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The Yellow Teddybears: exploitation as education

posted on 2023-06-09, 16:44 authored by Adrian Smith
The Yellow Teddybears (1963, Robert Hartford-Davis, UK: Animated Motion Pictures, Tekli British Productions) was based on the supposed-true story of schoolgirls who wore yellow “Golly” badges (the metal kind you saved Robertson's jam labels for) to signify that they had lost their virginity. This ‘X’ film is sympathetic in tone to the viewpoint of the schoolgirls and condemns the outdated attitudes of parents and authority figures, as represented by the school governors. Compton-Tekli had been formed in 1960. They had already produced one nudist documentary film and one fully-fledged feature film, which both relied on the tried and tested formula of dressing up exploitation themes as education as a way of justifying their controversial subject matter. This paper will draw on archival material to explore the promotion of the film as a tool for improving the nation’s sex education. Screenings were held with hundreds of sixth form girls and experts to encourage a national debate about. This paper will include images and recollections from a recent interview I conducted with Annette Whitely, the then young star of the film, who attended some of these screenings and talked to girls about the importance of sex education.


Publication status

  • Published

File Version

  • Other

Presentation Type

  • paper

Event name

Researching Past Cinema Audiences

Event location

Aberystwyth University

Event type


Event date

26th-28th March 2018

Department affiliated with

  • Media and Film Publications

Full text available

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