How to be a Woman

Directed by (various)

How to be a Woman

Directed by (various)


Instructions for Proper Female Behavior from Classroom Films of the 1940s - '80s.

From the A/V Geeks Film Library

As the daughters of the baby boom reached adolescence, the American school system struggled to educate them on matters of sexual and social development‹lessons that were not always being taught at home. To the teacher uncomfortable with such topics, classroom films were a godsend. They depicted the reproductive system in anatomical detail (Growing Girls) or through puzzling symbolism (The Wonders of Reproduction, produced by the Moody Institute of Science). Beyond sex education, classroom films addressed a wide array of social issues, from the importance of cooking skills (You're the Judge, starring a young Bonnie Franklin), to self-defense (Attack) and how to appear more pleasing to others (Improve Your Personality). Often corny, sometimes frightening, these cinematic life lessons - curated and introduced by Skip Elsheimer, founder of the A/V Geeks educational film archive - provide a fascinating window to the hopes and fears of parents and educators in mid-century America.

  • You're Growing Up
    Bailey Films 1955 Color 10 Min.
  • The Wonders of Reproduction
    Moody Institute 1958 Color 11 Min.
  • Let's Make a Sandwich
    American Gas Assoc. 1950 Color 4 Min.
  • Why Study Home Economics?
    Centron 1955 B&W 10 Min.
  • As Others See Us
    Social Science Films 1953 Color 10 Min.
  • Growing Girls
    Film Producers Guild 1949 B&W 12 Min.
  • Improve Your Personality
    Coronet 1951 B&W 10 Min.
  • Pattern for Smartness
    Hartley Productions 1948 Color 18 Min.
  • Girls Are Better Than Ever
    Douglas Film Ind. 1967 Color 13 Min.
  • You're the Judge
    Crisco Circa 1960s Color 18 Min.
  • Worth Waiting For
    Brigham Young University
    1962 Color 27 Min.
  • Saying No: A Few Words to Young Women About Sex
    Crommie & Crommie 1982 Color 16 Min.
  • Attack
    Taft Broadcasting 1966 B&W 14 Min.

This collection was mastered from vintage 16mm prints circulated among schools and rescued, decades later, by collectors. The image and sound quality of these orphan films do not conform to Kino's usual standard.

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Interested in bringing How to be a Woman to your school or library? If you'd like to have an in-class viewing, on-campus screening, or purchase the DVD for your library's collection, please contact Estelle Grosso at or call (212) 629-6880 with your request.

How to be a Woman may also be available with Public Performance Rights (PPR) and Digital Site Licensing (DSL) for colleges and universities. To purchase the DVD with PPR or DSL, please contact Estelle Grosso at or call (212) 629-6880. Click here to learn more at Kino Lorber Edu.

To read more about Kino Lorber Edu's terms of use and ordering information, visit Kino Lorber Edu.

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