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Condoms & teenage sex scandals

Silver-Tex prophylactics
Silver-Tex prophylactics 1940s, The Killian MFG Company, Ohio. Gift of Joyce Megget, 2004. Te Papa

Teenage sex scandals in 1950s New Zealand highlighted the concern about American pop culture corrupting morals. The police reported 'orgies perpetrated in private homes … and in several second-rate Hutt Valley theatres'.

People criticised 'cheap and nasty' Hollywood movies that glamorised teen rebellion. As a result, films like Rebel Without a Cause were banned, as was the sale of condoms to anyone under 16.

© Copyright Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington, New Zealand.