cultural norms

yes, it does. how, as catholics, should we deal with these changes though?

is it wrong to adapt to the changes? e.g. shorter skirts? and aren’t we causing others to sin?

I think it’s could be wrong to adapt changes that go against your own conscience or go against the majority of moral and/or mature society.

For example:

  1. I think it’s wrong for little girls to wear shorts so short that the bottom of their butt cheeks are slipping out of each leg. However, I can accept shorter shorts if the top is modest. Or a less modest top if the pants are modest. But often, what happens is that BOTH the shirt and top are not modest.

  2. I feel it’s wrong for young girls (under 17) to dress in a provocative way as to become attractive to 30 year old men. We should be able to look at a 13-17 year old girl and tell that she’s between 13-17. We shouldn’t be mistaking them for a 22 year old.

  3. I feel it’s wrong for young girls (or boys) to dress like they are going to a rave when going to the mall.

I think men and women need to actually speak to one another. Girls should be taught not to wear things which cause boys/men to sin AND boys should be taught to keep custody of their eyes. But society really needs to have both. For if girls dress modestly but boys have no custody or their eyes, they will still find ways to objectify women/girls. But if all boys learn custody of their eyes, but all girls dress provocatively, then boys/men won’t even be able to look at a women. Can’t have one without the other. Good male friends will be truthful with you.

A rule of thumb, if you wouldn’t want one of the following to see the way you are dressed, then chances are you are not dressed modestly: mom, dad, a grandparent, great-grandparent, aunt/uncle, friend of your parents, employer, boyfriend’s mom, your priest, your Bishop, etc.

Another rule of thumb, if you object to your little sister or a young 12 year old child wearing it, then chances are it might not be modest (I’m not talking about dresses or female suits).

While it’s wrong to judge a book by it’s cover; we all do it. You never get a 2nd chance to make a first impression. You never know when someone might see you on the street or in the mall and think you look like a “slut” or “slacker” and then interview you for a job the next day.

Now, if a girl is dressed modestly, and a boy/man still objectifies her, then the sin is totally his. Scandal only comes into play if that boy/man would not have sinned had the girl been dressed modestly (men can also be dressed in a way that scandalizes women too).

Finally, the tough part is how to figure out if your are dressed modestly or not. It’s subjective. So the key is not to base it off your own subjectiveness, but that of normal mature society (like up above). I think if a man is scandalized by seeing your ankles, that’s his problem, unless of course you showed your ankles on purpose to scandalize him because you knew. But if a man feels scandalized because you are wearing tight shorts with you butt cheeks hanging out, a low cut top with your bra and most of your breast showing from the front, no leaves so we can see most of breasts from the side, no back so we can see your entire back and bra, and that the shirt is white, mostly see though so we can see your black bra (or no bra)… then I think most of society would agree that you are dressed provocatively.
I hope this is helpful.

Shorter skirts are wrong. And bikinis - My God. I saw a model wearing a bikini bottom in a store advertisement. It was a few millimeters away from being totally obscene. Right now, it is obscene. A swimsuit should not look like underwear or less. It does cause others to sin. Men will always react the same way to this. I will never go to a beach again. I don’t want to see anything like that. And thong type bikini bottoms - really bad.

As Catholics, we must keep custody of our eyes. Leering at scantily clad women is wrong.


yeah, thanks for your answer, I get it.

what I’m still having trouble with is this: at a certain point in time, the entirety of western society thought that displaying ankles, or calfs or knees was wrong. now today, we don’t thinki it’s wrong anymore. what happened between then and now? did we let our standards slip?

who’s to say we won’t think all those things you described above are ok soon?

There is no morality, per se, in cultural trends. Either positive or negative.

That being said, one can conclude from the moral code in scripture that dressing in such a way to cause another to lust is sinful. What is such a way? In some cultures, this can be construed as a woman not wearing a head covering. (Ever been through Amish country?) In other cultures, a woman is not inviting lust until baring her thighs.

So while God’s standards never change, where you are determines whether you are following God’s standards or not with what you’re wearing. And that is the definition of cultural norms.

I disagree. Men react to women a certain way and always will. Cultural so-called norms are dictated by a small group of global media corporations who spit out filth and decadence and depravity. And lots of casual sex and immodesty.


Really? do you believe that ALL men lust after scantily clad women?
I can see a well dressed (sometimes a little scantily) lady and appreciate her beauty, without any lust filled thoughts whatsoever.

That is one of the (many) problems I have with religion…it seems to me that it is only the religious that are obsessed with sex and sexuality.

I am not trying to be contentious, I am a member of CAF to gain knowledge, as I see your religion as the most devout…so please, prove me wrong.

The prevalence of sex throughout popular culture - music, movies, TV, magazines - would seem to contradict your assertion.

I think not. It is in the interpretation of the audience…and there is always viewer choice…free will and all that.

Interpretation? I have no idea what you mean there.

Yes, we can turn them off. The point is that these things are being put out there, and they are being well received. And I don’t think it is religious people that are driving either the production or consumption of them. The obsession with sex is a secular issue.

I assumed that interpretation was an easy word…sorry, it must be our ‘same’ language barrier.

I do agree that they are being well received, in the UK some of the most popular shows with the (shall we call them) lesser educated, involves sex, scantily clad ladettes (if you do not know that word, Google it, it will shock you to see young ladies acting like they do)…unfortunately I do not know the religious beliefs of the producers.

I think we will agree to disagree on your last sentence :slight_smile:

It’s usally an easy word; I just don’t think you’ve used it appropriately.

So to be clear…

When a singer explicitly sings about sex, or actors perform a sex scene, it doesn’t rely on any audience interpretation. These are not abstract art forms that require the audience to intepret the meaning of the artist. The audience merely views/listens without any need to contribute. There is no interpretation as you suggest.

Oh, I get you now, sorry for the ambiguity.

I still think my use was right…:slight_smile:

If a singer performs explicit, sexual lyrics it will be censored…and the wider audience will hear nothing but innuendos. If actors performing sex scenes were actually having sex, once again, it would be censored…it is left to the audience’s interpretation.

The same is true all over our society…I see a little girl playing in the park, I think of innocence…the paedophile will sexually objectify her…our interpretations of the event differs greatly

Maybe in England there is such censorship, but here in Australia pretty much anything goes on commercial radio in terms of sexual lyrics now. The music of previous generations used to contain innuendo, some of which could be rather clever, but today the artists just seem to get straight to the point.

The paedophile has a sickness. If he sexually objectifies a little girl it is due to this sickness.

If I sexually objectify a singer twerking on stage, or an actor playing out an explicit sex scene, it’s an entirely natural reaction to what they are doing, and pretty much what they intended.

There are of course more subtle degrees in between these extremes, and here there may be an interaction between the performer and the audience - as you say, a level of interpretation.

I’m no prude. I simply deny the charge that religious people are more obsessed with sex than others.

Hi, sorry for a late reply, it was getting to be morning and I needed sleep.
I do agree with all your points…even though I have no idea what ‘twerking’ is!

As to your last sentence…I will concede that you are probably right. ‘Obsessed’ was probably the wrong word; I think that it is a more salient factor in how you live your life of faith…to me, the downward spiral of sexual morals has no bearing on my life, so I probably choose to ignore it.
My original post was refuting the claim that ALL guys have lustful thoughts over scantily clad females (to be honest, I find it scary haha), and I still refute that statement.

That should be self-evident. And it has only gotten worse in each decade.

1970s A little bad.

1980s A lot more bad but still mixed with the good.

1990s Into the abyss. Prostitutes interviewed as “porn stars”?

2000s I’m flipping through a magazine for teenage girls and I see a photo of a nice-looking woman. Under the photo I read: “Yes, I’m a porn star.” [prostitute]

Recently, on another message board where I’m a moderator, a group of people proclaim that porn has gone mainstream. It has crossed the dirty, filthy, get rid of it barrier into our daily lives. Isn’t that wonderful?

Uh, no.


As an artist myself, “art” is no excuse for anything. It is not a free pass or bulletproof shield. While attending art classes, I stumbled across a display of asphalt on the floor with a few accessories. I was told it was art. A picture of a drawing of Christ dipped in a jar of human urine. Someone called it art.

I am 100% against actors and actresses degrading themselves by appearing partly or fully nude and engaging in simulated sex scenes which are obviously meant only for the purpose of sexual arousal. To be copied and spread by sex addicts all over the internet. It does not matter one bit what anyone tells you - it has nothing to do with a magic word called art. It is a violation of human decency, a degradation of human sexuality and a perversion. All designed to get the audience aroused.

My friends. Stop for a moment and see behind the illusion. What you are seeing was carefully planned ahead of time. Each camera angle. The lighting. The setting. All of it. It did not assemble itself.

Human dignity begins with human decency. No nudity, no profanity, no cold, heartless killing or “heroes” who act as judge, jury and executioner.

The line has been crossed. I urge everyone reading – do not cross that line. Do not pay money to see any of it, or get used to it. We are moving, inch by inch, year by year, into soft porn, to be joined, by hardcore pornography. Say no. Post no. Let Hollywood know, the answer is no.

I don’t buy or want DVDs anymore. I have some old movies with moral standards, and I’m tired of “the industry” going from blu-ray to green-ray to purple-ray to whatever. Even for old movies, I’m not going to buy the same thing in a half dozen different formats.

Normal is respect. Normal is respecting human decency at all times. Normal is no profanity. Normal is real justice and the criminal going to jail, not beaten to a pulp for shock value, and then killed in the most gruesome way possible. I’ve read all the excuses. And that’s all they are.

We don’t need those images and those words in our heads.


Was there not modernizing, could we dare say ‘secularizing,’ the Rite of Baptism in the Anglican church for gathering a greater audience through draw by popular attraction. How much longer until we might expect to see scantily clad lesbian parsons who will be coming soon to a Church of England near you.

Stunning! Don’t miss it. A must see, bring the family.

I think it has to do with intent and interpretations of the intent.

For example, I think it’s logical to determine that most women didn’t intend to show their ankles to sexually stimulate men. I would also argue that outside of some ankle/foot fetish; most wives would not sexually tease their husbands in bed by slipping on and off their sock. :smiley:


Now, as a man, I can testify that if/when my wife (and it’s been a long time since she’s done this) teases me in bed by slipping on and off her bra and panties, it sexually stimulates me. It also sexually stimulates me if/when she runs her fingers up and down the inside of her thighs. Even thinking about it is stimulating. :blush:

If my wife were to parade around the bedroom in very sort shorts, with her butt cheeks hanging out each leg and a cut off shirt with her midriff showing and no bra… it would stimulate me. :blush: Now, if she were wearing her panties with her butt cheeks hanging out each leg and in an old dirty (yet modest) shirt, I might not give her a second look unless she were doing something specific to get my attention and arouse me. My wife walks around our bedroom like that all the time and even naked. I don’t think it is sexual for my wife to stand naked in our bathroom, brushing her teeth. I don’t even think it’s sexual for her to be taking a shower (unless she invites me in :blush: ). I usually can tell when she intends to be sexy and when doesn’t. And still I sometimes misread her.


No matter how society changes, the above will most likely ALWAYS be stimulating to most heterosexual men (note: I’m not talking about homosexual or asexual men). But husbands and wives are in a state of life were they can know the other intimate enough to know their intentions. That’s why many husbands often get jealous or don’t like it when their wives dress sexy to work or when out without them.

It’s all about being beautiful vs. acting sexy.

Dressing or “acting” sexy is about wanting to be appear hot and/or sexy with the desire to sexually stimulate or attract a another/others.

Dressing or “being” beautiful is about wanting to reflect the beauty God gave you on the inside and out.

Notice, people don’t “act” beautiful. One can always dress beautiful; but they cannot act beautiful. You are either beautiful or you are not. You can’t act beautiful.

However, in addition to dressing sexy, one can ACT sexy and/or mold their public persona to present themselves as “being sexing.” Even an ugly person who is not beautiful (inside or out), can dress, act or be sexy.

Being sexy does not always mean that a person is beautiful or even pretty. Same with being “hot.” An ugly person (inside and/or outside) can attract people by simply being “hot.” A “hot woman” can attract, sexually stimulate, seduce, and fornicate with a man without saying a single word (even if she was ugly). Where is the beauty in that?

However, if a “beautiful woman” (who isn’t dressed or acting hot) attempted to do the same, most men would (at bare minimum) stop to at least make sure they knew her name. Why, because true beauty (inside and out) deserves respect.

God’s creation is beautiful. God’s creations are never sexy. You don’t say, “wow, look at those sexy trees!” But you might say, “wow, look at those beautiful trees!”

No matter how society changes, their will always be a difference between looking beautiful and looking sexy. How we as society recognize that differences in intent might change over time, but there will always be a difference.

Being sexy is about power and lust. Power over the other sex.
While true beauty is a gift from God.

NOTE: in regards to the “rave clothes,” if what passes as “rave clothes” today are worn to Church in the distant future and suit & ties were only worn at raves, bars, brothels and strip clubs; then “rave clothes” would be modest and wearing a suit & tie would not be modest.

The message broadcasted by clothing & fashion can change over time, but the message itself is always the same – Beauty vs Sexy.

God Bless.

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