If sexuals sins are a real danger, then why is the sexual urge so strong?


#21

There was a point in time, not long ago, that the expression “shameless” was indicative of individual of laxed moral character. I would say that remains true, though the phrase has fallen out of fashion.

I also still say that shame is itself not a positive, it is wallowing in guilt. Guilt is good, shame is when we allow the guilt we rightly feel to overcome the knowledge that we can be forgiven.


#22

I think part of the issue here is that we tend to forget something very important…

For all of human history, until after World War I, it was very common for teens to marry. Before competing 12 grade and then after completing college (and now completing grad school & becoming established) became the norm, it was very common for teens to marry.

It also wasn’t uncommon in the 19th century for young teens to be in college. One of the seven founders of my college Fraternity was 13 years old when my college fraternity was founded (and yes, he was in college).

Point is, when society placed pressure and laws requiring mandatory school on to teens & young adults, we actually wound up extending their childhood.

Kids grew up much quicker until the 20th century, childhood was shorter. Therefore, once teenage men and women were really feeling sexual urges, they were often already married, or close to it.

In centuries past, it even wasn’t uncommon for some to be married before they really started having sexual urges. So husband and wife grew sexually together.

It’s funny (if that’s the right word), I was discussing yesterday with someone how in generations past, it was not uncommon for people to know not only their great-grandparents, but also their great-great-grandparents (if not occasionally a great-great-great-grandparent.

Today, many of us will lucky to see out grandchildren get married and really lucky to even meet our great-grandchildren.

So with ALL OF THIS SAID, the reason the sexual urge is so strong is because (1) we are supposed to have lots of kids and (2) we are biologically supposed to be getting married much younger than we are today.

As I’ve started to say: “there are a lot of benefits to teen pregnancy.”

I pray this helps. God bless


#23

very true!!!


#24

Incorrect. Our first parents were created with complete control over their appetites. Only a wholly deliberate act of the will could have caused them to send.

I’m unsure which part was incorrect.

I’m thinking of the teaching reflected in the catechism here:

To form an equitable judgment about the subjects’ moral responsibility and to guide pastoral action, one must take into account the affective immaturity, force of acquired habit, conditions of anxiety or other psychological or social factors that lessen, if not even reduce to a minimum, moral culpability. #2352

All of these things make us less in control of a perfectly free choice. Hence the “reduce moral culpability.”


#25

I realize now that that portion of your post was not directed at my comment dealing with our first parent’s control over their wills. My bad.


#26

Maybe because sex was ONLY meant for one particular condition in life (Marriage) and when it is used for or in any other situation then it becomes shameful because it is WRONG!


#27

I’d like to add – there’s the existence of original sin after the fall – this is quite an effect on all of us.


#28

All our natural God-given desires disordered because of our fallen nature. Hunger is supposed to lead us to nourish our bodies, but eating a well balanced diet requires self-discipline. We cannot merely follow our urges. We must cultivate the virtues of temperance and align our behavior to reason.

The seven deadly sins are only understood when we recognize the good God-given drives within them. The fallen nature simply is about reflecting on how blindly following those drives can lead us away from the very purpose for their being.

I will say, though, what has been forgotten is that lust and gluttony were considered the least of the seven deadly sins. They were the least because their harms were so obvious. People were most likely to repent of these sins.

The big issue with sexual sin is that we’ve mitigated some of the harm of fornication through contraception. In fact, those who reject the Church’s teaching on contraception tend to believe that to contracept is a moral responsibility. They worry about parents not being ready to have children. They worry about child abuse and neglect not due to the parent being a cold heartless person, but a person who has limits and may not be ready or able to take on the full responsibility of providing adequately for the needs of their child or too many children.

And because they see the actual contraceptives as minimally and rarely harmful in themselves (far less harmful than going without them), they tend to see nothing wrong with using contraception to achieve their personal goals. They’d see guilting someone to get pregnant because their reasons for preventing pregnancy are selfish as demeaning of individual goals, especially the career goals of women. As such, they see opposition to contraception as being more about under valuing the contributions of women to society.

Continue in next post…


#29

There is SOME truth to this. We ARE called to responsible parenthood. Contraceptives ARE less dangerous than they were during the periods where Christianity agreed they were immoral. And we should affirm that women have contributions to make to society beyond motherhood. Women leaders are great.

And meanwhile, usually it’s true that Catholics who reject contraception reject one or all of these points. They may reject the very idea of responsible parenthood within the context of marriage and try to ease the demands of living out a chaste marriage by denying that with the development of human knowledge comes responsibility.

But fertility is a good, and treating it as an evil is problematic. It does get complicated because temperance with our sexual expression is hard. And I would even go so far as to saying that if you are going to sin, you should mitigate the harm. So yes, if it helps, keep a condom on hand if you’re going to slip up in chastity either in marriage or outside of it. But don’t deny that you’re engaging in sin, that your action misses the moral mark of what it means to perfectly love your neighbor or God.

Sometimes, even in marriage, having sex is sinful. Catholics who embrace the Church’s teaching need to recognize that grave reasons to avoid pregnancy refer to the gravity of the sin. You marry because sex has a procreative nature and loving each other well means committing first to support each other. It’s not about ensuring you have a $20K or more beautiful wedding before you have sex. It’s about recognizing that such a commitment needs to be thoughtful, deliberate, timely, and celebrated publically. It shouldn’t be private if we are to esteem that commitment. But if the cost of your dream wedding actually works against affirming the institution of marriage, the wedding fails its purpose and is actually hurting our cultural understanding of what marriage even is.

So just as we commit in marriage out of a sense of love and responsibility, we need to recognize that temperance is needed within marriage to love each other well. And indeed, we will fall short. We WILL sin. When we deny we’re sinning because “Well I tried to mitigate the evil”, then we’re no longer talking about the sin of lust. We’re talking about the sin of pride. And pride is the WORST of the seven deadly sins. Pride keeps us from repentance.

So regardless of what extreme we’re falling on with the denial of the Church’s teaching, the narrow road is one that keeps us centered on loving the other as well as we can, recognizing that we can’t reach Heaven through our own effort alone. We will slip and fall. We must be humble in that so that we are always recognizing our dependence on God and His mercy.


#30

I would consider sexual and romantic attraction different things but recently stuff has been popping in my head. Sex alone isn’t really tempting to me but when you add in romantic feelings and desires it becomes so appealing. I guess if you’re dating someone that’s good but you still have to wait. It’s a weird feeling when your skin is craving touch. I really need to be careful, so easy to get swept up in emotions/feelings.
As a man, should I not desire sex though? Isn’t that part of nature? I’ve suppressed and demonized it for so long. I’m trying to not suppress these desires but not act on them either and that’s difficult. I feel like most people go through this in teens and I’m 21 right now, it’s been over 6 weeks without porn, maybe things are healing. I normally don’t have these fantasies though. They’re intertwined with emotion and that is what gets me.


#31

But as @QwertyGirl pointed out, shame is learned. People don’t naturally feel shame because something is wrong but because they’ve been taught that something is wrong and then feel shame when they do it.


#32

Huh? So the role of religion is to stamp out the sexual urge? Or that the sexual urge is incompatible with religion?


#33

The sexual urge fulfilled its function but we need to control it now, especially if we are Catholic.


#34
  1. Sexual urges encourage reproduction

  2. Not everybody has a strong sexual urge; some people have a weak one or not much of a one at all.


#35

Not only is it everywhere, but current society constantly encourages people to act on their sexual urges. This has been a periodic problem throughout history. When a behavior is encouraged and promoted by society, more people will jump on the bandwagon because “everybody’s doing it” and there is little or no penalty. Conversely, in a society where acting on your sexual urges outside of an exclusive marital relationship is seriously frowned upon or even punished in some way (like banishment from the community, or public shaming, or economic penalty), there is more motivation for people to learn to control their urges, and many more of them will do so.

The way society is now, if you are a single person and you have chosen to not have sex, not go looking for sex, basically prioritize other things above sex and not act on your sexual urges, they will consider you a weirdo or assume you have a physical or mental problem. The only exception might be if you were setting your sex life aside in order to spend more time caring for your child or other dependent person; then you’d be seen as virtuous and self-sacrificing (even if it wasn’t that big of a sacrifice for you because after looking after your kid all day you are too tired to even think about having sex).


#36

I don’t believe that. I believe that at our VERY BASIC beginning we KNOW when something is morally wrong or not without someone telling us or it being declared wrong. We have souls instilled in us by our Creator and those souls at their PRIMAL state know right from wrong without any outside influences.


#37

Driving with my husband on the way to work we are greeted by bus billboards of women wearing skin colored bras. If we go out to eat our waitress 9 times out of 10 has her cleavage or short skirt greeting us (a family restaurant). If we watch any decent movie there is 90% of the time an awkward scene where there is a focus on a woman’s body. Female protagonists are usually 95% gorgeous so we get to stare at her for two hours. A few times I’ve heard “songs” on the radio and all it is is a woman moaning lyrics. At the doctors office the magazine covers for health are a fit body in a bikini. We no longer go to the beach or pools, the last time we went these happy teens illegally ran around topless to greet us.
Sometimes I wish I was born in the 40’s or 50’s as the world wasn’t this deprived, proper shame is not as terrible as many make it out to be.
This thread reminds me of friendly advice I received which was to pray hard for our husbands and children. Maybe I’ll start a novena.


#38

In which case everyone would have known slavery was wrong from the beginning.


#39

Slavery was probably once seen as a mercy back in the Biblical times when the conquering people could choose to just kill everybody in the town they conquered. If they simply enslaved them then at least the slaves, including women and children, could stay alive.


#40

Slave woman: ‘They killed my husband and my sons and now they have sold myself and my daughters into slavery!’

Tis-bearself: ‘Gee, you say that like it’s a bad thing. Count yourself lucky you ungrateful woman…’

So what about the African slave trade? Better than hacking them to death?


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.