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


FWIW, 2 notes are pertinent:

1º I’ve seen a trend of speakers in the US promoting workshops about JPII’s “Love and Responsibility”. I don’t, personally, appreciate the trend. I fear there might be some speakers taking commercial advantage of saint JPII’s work, because listening closely they don’t have a sufficient grasp on the subject to be teaching it.

2º The expression “custody of the eyes” is in fact a slogan. It attempts to simplify what would otherwise be an extremely complex dual self-analyses both in the fields of theology and phenomenology. Sufficient to say: an analytical deconstruction can’t be reasonably expected from the average layman catholic.

P.S. There’s nothing wrong with those man’s eyes. Looking satiates an intellectual appetite written within their nature. Trust me @DeniseNY the pull to a brief glance is so strong it bothers. It certainly bothers me, and it’s when I’m at my weakest that it bothers me even more. However, the pull in itself is not a sin, nor is a passive moment of weakness in a brief glance after a whole day of struggling against it.

P.S.S. Indeed, a mere kind word puts away immediately with any such appetite. Showing, that to be loved, is a need of an even higher order.

  • dedicated to my most esteemed friend @babochka


So I’m just supposed to feel uncomfortable and less valued as a professional because men just can’t help it? Sorry, I think this is bull because there are men who do manage to keep their eyes to themselves


So, you are stating that even if all women dressed like Muslims as AlNg recommends, or we bound up our chests as to appear prepubescent, men are still going to sneak a glance at our completely covered breasts because they just can’t help it?


I, and everybody else, were taught to respect women, to respect our elders and to not belittle the disabled. It was common knowledge. So when I met an attractive young lady and began dating her, we were on the same page. It’s taken decades to dismantle that. To my fellow Catholics: I urge you to keep custody of your eyes (and I’m referring to myself as well) and to treat women and everyone else with respect. Catholic living is good.


My apologies, I had a 4,400 Length post that needed to be trimmed to a 3,200 length post.

I first separate people into 2 groups. In about 1990 is the halfway point between Now and Vatican 2 Switch.

After that, I separate peoples education into those who where educated not to stare and those who where not educated well in not staring but figured it out in the end.


“And, don’t tell the boys what to wear and tell the girls not to stare” and everybody has custody of the eyes and all the basis are covered. Or do what they do in many other cultures- have great field vision and keep you thoughts pure…

  • I greatly appreciate those who mentioned “Custody of the Eyes”, as that phrase returns lots of results. I did not look that up, I will know better next time.
  • Custody of the eyes was not directly mentioned in the Theology of The Body education student book I was given, unless I missed it. I looked through the whole thing today. Many have pointed out that it need not be directly stated as if you understand the meaning of the body, you would not dare. What is obvious to the educated Catholics (CAF Members, The Authors of the book), may not be to tired teenagers who attend youth group, following writing long Papers.

Things that sort of moved away from the intended conversation, but nevertheless I do not fully own this conversation:

  • The Mark Hart quote was an addition to a post that almost diverted the entire discussion. CAF Lesson #1: Question, Background, Get out.
  • The mention of Woman to dress as the Muslims is not relevant, nor the intentions of anyone here.


Custody of the eyes is an old Catholic expression. I first heard it used about nuns who were not to let their gaze get distracted.
ETA: in that case it did not mean toward members of the opposite sex but from the task at hand



Is that serious? Do we really need to teach men this? It’s a pretty low opinion of the male population to think we need to be taught this.


I think it’s more about getting people to stop justifying perverted actions as ‘biology’, stop viewing lust as a man’s sin and start the conversation about women’s lust and how men can help as well.

Most of the narrative about modesty and man’s sexual biology is mostly about how women’s bodies are temptations that would damn them to hell, and hence they need to be covered. It also ignores the fact that there are naturally beautiful women who would be objectified no matter how much she covers herself

A mere lesson on custody of the eyes or ‘teach men not to rape’ won’t help imo


Valid article that is good at Catholic education.
Just in case I need to say so: I already understand the need of men to not stare.

This methods and reasoning in the article is great, where any of these taught to you (Not implying you are messed up, I am confident they taught it somewhat)? They need not give you all 10 reasons. I assume you where taught 10 and 9 only. Still enough to do the job.


Well, my parents were to be respected. If they taught me how to behave, I always took it to heart. They loved me and would not lie to me about this. As I got older, I saw this was true. But I also began to see the loss of these traits by a media that stopped playing by good rules. Today, portraying unmarried couples having sex is regarded as “Yeah. So?” as if it means nothing. It is a bad thing and bad behavior needs to be called bad.


And again, every conversation about dress moves here. I am not here to discuss Modesty of Females. I am here to discuss, What are we teaching my fellow men? If we teach them right, they won’t stare. Did they not get taught right. Do we need to share modesty more. Did we say big words like agape and eros, only to have them flow through tired teenage boy heads?


It’s not just the eyes people, it is teaching boys (and girls) that boys will be boys etc. Boys girls are taught quite quickly to be quiet, to not take up space, and that sometimes (if not often) their behavior causes more societal issues. Boys don’t generally face the same. I’m not saying boys aren’t scolded, but the mold that we use to form them into men generally tells them (unconsciously) that their needs matter more and that they must be aggressive to achieve success. Those who don’t conform to this message are, gay, wimps, failures, etc. Generally they are considered worthless. What happens to the girls? They are told appearance, purity, and acquiescence among other things is the idea female.

So what do we have here? Boys are allowed more sexual latitude (no, I’m not saying men don’t often have a more intense sex drive) between what is acceptable and what is not. Girls have a narrower latitude. What’s the result? Men are less sensitive to (often unwittingly) how uncomfortable they can make women feel. Women are told not to respond too much. So now we have a system that abuses women and makes men feel they are under undo scrutiny (Brett Kavanaugh anyone?) because society is beginning to push back on the sexual privilege they were taught unwittingly growing up. Yes men are being rebuked by the system, but not for the reasons they think. We need to stop teaching “boys will be boys”.


Media is undermining our Custody of the Eye teaching efforts.

A=“Don’t stare at Woman”
B=“Don’t things before marriage”
Culture= A ^ ¬B
Catholics A ^ B

It is hard to teach A ^ ¬B as all theology teachings work together, they are built upon each other. Thank you for your reflection.

I worry about a conversation about the culture war. Teaching men not to stare is something that is universally agreed upon by both sides. The Secular and the Non-Secular each have their own methods. We are still better at doing it, yet we are not direct enough according to the book I cited for Catholic Education. What you said is still valid, Thank You.


I should have started the original post off with:
No Talking about:

  • Political leaders
  • The clothing of Females
  • The clothing of covered Muslim Females
  • The war on boys
  • Sexual Privilege
  • Marxist Class Warfare
  • Guys Vs Woman
  • TV and Movies

I unfortunately did not though. I suppose I can not infinity limit a discussion to a tiny sliver, as that violates the very nature of a conversation. Thank you for your post non-the-less. It still it true.


Please. We don’t need a lecture about guys vs women. That garbage has been spread far and wide and has caused the sad state of affairs between men and women today. This is the Marxist class warfare way that tears down. As Catholics, we should be reminding men and women of their equal worth and dignity. But the media is showing us attractive people doing bad things and calling that entertainment?

My fellow Catholics, please ignore what is portrayed on TV and in movies. The Christian life is the best way to live. I saw it in action. I still live it. I encourage everyone to do the same.


And we’re telling you that simply telling boys not to stare won’t fix the problem…


This is an issue I struggle with. I can’t help myself. Weird thing is I generally consider myself over protective of the females in my life. Mother, Grandmother, sisters, cousins, wife, daughter, niece… I don’t know, maybe think they need protection is part of the problem.

But yeah, the traits I find attractive, I can’t help but stare. I’m constantly telling myself, “Her eyes look at her eyes.”

Only hope I have is that one day our good Lord will transform my inmost being. I honestly don’t want to be oogling women, regardless what kind of attention their attire suggests they want.

As a person I think it’s a flaw.

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