WASHINGTON -- Sex education, says Phyllis Schlafly, should be taught like driver training -- 'You can't do it until you're the right age and get a license.'
Speaking to enthusiastic delegates at a conservative convention Thursday, the woman described in her biography as the 'sweetheart of the silent majority,' criticized 'how to do it' sex education classes.
Schools should teach children the harmful consequences of their actions and inform them of what society deems illegal, she said. She compared sex education to driver training.
'If you're going to teach them about sex, you ought to teach them, 'You can't do it until you're the right age and get a license -- a marriage license,'' said Mrs. Schlafly, mother of six.
Parents must be more vigilant in monitoring their children's education and setting them a good example at home, Mrs. Schlafly said in a speech to the 'Family Forum II,' sponsored by the Free Congress Research and Education Foundation and the Moral Majority.
Sex education classes are ''how to do it' courses ... teaching teenagers how to enjoy fornication without feeling guilty and without having a baby,' Mrs. Schlafly said. 'I think that should not be taught in the schools.'
Sex education fails to teach the 'consequences of promiscuity' - such as herpes, a 'terrible punishment for sin,' an incurable virus that is now epidemic, she said.
Mrs. Schlafly, a lawyer who heads the Eagle Forum that led the fight against the Equal Rights Amendment, said sex education classes should also tell children what is illegal, citing state laws barring various sexual practices.
Instead, liberals who want to 'Sweden-ize America' force all children, even those who do not want to, to 'read the books and listen to the teachers,' she said.
'They get them talking about private parts and private acts in a coed atmosphere as if they were talking about a sporting event,' Mrs. Schlafly said.
Parents can set a good example by 'living in a moral family, where husband and wife live together, and not with someone down the street,' she said.
Education Secretary Terrel Bell told the same gathering schools 'need to be more respectful of what parents want' and not countermand home values and religion.
'We need to be sensitive to all of the people and all of their concerns and all of their cherished values when we lay down some required reading,' he said to applause.