Question on sexual sin


I’ve been doing research into the sex industry, it’s problems, the people in it, arguments against it and how to stop it, mainly from news articles, interviews and stories. However while I’m reading these articles I will sometimes get aroused though I try to stay calm. I have the habit of crossing my legs which creates pressure that cause me to ejaculate. I uncross my legs when I notice the pressure but as its a habit my legs will recross themselves without me intending it. Often times I’m so into reading the article or trying to stay calm that I won’t notice what my legs are doing. This has happened multiple times and I’m starting to worry that my intention for researching this subject is just to get aroused and ejaculate. Going in to read these articles my intention is not to get aroused or to masterbate, it is to learn but I have to ask is this a mortal sin, venial sin or should it not be considered a sin?


I was doing research on the phenotypes of tri-racial isolates and American Indians in the United States, and it got to the point were most of the results were pornography. I just changed the settings to filter out explicit results, which isn’t 100 per cent, but it’s a start. If you feel aroused, say the Jesus Prayer. “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have Mercy on me, a sinner”, helps with me.


Welcome to Catholic Answers! :slight_smile:

I think this is a good opportunity to step back and really reflect on what you’re doing, and whether your research is worthwhile, or whether it might be better to avoid these occasions altogether if it’s an avenue for tempation for you. As Jesus instructed (hyperbolically), if your hand causes you sin, cut it off.

I am not advising that it is a sin; there are certain requirements that must be met before it’s considered sinful, and you might have very worthwhile reasons for your research. Since this continues to repeat itself, though, I’d say it’s probably at least suspicious.

Now I will say what I should have said from the start… This is probably something you should speak to a priest about in detail. I am certainly one of the least qualified to give advice.



My advice is to stop researching for a while. Although you didn’t intentionally do this to be aroused, it’s become clear this sort of research is a near occasion of sin. In the mean time, you should talk to a priest about this. He can help you on matters regarding sin more than we can.

In the future, please consider using academic search engines and databases to filter out junk and opinion pieces. If you’re in college, universities usually have links to databases and search engines students can use for academic research.

Regular search engines such as Google will bring up all sorts of articles with explicit information and photos.


From my reading of your question, it seems possible that the things you’re researching aren’t explicit or objectively arousing. In that case, the suggestions for using filters won’t help much. And certainly, if the things you are looking at aren’t usually arousing, to the average person, then you didn’t sin in beginning to look at them.
HOWEVER, no one person is “the average person”. If these things are arousing to you, then this research is an occasion of sin for you. Now, you must avoid the occasion to sin (in this case, stop the research) unless there is some justifiable good end that outweighs the risk*. Ask yourself whether there is.

*Obviously, I’m not saying that the end justifies the means, but let’s use another example of near occasions to sin and what’s justified and unjustified.
Tom and Mary are engaged. Let’s talk about a few of the occasions of sin they’re in, and which are justified.
A) Mary finds that, when she works on wedding plans, she tends to begin daydreaming about her future life which for some reason, often turns, (without her intending it to) to strong lustful thoughts.
B) Both Tom and Mary tend to fall into sin when they’re together after a certain time.

Neither of the actions taken are actually sinful, both are occasions to sin. However, one of them are justified, and the other not.
In A, Mary is justified in continuing to plan the wedding. After all, it needs to be done. She ought to pray and take extra care to avoid falling into temptation, but she doesn’t need to stop planning.
In B, there’s no sufficiently grave reason for Tom and Mary to remain in that situation. It is good for a couple discerning marriage to spend time together, but if the time of day is a problem, they should plan accordingly.

Of course, things aren’t always so cut and dried. As other posters have said, talk to a good priest. He’ll help you to determine whether the end of your research is worth the risk.


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