This shocking public information film from 1961 warns young boys against ‘dangerous’ and ‘contagious’ homosexuality.
Narrated by a police detective on his way to a school meeting, the short film, called Boys Beware, tells adolescent boys to watch out for gay men, who it says are mentally ill older male strangers who want sexual favours from them.
Boys Beware claims gay men are murderous paeodophiles with a mental illness.
This shocking 1961 film warns young boys such as character Jimmy Barnes (left) against ‘dangerous’ and ‘contagious’ homosexuality from older male friends like Ralph (right)
The homophobic film earned a glowing review from former Florida State Attorney Richard Gerstein, who in 1965 recommended it as required viewing at Dade County high schools to help curb the ‘illness’.
The narrator said: ‘One never knows when the homosexual is about. He may appear normal, and it may be too late when you discover he is mentally ill.’
The public service announcement, which was produced at the suggestion of a Southern California police department, said gay men often make their move by picking up unsuspecting hitchhiking youths.
Boys Beware, tells adolescent boys to watch out for gay men, who it says want sexual favours
Boys Beware claims gay men like ‘Ralph’ (above) are mentally ill, murderous paeodophiles
A baby-faced actor plays young Jimmy Barnes, who is befriended by a man called Ralph who gives him rides home.
The narrator said: ‘What Jimmy didn’t know was that Ralph was sick. A sickness that was not visible like smallpox, but no less dangerous and contagious – a sickness of the mind.
‘You see, Ralph was a homosexual: a person who demands an intimate relationship with members of their own sex.’
A baby-faced actor plays young Jimmy Barnes (left), who is befriended by a man called Ralph (right) who gives him rides home. The narrator said: ‘What Jimmy didn’t know was that Ralph was sick. Ralph was a homosexual’
The grossly offensive film remained successful through the 1970s but fell out of favour as more US states became liberalised.
Before 1962, sodomy was a felony in every US state, punished by a lengthy term of imprisonment or death.
By 2003, the Supreme Court invalidated sodomy laws in the remaining 14 states that treated it as a felony.
In 2015, a Missouri teacher was suspended after showing Boys Beware to his students.