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.
Redbook... Eighteen to Thirty-Four! (J.E.G. Hess) 1977 Color 9 Min.
The Joy of Living With Fragrance (Avon) Circa 1960s Color 13 Min.
Interview with A/V Geeks founder Skip Elsheimer
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