note: entire contents copyright 1998 by Larry Stark
For women, hysteria and sex have been related ever since the Greeks coined a word for it. So naturally when Marjorie Zohn wrote this teaching-piece about the hysterical Facts of Life --- from pajama-party confessions about "my first period" to nursing-home encounters with fascinating-older-men --- guess what she called it.
The approach is always witty and pushed just over the edge, but there's lots of useful information to be absorbed while laughing. For instance, if the football coach happened to take over the sex-education class, he'd probably describe ovulation and conception as though he were diagraming a pass-play or a quarterback-sneek, right? And an oversized diaphragm is always hard to insert --- especially one that's big enough to hide under. Zohn handles the secret joys of masturbation, the errant hands on the disco floor, the awkward terror that paralyses inarticulate boys when girls glibly demonstrate better awareness of sexuality, and the impossibility of remembering your hospital ID-number when you think your morning-after pill is killing you.
These skits and bits and schticks have her doing multiple-part dialogs as well as quick costume-changes and mime routines, all of them as instructive as they are hilarious. They should teach teen-age girls a lot about their bodies and their difficulties sorting out sex, they should teach teen-age boys more about sex than they can handle, and they should teach teachers of both sexes their experiences were never unique, nor quite as hysterically laughable. That is, if any PTA in America is ready for "Hysteria"!