Teaching men not to stare [Modesty is covered elsewhere on CAF]


" Either/Or Fallacy…“Don’t tell girls what to wear, teach the boys not to stare!” "- https://www.catholic.com/magazine/online-edition/three-fallacies-in-the-dress-code-debates

Talk about staring, not clothes, as Modesty has been covered in current writing.

The need for this post:
Google Teach men not to stare:

  • Anti-Dress code
  • Teach men not to rape.
  • Not to stare at the disabled

Google results are weak. I was talking with some Catholic females (Post 2010 educated). Modesty talks are given great weight, teaching men to not stare is lacking.

Methods towards not staring:

  • Female to a potential {Bride, Sister, Nun, Saint}.
  • Power based. {No looking below my daughters neck, It is a sin, God will be angry.}
  • Rule based: College Sign, “How to Not get accused of Sexual Harassment”, “staring is obvious”.
  • Think “how mighty is your dwelling place Lord Almighty God”.
  • The females whom I communicated with said roughly: “Its just what you ought to do”. Their was a great unanimous complaint against all prior solutions, their is no need to compare Woman to Brides.

My Education:

  • Don’t do things that, “Your body is becoming aroused…you are making people around you uncomfortable”(Butler et. al 74).
  • "Having a pure mind and heart is not easy, but it trains us to see each other rightly, always recognizing our great dignity and the dignity of others(Butler et. Al 59). This quote is so valid, yet not direct enough. Define the threat specifically.
  • 2 paragraphs on page 60 focus on modesty of dressing. They are very direct, in contrast towards not staring.
  • Butler, Brian, et al. Theology of the Body for Teens: Discovering God’s Plan for Love and Life, Student Workbook . Ascension Press, 2011.

Commentary on my Theology of The Body Education:
All the major concepts in this book are present. All the major concepts of Agape and Eros are their, yet it does not mention directly how we ought to not stare. Say it directly, or it will slip through students heads. Maybe there was a video, maybe a youth leader brought it up, maybe I missed it looking through the book just now.

For the inevitable question, I am older than 18, and less than 28.

Call to CAF:
To summarize the following post:

  • How ought we to teach men not to stare?
  • Their is a need for this conversation as it seams to be lacking online and in current generation Faith education. I hypothesize the conservative Catholicism Vatican I style-educated, have been given a more direct solution to this, while the current parents looking towards their own students education have not observed this teaching.
  • Is the don’t stare teaching direct enough in your Faith Formation for you, and your kids?


  • Has your Catholic Educated of Theology of The Body occurred before 1990 or after 1990? No concerns to those on the small line.
  • Have you been trained to not stare in a strong adequate way that was specific (not just pray about it), or not?
  • Pre-1990; strong don’t stare
  • Pre-1990; weak don’t stare
  • Post-1990; strong don’t stare
  • Post-1990; weak don’t stare

0 voters

There are many threads here and material elsewhere on the Internet with men telling other men they need to have “custody of the eyes”, which includes not “staring” as you put it.

It’s not some new idea to tell men that they need to not look at occasions of sin for them, whether it’s an immodestly dressed lady on the street, or a rack of porn magazines.


It’s also not something that can be “taught” like a history lesson or a skill in shop class. You cannot teach men not to stare, that comes only when men have the understanding of and respect for women that is necessary. It is a lifelong learning process, not something that you go to a class for or listen to someone once and now you “know.” Men are only going to keep custody of their own eyes when they believe in their hearts that what they would otherwise be doing is wrong.


Funny, right?----except this is where Mark Hart makes a sophomoric mistake. As someone once said when it comes to fathers and their daughters’ boyfriends, “If you scare away all the ones who are afraid of you, the only ones left will be those who aren’t afraid of you.”


Play on words :grin:


Flagged as off-topic. The OP clearly said he didn’t want to have a modesty discussion here.
AINg, you’re being a bit rude by continuing to hijack the thread.



But in all seriousness. Custody of the eyes is something discussed. As to when/how it should be taught, probably in an ongoing age appropriate dialogue with parents. From an early age we teach kids all kids of norms and expected behaviors. I don’t see why don’t stare at people wouldn’t be thrown in there with the rest of it and when they are older part of talks on sexuality.


There isn’t a “don’t stare” teaching from the Church regarding men staring at women, or staring at anything else. Nor should there be. It’s a bit on the micro-management side, to put it lightly.


If men did not stare, which might just be an acknowledgement of the beauty of the human form, we may not have been able to fulfill the command given at the Creation to be fruitful and multiply.

Staring is not the issue. Lack of respect for what God has created is.


It generally is taught in families that bother to teach their kids manners. Of course, if the kid’s dad, older brother, etc. is setting a bad example by eyeing up ladies and whistling, or if perhaps he doesn’t have a dad around as a role model, it might be more difficult.


I would hope that it is, but realistically I think most religious education programs are challenged to even begin teaching that lust is bad, let alone actions that indirectly may lead to lust.


This dead horse of a topic has been beaten senseless.
Men in their carnal minds and especially in this society want to fornicate and commit adultery 7 days a week. That’s why the lust problem .
Repent and return to God. Stop lusting.

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Some men just have eye problems. I e been at work, dressed completely professionally and I’ve had male co workers stare at my chest. So you see, it’s not always a clothing problem on the part of the woman (even though the default position for many here is to automatically blame the woman)


Great topic… but I can’t quite parse the poll, and have little to contribute at the moment except likes.

I have a large chest. I could be in baggy sweats and some men would stare. Please don’t throw this back on your sisters in Christ who can’t find a tailored shirt .
Not aimed at you Denise.


“If your eyes go below my daughter’s neck, my hands go around your neck” -Mark Hart
This attitude teaches that it’s ok for men to put their hands wherever they want.
An older man should be a better role model for younger men.


Yeah I think it’s an appalling quote, even if intended tongue in cheek. There’s a very “caveman” quality to it… “if I think you’re a threat to my daughter, I’ll murder you.”


Worse “if your eyes stray I will murder you.”

Also reminds me of cultures in which family honor is seen as justification for bodily harm or killing.


…or wear sunglasses

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