Is the School House the Proper Place to Teach Raw Sex?

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Is the School House the Proper Place to Teach Raw Sex? is a pamphlet written in 1968 by Gordon V. Drake and published by Billy James Hargis's Christian Crusade. It was a key document in the conservative fight against sex education in public schools, a cultural issue that contributed to the development of the New Right.[1][2]

The 40-page document, described by Time magazine as, "an angry little pamphlet,"[3] was originally distributed as part of a direct-mail fundraising campaign for the Christian Crusade, so that the organization could lobby against sex education in schools.[4] It became a source of unfounded anecdotes about the supposed horrors of sex education for groups such as Mothers Organized for Moral Stability.[1]

School House targeted the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS), and in particular its director Dr. Mary Calderone. It described her as the "SIECUS Sexpot",[5] and said that the group sought to "toss[...] God aside" and "to teach American youth a new sexual morality independent of church and state."[3][6] Besides arguing that sex education undermined Christian morality and promoted promiscuity, the document said it is part of a "giant Communist conspiracy."[7][8] It said, "[If] the new morality is affirmed, our children will become easy targets for Marxism and other amoral, nihilistic philosophies—as well as V.D.!"[4][5][9] The pamphlet also identified the National Education Association as an enemy.[10]

The pamphlet was the most widely circulated attack on sex education in the 1960s.[5] Drake estimated that it sold over 90,000 copies in the three months after it was published,[1] while Hargis claimed one million overall.[5] A more conservative estimate is 250,000 copies.[11]


  1. ^ a b c Moran, Jeffrey P. (2000). Teaching Sex: The Shaping of Adolescence in the 20th Century. Harvard University Press. pp. 180–183.
  2. ^ Moran, Jeffrey P. (June 2003). "Sex Education and the Rise of the New Right". Reviews in American History. 31 (2): 285. doi:10.1353/rah.2003.0037. JSTOR 30031770.
  3. ^ a b "Sex in the Classroom". Time. July 25, 1969.
  4. ^ a b Bruess, Clint E.; Greenberg, Jerrold S. (2008). Sexuality Education: Theory and Practice. Jones & Bartlett Learning. p. 38.
  5. ^ a b c d Irvine, Janice M. (2004). Talk about Sex: The Battles over Sex Education in the United States. University of California Press. p. 51.
  6. ^ Mass, Lawrence (1990). Dialogues of the Sexual Revolution: Homosexuality as behavior and identity. Psychology Press. pp. 68–69.
  7. ^ Grummon, Donald L.; Barclay, Andrew M.; Hammond, Nancy K. (1971). Sexuality: a search for perspective. Van Nostrand Reinhold Co. p. 20.
  8. ^ Bruce, William. The American school board journal, Volume 157. National School Boards Association. p. 12.
  9. ^ Cornblatt, Johannah (2009-10-28). "The Sin of Yielding to Impure Desire: a brief history of sex ed in America". Newsweek. Archived from the original on 2011-01-22. Retrieved 2011-01-05. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  10. ^ Mahoney, E.R. (November 1979). "Sex Education in the Public Schools: A Discriminant Analysis of Characteristics of Pro and Anti Individuals". The Journal of Sex Research. 15 (4): 265. doi:10.1080/00224497909551050. JSTOR 3812387.
  11. ^ "The Sins of Billy James". Time. February 16, 1976.