When is it considered scandal?

when is an action considered scandal? or when are people just being ridiculous?

for example, i am female with a lot of male friends, we hang out a lot. i understand how cohabitation can cause scandal but i istll tink people should not judge. but this is different.

people are always commenting on me "dating’ one of them or asking if one is my boyfrriend. or other things like “wow yu sure have a lot of guys buzzing around you”. the reason i have more male friends is not because i want more male friends, i’m friends with everyone or at least i try to be. it’s just i seem to have more interests with males than females. i don’t like going to the mall, doing hair and make-up, dressing up and all that. so that cuts out quite a chunk of people because seems like that’s just what most girls want to do, or at lest the ones i’ve met so far. i prefer sports, board games, video games and things like that. also i’m in sciences so there are more male students than female ones.

is there just something wrong with me for prefering things that guys seem to enjoy more?

and at what point is it scandal or just people being dumb?

It doesn’t sound like you’re doing anything wrong. Maybe the people who say those things are just jealous. :wink:

It’s mostly people being foolish and excessive.

I was a virgin until my wedding, but apparently I still caused scandal when I got pregnant because I looked like a pregnant teenager. Not that I was, but I do look very young.

I think it’s just people being over-scrupulous and spreading it to you.

The only problem that I can see arising from your situation is if you enter into a romantic relationship with someone and your friendships cause him jealousy or embarrassment. That could be scandal, in a way, but even that is a stretch. People are responsible for themselves after a point; there is only so much that you can be expected to do.

Since you posted this in moral theology, I’m giving the religious answer.

Giving scandal (from a religious sense) is a very specific kind of action. It means doing something that could make another person sin by your example. It means giving the impression that something sinful is actually alright.

Example: living with someone of the opposite sex before marriage. Your younger siblings, who look up to you, think it must be ok.

Giving scandal is not acting in a way that people think you are doing something you aren’t.

You are not doing anything wrong or from what I can tell scandalous. I would recommend living with girls only, because people can get the wrong impression and in that way you can avoid scandal.

You sound a lot like me. I was much more interested in math and the sciences, seldom ever wear makeup, hate shopping at the Mall, and shop only out of necessity. I have three girl friends, one since the age of 13. (I am now 55) She was also one of “nerd girls” in the day, that liked science as much as I did.

So we were always in the company of our fellow male students. We enjoyed them more than the girls because we could talk politics, engineering, chemistry and biology. We were not into dresses, makeup, dating, shopping until we dropped. We preferred camping, hiking, doing science experiments and research. So don’t feel odd.

Take your interest in the sciences and fly with it. You can do so much in this field and the Lord knows we need more scientists, doctors, engineers. Keep your male friendships platonic and pure. If you find the “guy” you want to marry than you will have to be super careful that others understand you view them as friends only.

Good luck and hang in there.

to directly answer you question, you would be giving scandal if you have these different male friends over at your place overnight or you are alone with them for long periods of time and they lets say leave your place (or you theirs) at 3-4 am. Have a number of male friends is good and there is nothing wrong with that. But if you are very physically affectionate with them in public or you are alone with them over night or for long periods of time, enough to raise an eyebrow, then you are giving rise to scandal because you are implying immoral behavior is ok because you are doing it.

none of which i do. it happens so often simply by just going to public places, restaurants, movies, coffee shops, even school related activities. and if i am over at someone’s house or they’re at my house, iti’s usually more than just me and one guy, it’s usually a group. but just because of my interests, it sometimes happens that i end up being the only girl in the gang. i know i’m not doing anyting wrong, people and their assumptions just get annoying sometimes

good, glad to hear. thanks for the encouragement

Even with these examples I am not sure they would always lead to scandal. If two single people, one male and one female, decide to do something platonic such as watching a movie or playing a board game and it happens to go on until 3 or 4 in the morning (perhaps because one of them only gets off work at say 11 PM), there is nothing intrinsically sinful there. My question with these example is - who is noticing comings and goings at 3 or 4 in the morning? Maybe in a very small town, but in any city / neighbourhood I’ve ever lived in no one would notice or care unless you made a point of advertising it. When I was single there was certainly no one tracking my comings and goings throughout the city. I remember going to help out friends in distress (even of the opposite sex) in the middle of the night in the past - and certainly no one was aware or would have had any way of knowing what i was doing or what my relationship was to the person in question. I think sometimes “scandal” is used far too loosely on this board.

People are just dumb.

Modern Catholic Dictionary:

SCANDAL. Any action or its omission, not necessarily sinful in itself, that is likely to induce another to do something morally wrong. Direct scandal, also called diabolical, has the deliberate intention to induce another to sin. In indirect scandal a person does something that he or she foresees will at least likely lead another to commit sin, but this is rather tolerated than positively desired. (Etym. Latin scandalum, stumbling block.)

I didn’t think so or tried to imply that you are doing those things. doing groups things is great!
I was just trying to answer the question by example of what would give scandal. Yes, people get annoying and they are probably more jealous than anything. Enjoy your friends!

Thank you, thistle. The definition pointed out my own sin of indirect scandal, which I did not realize prior to reading.


For 90% probably no one. But someone leaving presidential canidate Gary Hart’s place in the wee hours of the AM did bring him down even though everything was denied in the beginning. Likewise, there was a priest on TV, that was caught going into and leaving a hotel room with an aide and it ended up with her being divorced and him leaving the priest hood. Again, these were public figures and were being followed due to suspicious activities. I certainly don’t think Op was doing anything scandalous to begin with anyway.
But we live in rather strange times and even if something doesn’t fall under the scandal title, I don’t think it hurts to think about who you are with and where. Due to the priest sex scandals, even Church employees and volunteers are not allowed to be alone with any child in any room for any reason in order not to give opportunity or accusation. I remember reading about how Billy Graham took this idea and wouldn’t even step in any elevator if he would be alone with someone of the opposite sex outside his family. He also wouldn’t ride alone in a car with any female that wasn’t from his family. All those things are in the extreme and with very public people. Sometimes, this maybe more important for one’s own safety than even worrying about causing scandal.

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