What makes masturbation a sin?

Please I want somebody to tell me HOW masturbation is sin. Its just that people have
developed this idea that anything related to sex is sin. Are we not just making our lives too rigid
even against God’s plans that we be happy on this transient earth?1.It is not in the bible it is only added by interpretative implication. 2.It does no person any harm. 3. Science has proved its quite a healthy thing to do. 4.Many say it is because you are enjoying the sexual pleasure. But what is sin in enjoying a harmless pleasure? 5.Common gossip is even worse than masturbation likewise other atrocities people commit against other people making the society a bad place to live in. But masturbation does no wrong to no one. 6.The idea that masturbation is a sin and defiles our body did come from the thread of archaic thinking that also hold that women’s menses defiles them. But is that thinking right? Someone talk to me plz. Is Masturbation a sin because d catechism said its a sin or is it intrinsically wrong?

Okay, I’m a rookie when it comes to Catholicism but I’ma gonna try…

1: It is in the bible as a sin, Genesis 38. Onan is supposed to get his dead brothers wife pregnant, by Jewish tradition or law or something like that, but he masturbates instead and is punished. 2: It does oneself harm. I don’t know the religious reason behind this (still getting back to Catholicism, and in the process of learning), but in secular thinking is does harm, too… it can distract from other more productive ways you can be spending your time, it can get in the way of a relationship and prevent it from being healthy, and can cause addition (which addiction to one thing, even something that seems as minor as this act, can cause a person to become easily addicted to other things too). 3: It has??? Didn’t know that. But I do know that too much can cause hair loss in guys. So, scientifically, doesn’t sound so good in my opinion. 4: Uh, it is harmful. Regardless, use that logic with other sins that don’t seem bad at first glance: pre-marital sex, gluttony, sloth, lying… 5: Two wrongs don’t make a right. Just because others are acting poorly doesn’t mean you should. Don’t compare yourself to other people. Just be the best you that you can be. I’m running out of cliches lol 6: It is a sin because it is wrong.

And another thought - what about a poor widow or widower who may have enjoyed sex very much with her husband/wife - now is alone but the act becomes a way for him/her to remember their loved one? Some widows have no interest in ever marrying again. They are not hurting anyone and it does not become an addiction. They are not denying anyone else sex or obstructing new life? They are not running out to find someone to have sex with. Mmmmmm - there I go just throwing some new thought out there for discussion. I am in no way taking any sides or condoning this - just listening to what others say on rare occasions thank goodness. Any comments? Discussion?

I would think after a (hopefully happy) marriage, a widow/er would have more than simply sex to remember their lost spouse by. Besides… after you’ve been with the love of your life, doing *that *by yourself can’t be anything comparable.

I too would hope these folks would have many more/other wonderful moments together to remember as you said. Again, am not judging any particular person or what they think or do - and am not condoning the practice.

The original question on the thread I think was “what makes masturbation a sin?”. Just want to help answer this question. Seems like this is a reasonable question and deserves some factual answers?

… I thought I did give some good reasons :frowning: Oops! I will try again lol but this time, I’ll just copy and paste someone else’s words!

Sex is intended to be both an expression of love for your spouse, and a beautiful means of procreation.

Sex is so special, powerful, and valuable that it is properly used only within marriage. If you’re not married, you should abstain from sexual activity.

I know: this is all very counter-cultural.

The truth sometimes is!

Sex is the ultimate gift husbands and wives can give: a total gift of self, body and soul. Sex is how you fulfill your wedding vows to love totally, freely, and completely. As long as you both shall live. The secret of life is hidden in that intimate sharing.

The Catholic teaching on masturbation says that masturbation denies every aspect of that promise of sex — of that promise of your vows!

Masturbation is:

Focused on yourself
A withholding from your spouse
A statement that sex is only about pleasure — your own pleasure
Inherently sterile
Often accompanied by “adultery in your heart” through pornography and fantasy
Catholics don’t condemn masturbation just because of some lofty idea of what the natural purpose of sex is. We speak the truth about the harm it does to people.

That is the true reason for the Catholic teaching on masturbation: it denies the meaning of sex. It makes you less than fully human.

That is from beginningcatholic.com/catholic-teaching-on-masturbation.html. The website goes on to talk more about it.

From the Catechism:

"2352 By masturbation is to be understood the deliberate stimulation of the genital organs in order to derive sexual pleasure. "Both the Magisterium of the Church, in the course of a constant tradition, and the moral sense of the faithful have been in no doubt and have firmly maintained that masturbation is an intrinsically and gravely disordered action."138 “The deliberate use of the sexual faculty, for whatever reason, outside of marriage is essentially contrary to its purpose.” For here sexual pleasure is sought outside of "the sexual relationship which is demanded by the moral order and in which the total meaning of mutual self-giving and human procreation in the context of true love is achieved."139

“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.”


Simple answer: ** Its a misuse of a good. **

#1. It is in the bible. God frowned on it. Yes, there are some discrepancies between the reasons why Onan was punished, but there is more to learn in that passage about this topic.

#2? Says you. Church has deemed otherwise. The Church would not mention it if it were harmless. Don’t you trust the church that has handed down knowledge? Do you think that men and women from long time ago were just ‘scared of sex’? Or do you think they knew something about what happens to a person when they indulge in this sin? Remember, priests hear confessions. They should know where it leads and know if its harmless or not.

#3. Hah. “Science”. You can always find some other “scientific” paper that will state the opposite of some other “scientific” paper. I don’t think its proven anything other than when someone does what they want to do and gets pleasure, the body gets a benefit. :shrug: Is that not the reason why people sin!!!??? There is what is worldly, and that which is of Christianity. They are not the same thing. Just be aware of that. Don’t make “science” God- years ago they thought cutting and blood draining a person who is ill would cure them. We know better now, but other things, not so much, despite all the studies.

#4. Again, its harmless because you say so? I know of a kid who thought it ok to eat bags of potato chips while watching tv for four hours after school. This person was not ashamed to do it and it was very pleasurable. However, after three years, all that junk caught up with them and created all sorts of medical problems in which the kid suffered. Not so harmless in the long run. Do you think gluttony is not a sin also by your standards?

#5. Sin is sin. Read about what St. Paul says about sin. Maybe* you* are making it a bigger deal than other sins? Its mortal sin because of the way sex misused brings about massive hurt to others in this world… very big evils. No one said that gossip is ok or not that bad. Oh yes, it is! There are sins against one’s self and God and then there are sins against others and God. You were bought at a price- Christ dying on the cross was the ransom. You are not your own, but Christ’s- if you so choose, that offer is there for you, but the price is living to His standards, not the worlds. Not so bad considering the alternatives, when you know them and how much harm it does.

#6. If you read a bit you might find that there was nothing foolish in staying away from menstruating women. They did not have sanitary pads back then. Toilets, no. Trash cans, no. It was a whole different system back then than what we have today , meaning less cleanly and sanitary. Infection was probably much easier to get. Think about it. It was to protect people from germs, and it was very realistic law to follow. Defilement and uncleanliness does not mean pointing a finger and declaring “EW! That is EVIL!”. It means there is a potential danger. God’s laws are always to protect people from harm. This is why you hear a lot of people who think religion is stupid complaining about how if there was a god how awful he is because of all the hurt in their life. They have no barrier and no one to guide them and they don’t see all the pitfalls in life that Jesus came to show us so that we can at least avoid them and bring about health- spiritual, emotional, physical, mental health. The whole being. They don’t realize what they are doing is wrong and causes harm. Sin always causes harm to everyone. (Should note here that not all wrongs that happen to a person are because they sinned. I’m just trying to say that by doing what God deems, one is a happier person for it because it was put there to help a person, not hinder.)

I invite you to do a web search on why masturbation is a sin. There are a lot of Christian websites that do a lot better job at explaining why than what I said here.

Romans 8:5
Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.

Galations 5:17
Living by the Spirit
16But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. 17For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. 18But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law.…

Romans 7:23
but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me.

This was super great - now we are getting down to business - thanks for facts and the truth. Hope the original requestor appreciates this to help him/her understand why masturbation is a sin. Thanks ya-all!

Why don’t you ask a priest? He should be more knowledgeable than people on this website.

Yeah, it’s in there. Supposedly Onan was struck down for it, but a couple weeks ago I heard a homily that Onan was struck down because he fooled around with his brother’s widow in ways that were not procreative. Six of one, half a dozen of another, maybe.

I agree. It’s only harmful if it intrudes on your life to the point that you spend more time with it than with real people, if it controls your life. There’s no guarantee that it will, however.

Maybe yes, maybe no. Generally, yes. But a number of people dispute it. Generally those people have a theological agenda, so I’m not sure how much their opinions can count.

I agree, as stated above.

I agree. Unless, as stated above, it starts to control your life.

I never heard of this one before.

Basically, there’s not a strong argument against it, other than the Church’s interpretation that it’s a sin. :shrug:

wow…great answer…the CC covers it beautifully…I’m gonna carry a copy of this should I, hopefully no time soon, have to confess this sin…so I can enlighten the Priest who has in the distant past informed that it was not a sin…tks…

Have you ever heard of Theology of the Body?

It’s a bit hard to explain, but Christopher West, has some good material on Theology of the body, which goes over what it really means to be a human, and how our sexuality is good, and how in Marriage it brings us closer to God. Again, it’s hard to explain, but here are a few resources to help you out on that.

Theology of the Body totally touches, on sex, and masturbation.



i don’t think it is a subject too difficult to understand

it is sex outside the bounds of marriage; normally accommpanied by lustful & sinful thoughts

to make matters worse it it is usually accompanied by viewing (or thinking) of pornographic images of our sisters in christ who are being exploited for sinful purposes


I have written more than 3 posts or replies but the site will not post the replies. It logs me out.

However, the summary of what I have been writing is that we should base our arguments on reasons not on catechism or wrongly quoted or referenced bible passage.

I am not questioning the authority of the church but I want us catholics to be evangelical even outside our fold. Use reason to convince somebody and not just reference to the catechism.

Please read what others are saying about the issue:

Before I log off, I want to thank you all for your answers and attempted answers and even your comments. For a hardline catholic, your answers suffice but for a peripherial catholic or a non catholic, you have really made no point with your catechism references.

But please and a big please, do not ever reference Gen28 again when you want to talk about masturbation. It shows the person either does not read the bible well or understand the issue involved in the said chapter. Onan was punished for ‘coitus interuptus’ not masturbation. Please do go back and check up.

I love you all! Bless you!

Hi all,

I know I’m joining this thread a little late, but I wanted to contest something other users haven’t been addressing.

Science hasn’t “proven” masturbation to be healthy. Whoever stated that is simply wrong. Firstly - the arguments for why masturbation is wrong are due to it’s negative psychological effects, not physical. Secondly - science only has shown how an orgasm is healthy, not masturbation. There’s a big difference there.

Finally - just look at it from a basic logical argument. Do you seriously think our bodies evolved our sexual organs over time for us to masturbate alone? Nonsense. We clearly have evolved our sexual organs for the obvious function of sexual contact with a member of the opposite sex.

So scientifically, what can we conclude? We can conclude that masturbation falls outside the proper use of our sexual function. Scientifically, we cannot conclude that masturbation is harmful, per se (we have to go to psychology for that), but we certainly cannot state emphatically that it is healthy.

Why do sites like nofap.org exist? Because even ATHEISTS have seen how masturbation is harmful. You don’t need to bring in Bible quotes, or Jesus, or God or anything. Simple logic shows you that there’s a definite problem with masturbation.

In any case, hope people find that helpful!

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