In the video (above), a mother walks in on her son pleasuring himself under the sheets. She reassures him it's normal and that he's doing the right thing by keeping it private. "It felt good, didn't it?" she asks, then apologizes for barging in.
The segment was part of a 20-minute PSA, titled "The ABC of Sex Education for Trainables," by Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania. Despite the unfortunate term used for the mentally disabled ("Trainables?" Really?), the film in its own clumsy way cuts to the chase, in terms of what adults should teach special-needs kids about sexuality.
"Sex education for trainables should be made as simple as ABC," says host Richard Dix, who adds that religious mores shouldn't get in the way.
A 1957 film for teenagers takes the same route, with a track coach dishing out surprisingly straight talk about touching oneself.
National Masturbation Month is over, but it's still worth noting a 2007 study of thousands of Americans aged 18 to 60. In the survey, published in the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy, 61 percent of men and 38 percent of women said they had masturbated in the past year. Leaving early teens out of the equation may skew the results, but point taken.