Sexual Sin - Acts of the Will


…“The deliberate use of the sexual faculty, for whatever reason, outside of marriage is essentially contrary to its purpose.”…

I’m a little confused about what makes an act of the will.

For example, if I go see a movie that I know has nudity in it, but I have no intention of doing anything wrong. If that scene all of a sudden shows up, then I do my best to look away or whatever, have I committed a deliberate act of the will to sin by just knowing that scene was in the movie, or do I have to deliberately will to sin once that seen arrives. Or even sometimes you can still hear things that you don’t want to here. Is it okay to just try your best to ignore it? Is that avoiding an act of the will to do something wrong or has it become an act of the will by just not running out with your ears plugged.

Perhaps a better example, if you are at the pool or the beach, is it okay to just try to look members of the opposite sex in the eye whenever you have the chance, knowing that you’re probably going to see some inappropriate outfits that you aren’t trying to see, as long as you don’t actively try to do something wrong?

The short answer is that you should avoid the near occasion of sin.

Take the movie example. A naked person is not inherently bad. It’s what people do with thier bodies that is bad. If you go to a film that shows a woman giving birth, or nude man portraying early Olympians, that is not sinful use of the body. If you go to a film that shows a steamy sex scene between to married (not to each other) folks, that would not be ok. If you know a movie has this kind of scene and you know its wrong to watch it, they you are probably at least in the near occasion of sin.

For the beach, you should not be looking at women (or men) in an inappropriate way. I set my personal standard to look at a woman not as if she were my wife, but my daughter. Unless of course it is my wife :smiley:

At the end of the day, if Jesus was sitting next to you, would you feel comfortable watching?

I think this just covers lust.

I don’t think it’s a sin to watch a film with a sex scene in it if you don’t get turned on, or to look at someone who doesn’t have much on if you don’t lust.

“If your hand or foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter into life maimed or crippled than with two hands or two feet to be thrown into eternal fire.
And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter into life with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into fiery Gehenna.” (Matt.18:8-9)

I know but my question is whether it is a sin or not in the first place.

It can be an occasion of sin.

I believe if you knowingly put yourself in the occasion of sin then that itself constitutes a sin.

Does anybody know about this? I couldn’t find anything in the Catechism.

I think once a person dedicates him/herself to Jesus and his Word, these things become easier to handle, more understandable. It feels like an internal peace.

You will not feel the need to worry about some of the things you accidentally see or hear because you Trust Him and He Trusts you.

I strongly believe that Jesus wants what’s best for us - He would not trick us into a “sin” by “placing a naked person of the opposite sex in front of us suddenly”. I don’t believe that’s how it works.

We live in a world today where sin is everywhere, unfortunately. It would be pointless to stress over everything that’s wrong or sinful that we see when walking home from work (let’s say)…

I don’t know if you were looking for a yes/no answer to your question(s) but, from my experience, I think that it’s what’s in your heart that counts. And as you know, Jesus knows your heart.

Hope this helps.
May Jesus fill your hearts and minds with Love and Guidance.

I believe it is considered a venial sin. You can call an apologist from Catholic Answers to find out for sure. The phone number to Catholic Answers is: 619.387.7200.

There are certain situations that wouldn’t make it a sin to put oneself in an occasion of sin like if you are a med student or doctor and have to look at or operate on naked body parts or if you are a priest and you have to walk into a brothel to get someone out of the place.

I also know there is a difference between near and proximate occasions of sin (Did I get those terms right?), but I’m not entirely sure how their differences apply to this situation.

Here is another situation that might make a little more sense. You like listening to a certain type music for the pure enjoyment of the music, but the songs can provide sexual images that might pop into your head for a second. You never willingly entertain them and you don’t listen to the music with an intention to do anything immoral, but you know those bad things are in the songs.

Any sin there?

Great point and most of us lose sight of this…

I was taught that if you think of temptation as flies buzzing around your head and brush them away then you are ok, but if you fix your thoughts on them and ponder or relish them that would be a willful act and sinful.

looking at nudity in and of itself is not sinful. If you are looking at nudity for selfish purposes, making the human form an object of worship then it would I think be sinful. Watching a movie with nudity in it should again be no different then watching orange trees, however you will have greater temptation from these images to fix your thoughts on more sinful acts, but that is the will, free will aspect of sin. It is better not to tempt yourself, but sights and sound in and of themselves I do not believe are evil it is what you do with it.

Actually I think you could look nude people all over and it not be a sin. It really depends on what your thoughts are. For example you can visit many beaches in Europe, as I have, and I have seen numerous nude women and I definitely did not sin as these women although beautiful in the sight of god were rather old and I viewed them as I am sure a 20 something would view my pot belly in a speedo…

Hope these thoughts help.

God Bless You and please pray for me.

That’s the same line of thought that I had, but how do we know that’s the correct interpretation of the Catechism?

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