your face and toughen up your attitude, you'll be over your PMS in no time at all. And stand up straight, girls! "Let those organs function the way they were intended." 

YouTube says the video was banned, but I couldn't find any information elsewhere that confirms this. Wikipedia claims it was shown in high schools for some time, and came with a companion booklet for each student called Very Personally Yours, which featured advertising by Kotex. 

Walt Disney Corporation never renewed the copyright for the film, so it's now in the public domain and can be freely shared. 

Here's the video. It would be too weird to say "enjoy", right?


  1. I can't believe you found this! Wow, the things you can find on the internet!

  2. Thanks for the comment, Jamie! I know, this was a wild find for sure!

  3. I think it was a great film for the time. It said everything that is true today just in a more civilized manner. After some of the menstral comercials we see today I would welcome it. In fact, I think it was ahead of its time mentioning exercizing, eating right, etc. Call me old-fashioned but I enjoyed it.

  4. I remember seeing this in 1972 or three in 5th Grade! I remember being 'horrified' that Walt Disney knew about these things! (at the time I wanted to be a cartoonist for Disney) And of course we received a little turquoise booklet titled 'Very Personally Yours' afterward.
    Love your Blog! -Therese

  5. never knew something like this existed!


  6. I can confirm that I saw that film and got the booklet in grade school in the late 1970s.


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