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Film Catalog » Subject Areas » Psychology » Social Psychology » You Don't Know Dick

You Don't Know Dick

You Don't Know Dick - Image Produced by Bestor Cram,Candace Schermerhorn.
58 min. Color. 1997.
Available as: VHS and DVD
Captioned: No
Catalog #: 0083
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Sale Price: $295.00 Buy VHS Buy DVD

Simply put, this is the most profound, compelling, and thought-provoking documentary ever made on gender identity. It may also be the most entertaining. It provides extraordinarily honest and riveting portraits of six men who once were women. They are a diverse group: one gave birth to three children; another is a longtime mechanic and body-builder. Each has lived within a body he didn't accept; each has tried to adapt to social expectations he couldn't fulfill; and each has experienced devastating personal pain that could not be obscured by denial. All have embarked upon an enormous and transfiguring struggle to recover their dignity and an identity once denied to them.

Michael, Ted, Stephan, Max, Loren, and James share the joy and the pain of their journey from female to male. Through their commentary and the experiences of their partners, friends, and family members emerges an unforgettable story of self-discovery. There also emerges a remarkable series of reflections on the differences between male and female sexuality, on social perceptions of gender, and on the relationship of one's personal history to one's present life.

"You Don't Know Dick" challenges all of us to re-examine the foundations of our ideas and feelings about gender, personality, sexuality, and identity. It is not just a film about sex and surgical procedures; it is about knowing who we are and what we must go through to become that person. It is a must for a wide array of courses in psychology, sociology, gender studies, women's studies, social work, and the health professions. It was produced and directed by Candace Schermerhorn and Bestor Cram for Northern Light Productions.


"Truly a major and utterly compelling work that treats its subject with great intelligence, much humor, and a humane gaze. For men or women -- straight, gay, bi, or trans-anything -- it holds up a fascinating, even mind-bending new set of mirrors that questions and challenges so many of our preconceptions about what it means to be a man or a woman." -- Robert Hawk, Advisory Selection Committee, Sundance Film Festival

"This triumphant series of portraits and stories of transsexual men in the process of becoming themselves will challenge viewers' minds and open their hearts. It is an outstanding teaching tool, as it provokes intelligent discussion on the social construction of gendered bodies. One of the most important questions the film raises is, 'can one be a man without a penis?' It is perfect for any course that deals with the sociology, psychology, or anthropology of gender and sexuality." -- Henry Rubin, Lecturer in Social Studies, Harvard University


  • Natl. Educational Film Festival Gold Apple Award
  • Sydney (Australia) Intl. Film Festival Documentary Award
  • New England Film & Video Festival "Videosmith" Documentary Award
  • "Best Documentary Film," New York Gay and Lesbian Film Festival
  • Western Psychological Assn. Special Award of Merit
  • American Psychological Assn. honoree
  • American Anthropological Assn. honoree
  • Selected for screening at more than a dozen major film festivals worldwide



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