Sei sulla pagina 1di 254



Richard Wetzel, MD
Based on Dr. Wetzels book:


Sex Education for Advanced Beginners, Inc.

Huntington Beach California USA

Publishers Note:
As explained in the Introduction to Parents, this book was
written for older teenagers. Ideally, we recommend that parents
read it along with the student, however it may simply be given to
the student to read. This book should not be used in a classroom
or group setting. It should not be read by younger teenagers
unless directed by the students parents or primary caregiver.

2009 Sex Education for Advanced Beginners, Incorporated

All rights reserved.
Sex Education for Advanced Beginners, Inc, P0 Box 5574, Huntington Beach, California
Printed in the United States of America
Wetzel, Richard, M.D.
Sexual Wisdom for Catholic Adolescents/ Richard Wetzel. -- 1st ed.
ISBN: 978-0-9795402-1-9

Cover design by Emilio Rangel, based on Rachel McClains cover design of the book
Sexual Wisdom A Guide for Parents, Young Adults, Educators and Physicians by the
same author.
Reproductive system figures by Scott Solberg

Table of Contents

Publishers Pledge


Introduction for Parents ................................................................... xv

Course for Adolescents:

Lesson 1

The Biology of Human Sexuality .......................... 1

Catholic Church Teaching on Sexuality ................ 6

Lesson 2

Sex without Love ................................................. 16

Premarital Sex...................................................... 20

Lesson 3

Premarital Sex (Continued).................................. 27

Lesson 4

Premarital Sex (Continued).................................. 35

Lesson 5

The Variety of Sexual Behavior........................... 43

Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)................ 47

Lesson 6

HIV/AIDS ............................................................ 53
Pornography......................................................... 58

Lesson 7

Artificial Contraception and Sterilization ............ 67

Lesson 8

Natural Family Planning ...................................... 80

Lesson 9

Natural Family Planning (continued) ................... 93

The Im OK, Youre OK,
Were All OK Syndrome................................. 94

Lesson 10

Abortion ............................................................... 99
Approaches to Infertility .................................... 106

Lesson 11

The Greatest Falsehood about Sexuality............ 110

Sexual Addiction and Sexual Abuse.................. 116

Lesson 12

Homosexuality and Other Sexual Deviations .... 121

Lesson 13

Sexual Codependency ........................................ 134

Victims of the Sexual Revolution ...................... 137

Lesson 14

Good Sex............................................................ 140

Lesson 15

Sexual Morality.................................................. 146

Lesson 16

Sexual Morality (continued) .............................. 154

The Four Levels of Happiness ........................... 160

Lesson 17

More Issues for Teens ........................................ 165

Entertainment Guidelines................................... 165
Dating Guidelines .............................................. 167
Media Censorship .............................................. 168

Lesson 18

The Good Dog and The Bad Dog ...................... 171

Dr. Wetzels Top 10........................................... 183

Adolescent Course Examination...................................................... 185


................................................................. 191

Appendix A:

A Brief Guide for What Fathers Should

Discuss with 10-11 Year-Old Boys................. 195

Appendix B:

A Brief Guide for What Fathers Should

Discuss with 12-13 Year-Old Boys................. 197

Appendix C:

A Brief Guide for What Mothers Should

Discuss with Teenage Girls Before the
First Menstrual Period (usually 12-13
years old). ........................................................ 201

Appendix D:

A Very Brief Note about Discussing

Homosexuality with 14-Year-Olds.................. 203

Adolescent Course Examination Answers....................................... 205


................................................................. 207


................................................................. 215

In loving memory of my mother,

Mrs. Sheila Rose Wetzel.
May she rest in peace under the
mantel of Our Lady of Guadalupe and
next to the Sacred Heart of Our Lord, Jesus Christ.
An essay by one of Sheila Wetzels grandchildren:
My earliest recollections of Grandmother Wetzel are of
her sitting tranquilly in her chair in the dining room of my
grandparents house conversing with my mom and dad
and aunts and uncles. Meanwhile, my brothers, sisters,
cousins, and I ran throughout the house, joyfully playing
and chattering. As the years passed and I settled down
enough to notice, this serene lady taught me several
lessons about how to live life from the example she set. In
particular, Grandmas life was marked by graciousness, an
appreciation for education, and patience, qualities which I
would like to emulate.


Sexual Wisdom for Catholic Adolescents

Doubtless, the initial characteristic that struck a
person when he first met my grandma was her
graciousness. Grandma graced her family and friends by
making them feel special. She never failed to greet one and
all with her kind smile and a warm hug. Always the model
of politeness, she made sure to include all who were
present in the conversation at hand and eased newcomers
into the discussion by filling them in on the current topic.
When talking about people who were not present,
Grandma restricted her remarks to those of a congenial
nature. To those outside her social sphere, she
demonstrated a respect for each persons dignity. Even as
she and my grandpa visited incarcerated youths for prison
ministry, she saw past their rough exteriors and
recognized the intrinsic value of each young man with
whom they conversed. I wish to copy Grandmas
graciousness so that, like her, I can maintain a spirit of
generosity and bring joy to others.
In addition to her gentility, Grandma possessed a great
appreciation for education. She held memories of St.
Marys Academy, her alma mater in Winnipeg, especially
dear. She often recalled how she valued the opportunity to
attend school there following her earlier education in a
small rural community. In regard to her childrens
education, my grandmother was an involved parent who
was a regular at back-to-school nights and parent-teacher
conferences. Moreover, she diversified her childrens
educational experiences by taking them to enrichment
classes at museums and local colleges. But, most
importantly, she recognized her childrens various
abilities and encouraged their academic goals accordingly.
My dad, a physician, remembers that Grandma
encouraged him to study medicine from the time he was a
boy. In addition to her own childrens education, Grandma
was also very interested in that of her grandchildren. She
often asked questions about our progress in school and
smiled proudly at the mention of any achievements. I



desire to emulate my grandmas esteem for education so

that I too can realize the worth of Gods gift of knowledge.
Although my grandmother had many commendable
traits, I most admire her for her patience. During the last
ten years of her life, Grandma was beset with numerous
illnesses of various natures. Yet through all her suffering,
she rarely complained. She invariably displayed patience
with her infirmities during extended family vacations
when the younger contingent opted to climb rocks at
Yosemite Falls or to go jet skiing, strenuous activities of
which she was incapable. Grandma never displayed any
bitterness over missing the fun, but totally enjoyed when
her exuberant grandchildren later delivered detailed (and
sometimes embellished) accounts of their escapades.
Grandmas constant patience was, to me, her most
admirable attribute and the one I most desire to reflect
because it will help me to bear lifes hardships cheerfully.
My grandmothers graciousness, appreciation for
education, and patience are qualities I wish to emulate in
my own life. By imitating Grandmas thoughtful treatment
of people I aspire to see the face of Christ in others.
Grandmas high regard for education inspires me to
appreciate it as a means for improving myself and the
world around me. Lastly, I desire to mirror Grandmas
abundant patience as I endeavor to grow in virtue. By
imitating these admirable qualities, I hope to lead a life of
holiness in order to become the saint that God has called
me to be.


With special thanks to my father, Chester Wetzel, Fr. Philip

Smith, O. Praem, and Nancy C. Anderson for their extensive editorial
assistance, and to Therese Naaden, for her contributions and insights.
I also am most grateful for the timely, consistent technical expertise
of Glenn Wetzel and David Lovat, and for the expert indexing skills
of Janina Kwilos. My greatest thanks goes, of course, to the most
beautiful woman in the world, my wife Dominique, whose love and
support makes all things that happen in our home possible.

All proceeds from this book, which would normally benefit

the author, are directed to a nonprofit, educational corporation, Sex Education for Advanced Beginners, Inc. (SEFAB)
in Huntington Beach, California. The sole purpose of this
organization is to promote Sexual Wisdom, Sexual Wisdom
for Catholic Adolescents and other educational activities of
the author.

Publishers Pledge

We publish Sexual Wisdom for Catholic Adolescents to address a

catastrophic crisis in Catholic sexuality education. We are determined
to confront the widespread ignorance of the unsurpassable teaching of
the Church among our youth in a realistic and effective manner. The
world needed a sexual revolution, but got the wrong one. We needed
the one based on truth and love, the one Pope John Paul II presented
in the Theology of the Body. Instead we got one based on lies,
pleasure and freedom, which has turned into a hideous monster of a
revolution marred by rampant diseases, death, divorce, abortions,
sexual enslavement, etc., and which is sweeping away hopelessly
ignorant young people in droves and robbing them of the awesome
potential of an authentic relationship with Jesus Christ.
In this spirit, the non-profit corporation Sex Education for
Advanced Beginners Inc., the publishers of this book, will provide as
many boxes of books needed, at $2 per book, which is essentially our
cost (retail price $12.95), to anyone, including any high school,
diocese, parish or other organization that will give the books to 11th
grade (16-17 years old) students to take home and discuss with their
parents. We recommend that the books be sent home with a letter that
explains to parents the options of going through the course with the
student or just having the student read it on his or her own. The boxes
and shipping charges must be paid for up front. Details are on our
web site at www.sexual
This offer is also extended to Catholic dioceses outside the United
States that agree to distribute the books to the parents of 16-17 year
olds and adults 18 years and older. For these dioceses, we will email
the computer files and permissions at no charge, so that the books
may be printed locally. All financial arrangements related to the
printing of the books are between the diocese and the local printer or

publisher. The international program must be overseen by the local
diocese and is currently closed to other organizations. Again, details
are on our web site.
This curriculum is a radical departure from chastity, or family
life, courses and presentations that have been available for decades.
Those programs include younger (13-14 year old) students or group
settings and so are necessarily restricted in their scope. They are like
taking students to the movies and then making them leave after the
previews. Much of the information that would benefit students is
inappropriate for younger teenagers and group settings, and so
students do not get to see the main feature. While some of these
programs offer a valuable introduction to the subject of sexual purity
to younger adolescents, this approach generally has been a tragic
failure. We are not opposed to chastity programs or books for younger
teenagers as long as they consistently address the sensitivities of the
less worldly students and more cautious parents. Some students are
inspired by these programs. They can admirably prime students for
the feature presentation, but cannot deliver it.
Sending home this book to parents for them to evaluate with their
student is like sending home a copy of the feature film so that the
parents can watch it with the student, the student can read it alone, or
anyone can refer back to it at any time. Showing the feature film to
students effectively equips them to face the immense and incessant
challenges to their purity in the contemporary, hook up culture.
This book gives young people, most of who are earnestly seeking
answers, the whole story about human sexuality and can be truly
transforming. The fact that so many youths are not receiving clear
instruction in theology, philosophy and sexual ethics is a grave
For the latest information about this exciting, evolving program
please visit our web site at
Blessed Contardo Ferrini, pray for us!


Introduction to Parents

Catholicism has been in a crisis of sexuality education for

decades. Because most Catholic young people do not know the
Churchs unsurpassable teaching on sexuality, they do not accept it,
let alone rejoice in it. Even in homes where Catholic values are
strongly emphasized, the children often fall into serious sexual sin as
adolescents and young adults. According to a 2008 study by the
Cardinal Newman Society, 60% of U.S. Catholic college students
believe that abortion should be legal and that premarital sex is not a
sin. Our Catholic young adults and teenagers are clearly in free fall,
with little appreciation for the merciless and vulgar nature of the
sexual revolution they are engulfed in.
The Holy Roman Catholic Church teaches that parents are the
primary sexuality educators of their children but, despite the obvious
need, there are relatively few available aids to help parents meet this
challenging obligation. Most Catholic resources on sexuality
education are either geared toward a classroom or group presentation
or to an age group too young for a full exploration of the issues. Other
resources include short books which are heavily weighted toward a

Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam or To the Greater Glory of God.

The Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality: Guidelines for Education within the
Family (1995) by the Vaticans Pontifical Council for the Family. Catechism of the
Catholic Church: 1632, 2221, 2223. Familiaris Consortio: 36, 37.


Sexual Wisdom for Catholic Adolescents

more general education on the faith but which offer little education in
Catholic sexuality, are not faithful to the magisterial teachings of
Mother Church, or are too dated to address some of the current issues
young Catholics face.
As a Catholic chastity educator for the last 20 years, I felt that
none of the available materials were the best possible option for my
own children; so I wrote this course for them. I am now presenting
this course to the public, for what benefit it may be to others. It is a
true gift to me each time I teach it to one of my children. This is a
Catholic course but it does not offer nor does it in any way replace
sound, comprehensive Catholic catechesis.
With this book, parents can provide a comprehensive, intimate,
one-on-one program to their own children. In so doing, a parent can
enrich this material by giving a personalized explanation of each
lesson as he or she reads it with the student alongside. Each student
must be considered individually and each parent will have his or her
own tales, experiences, struggles, and knowledge to share with the
child. While that is the optimal scheme for the use of this material it
is, admittedly, a great undertaking. Therefore, for a variety of reasons,
many households will not manage it.
In cases in which parents are unable to go through the course with
the teenager, the material is written so that a student may go through
it by himself. If this approach is used, parents should ensure that the
student is aware of the glossary at the end of the course for an
explanation of terms with which the student may be unfamiliar. Also,
such students should be encouraged to address questions about the
course to their parents or a wise and holy priest. The Adolescent
Course Examination may be used to document that the student read
and comprehended the material. The appendices for younger children,
found at the end of the course, should not be self-taught. Also, this
course should never be used in a classroom or group setting unless the
group is adults-only. Also, it should never be taught to two siblings at
once, but rather to one child at a time.
Because we live in a sexually challenged culture, which has led to
a crisis among our Catholic youth, every Catholic teenager should
take this course or its equivalent. While we do not wish to feed into
the unhealthy obsession that our society has with sexuality, issues
related to it are truly important, and the widespread inept, unthinking,

Introduction to Parents


and often barbaric modern ideas about sexuality cry out for a
Children should be taught from an early age that there are some
issues which are adult in natureissues that they will not understand
until they reach a certain level of maturityand that a premature
discussion of them can be harmful. Parents who have laid this
foundation can refer back to it throughout the childs early years and
remind the child that he or she is not ready for certain subjects.
By the same token, parents must make it clear to their children
that they will address adult topics and answer all of their questions
when the time is right; and they must also make it clear that they look
forward to that day (although perhaps with some natural trepidation).
This arrangement makes sense to children, gives them confidence in
their parents, and helps to allay their natural anxieties about not
knowing enough about adult issues when they really do need to know
about them.
Parents may reasonably wonder what sex education is. What is it
that our Church expects of us as primary sex educators of our
children? It consists of many aspects, one of the most important being
the parents example. When Mom dresses modestly and when Dad
responds to a vulgar commercial by changing the TV channel they
send critical messages to children. Sex education also means
developing open lines of communication with childrendeveloping
strong bonds with them so that they are confident in our willingness
to address challenges with them, including those in the realm of
sexuality. Simply teaching children the faith is sex education. Many
aspects of the faith touch directly or indirectly on sexuality. For
example, the idea that each person must be treated with the dignity
due a child of God certainly implies that one should not engage in
sexual acts that are against that dignity. Religiosity within families
has been shown repeatedly to reduce the risk of teen pregnancy. It is
also part of home-based sex education to bring up subjects related to
sexuality during the teachable moment, for example, when an issue
comes up during family movie night or in a book one of the children
is reading for school. This, too, is invaluable sex education.
But sex education goes beyond these aspects in two ways.
Sexuality is a broad subject and it is unlikely that parents will bring
up the many important subjects related to it on a catch as catch can


Sexual Wisdom for Catholic Adolescents

basis. Some structure is warranted to ensure that parents have, in fact,

covered what needs to be covered by the time the child is grown.
Most parents readily agree on the above aspects of sex education,
but a final aspect is the subject of debate. There are many topics
related to sexuality that are sensitive or uncomfortable to discuss.
They are embarrassing or otherwise unpleasant. Despite this, it is vital
for students to have some grasp of many of these topics: sexual
intercourse, masturbation, pornography, rape, sexual perversions, to
name a few. Our children deserve better than to be educated on the
street or by the Internet, or by friends. Some argue that parents
should simply focus on developing strong relationships with their
children and then wait for children to bring up sensitive topics on an
as needed basis. Unfortunately, reality doesnt work that way, and for
many that day somehow never comes. Due to a natural modesty,
children are just as shy as parents about bringing up these topics.
Also, they may not raise sensitive issues with parents for fear of the
parents disappointment with them. The worst part is that students
may be least likely to come to parents about more serious problems,
because they may involve the more embarrassing topics or may raise
the greatest worries about causing disappointment.
Therefore, the only realistic option is for parents to raise these
sensitive issues directly with their children. We should not put the
burden on children. When the Church asks us to be primary sex
educators of our children it is asking more from us than that. As a sex
educator and physician, I have personally witnessed the results when
parents leave it to the children to approach them with sensitive issues.
Not only do many students fall into serious sin, but there is often great
resentment of the parents for not having taught the student what the
student clearly should know. We are the adults, and the burden should
be on us to make the first move in difficult terrain. That is part of
what this course is about: helping parents reach out to their children
about subjects that are clearly part of sex education, but which are
difficult to talk about.
It is unreasonable to expect children who are exposed to so many
negative influences in our culture to develop chaste attitudes without
specific direction from those who have the authority to give it. Much
of what children learn today from the street is what might be called
sex trivia and has nothing to do with the heart and soul of the issue.

Introduction to Parents


The average teenager today knows far more about sex trivia and far
less about what sexuality is really about than any prior generation.
Parents should have every confidence that they can offer their
children a much better understanding of sexuality than what children
can learn on their own.
Providing children with a full presentation of Catholic sexuality
by the time they leave the nest as young adults has many benefits: it
ensures that children are adequately prepared for the contemporary
world, such as it is; it gives children confidence in their parents love
and concern for them; it lays the foundation for a lifetime of
discussions about intimate or deeply personal issues; and, by giving
younger children confidence that, at some point, they will be offered a
comprehensive course on sexuality, it will reduce the possibility that
children will prematurely search for answers from unreliable sources.
Further, parents cannot rely on schools, not even Catholic schools,
to educate their children properly on sexuality. The vast majority of
what publicly educated children receive in this country on sexuality is
grossly inappropriate and misleading. In many cases it is abusive and
blatantly sinful. Similarly, many Catholic schools fail to offer
students a faithful and proper introduction to the subject. Given what
children are up against in this culture, one could argue that todays
parents are negligent if they do not assure adequate Catholic sexuality
education for their children through late adolescence. Again, I suggest
that every Catholic teenager should take this course or its
equivalent, even if the student has had some sort of sexuality
education in school.
Some will argue that the material presented here should be
discussed at younger ages than we propose. It is true that there are
some children who are exposed to adult issues so prematurely that
delaying discussion until the student is 16 or 17 is impractical and
awkward. Parents must use their best judgment. Although some may
feel that the age of 16 is too young for some students, waiting until a
student is 18 may give the student the idea that his or her parents lack
confidence in the students development. In general, male students
should be taught earlier than females and homeschoolers should be
taught later than those in traditional school settings. We consider 1617 years of age to be the best time to teach the course to a female,
homeschooled student.


Sexual Wisdom for Catholic Adolescents

This course offers complete coverage of a wide range of subjects.

The topic of sexuality is important enough to devote a good deal of
energy and time toward teaching. Because of the importance of
sexuality, Pope John Paul II made the subject a central theme of his
pontificate. His numerous contributions on sexuality include books
(The Theology of the Body, Love and Responsibility), encyclicals (The
Gospel of Life [Evangelium Vitae]), apostolic exhortations
(Familiaris Consortio), apostolic letters (Letter to the Family), etc.
The first part of Pope Benedict XVIs first encyclical, God is Love,
also picks up on the theme. I highly recommend that parents read
these wonderful resources and discuss them or make them available to
their children. Another reason for completeness is that I wrote this
course to mold my children into Catholic activistssoldiers for
Christ. Activists must be armed with information, so I included more
material than I might have with a more "essentials-only approach in
From discussions with experienced parents it is evident that there
are different ways to use the adolescent course based on parenting
style and preferences. Parents who read through this course along
with their children may wish to edit sections of it that they feel their
children already understand, to reduce the course length, or to exclude
topics that they feel are unnecessary. The course should be considered
a template, parts of which can be expanded upon or eliminated.
Parents who prefer a more informal approach may want to simply use
the course as a general outline of the subjects, or as a way of checking
to see what subjects they have left uncovered. Or, as mentioned
before, parents may simply opt to have the student read the course on
his or her own.
Some will argue that the material in this course is too explicit.
While we have tried to limit discussion about the dark side of
sexuality, the truth is that there is an overwhelming amount of it in the
modern world and those entering adulthood should have familiarity
with many of its aspects. Adolescents will do better if they have been
informed about the issues at least once by a trusted adult. We believe
that even children with a potential religious vocation should have this
information presented to them in a clear manner at least once, and our
experience bears this out.

Introduction to Parents


For example, consider a possible missed opportunity involving

the appalling modern sex slave industry, not mentioned in this book,
in which thousands of girls and women are sold into the most
degrading circumstances, especially in Asia and Africa. While some
Catholics are addressing this tragedy we are unaware of cloistered
nuns who have been directed to pray specifically for those involved.
What if teenagers were to read about the situation in this course and
were transformed through Christ and, with the approval of their
superiors, dedicated their lives to praying for the victims and
perpetrators of this dreadful business? By raising such issues, students
gain insight into the terrible consequences of sexual impurity and the
possible ways of countering it, and tap into their potential for
greatness. By failing to explicitly mention such issues in this book,
the author consciously allows for missed opportunities. The nagging
question remains: Where should the cutoff lie? One may argue that
this course covers too much, but such examples justify the idea that it
may not cover enough.
Another example of what is not in this book, but perhaps should
be, is the black genocide that has been occurring in the United
States for decades. Blacks make up 13% of the population of the
United States and yet over 38% of abortions are done on black
women. This is three times the expected rate. Hundreds of thousands
of black children are being murdered by Planned Parenthood and
other abortionists every year, all without comment from black
political leaders. Planned Parenthood receives hundreds of millions of
dollars of United States federal money every year to do this and is
strongly supported by our black president. What a tragic, horrid irony.
Again, this issue is not discussed in this book but perhaps it should
Each lesson in the course should take from 45 to 90 minutes, or
longer depending on how much the parent expands on the material.
We suggest reading one lesson every week or two during the school
year (perhaps on weekends) or two lessons per week as a summer
project. There is no homework. There are no ancillary materials
needed for this course, although, the book A Child Is Born is an
excellent reference for Lesson 1. There is no particular time period
over which the course should be taught. We have included a test at the


Sexual Wisdom for Catholic Adolescents

end of the course (with a cut out answer sheet) in case parents wish to
use this course for home schooling credit or to monitor that their
student has read all the material.
My book, Sexual Wisdom: A Guide for Parents, Young Adults,
Educators and Physicians, was written to help adults (regardless of
their faith) clarify their ideas about sexuality and offers general
guidelines about how to educate ones children. It uses a nontheological, natural law approach. To compliment this book we
recommend to Catholic adults Christopher Wests book, Good News
About Sex and Marriage, which covers much the same ground as
Sexual Wisdom but from the standpoint of Catholic theology.
While it is impossible (and not really desirable) to shelter children
entirely from adult issues in our oversexed culture, it is possible (and
desirable) to shelter them to a great degree. Children have a
developmental need to have a childhood, an age of innocence, but this
is often compromised in our contemporary world. Home-based
sexuality education begins in early childhood by the manner in which
parents present a respectful approach to intimacy. Modesty, in
particular, is an important concept that young children readily grasp.
The following suggestions are meant to help parents shelter their
children from unnecessary, potentially harmful exposure to sexuallyoriented materials until they are ready.
Daily newspapers tend to have little regard for the sensitivities
of children. We recommend not receiving a local, daily
newspaper in your home. The Wall Street Journal is a superb
alternative. It carries a great deal of business news that neither we
nor our children care about, but it also offers concise news
summaries and intelligent editorials, book reviews and stories,
and does not carry offensive, blaring headlines or front-page
articles about the latest vulgarity. And, because it has very few
pictures, children who are too young to read a newspaper ignore
it. Those who are old enough appreciate it.
As an alternative to a local newspaper, parents may wish to
use Internet news sites for articles to keep children up-to-date
with major events in a more filtered manner. We leave printouts
from these on the breakfast table for our children.

Introduction to Parents


Connect only one computer in the house to the Internet and be

sure that it has reliable parental blocking and is located in a
central, public area of the home. Blocking is best done through
an ISP as opposed to using a software program. Even with
blocking, children should not generally be allowed to cruise the
Internet unsupervised.
Sign up for a TV provider that has parental blocking
capability and that offers good family shows and movies
(especially the older ones) and that carry Mother Angelicas
Global Catholic Network, EWTN. Try to rely more on
prerecorded programs than live shows. When live programming is
on, either a parent or trusted older child should keep the remote
control handy and change stations for offensive commercials and
hit mute for less offensive ones.
Do not have fashion magazines or sports magazines with a
swimsuit mentality in your house. Instead read Consumer
Reports, Readers Digest, or craft and woodworking magazines.
What if, despite the parents best efforts, a child sees Internet pornography?
Some of the dilemmas parents face related to their childrens
sexuality are covered in my book, Sexual Wisdom. This one is not,
and it is a common and distressing one. Therefore, I make some
recommendations here.
I would let the child know that we live in a world filled with
beauty and wonder, but also with its share of ugliness. Many people
live sad, confused lives, and do not have inherent self-respect as
children of God. It is common for people who are struggling inside to
become involved in activities which are vulgar and demeaning.
Unhappy people engage in very upsetting activities at times. It is a
sign of how sad they are. Children do better when they avoid such
ugliness but sometimes they are mistakenly exposed to it.
In general, it is best to approach this situation by saying the least
amount about what the child saw. The child should be told that he is
too young to understand fully what happened, but that you will
discuss more with him about it when he is an appropriate age.
The child should be encouraged to ask questions at the time of the
incident, with your assurance that you will answer them as best you


Sexual Wisdom for Catholic Adolescents

can. The dialogue that follows such an incident may not end with one
conversation. It should be made clear that either the parent or child
should feel free to raise the issue again to re-discuss the incident, or
related subjects. You want to make sure that the child knows that you
are always there for him, even to discuss uncomfortable questions. It
is important to reiterate these points until you are sure the child is
clear on them.
If there is a sense that the child sinned during the incident, the
child should go to Confession. But caution is appropriate here
because there may be no sin involved and some children are overly
hard on themselves after such an incident. The people in the
pornography sinned, but usually not the child.
If such an incident occurs, parents may also want to peruse the
pornography section of this curriculum for ideas to discuss with the
child as the parents feel appropriate.
In addition to the comprehensive course for late adolescents (1617 year-olds) the curriculum also contains four elements for children
10-14 years of age, as follows:
A Brief Guide for What Fathers Should Discuss with 10-11
Year-Old Boys.
A Brief Guide for What Fathers Should Discuss with 12-13
Year-Old Boys.
A Brief Guide for What Mothers Should Discuss with Girls
Before the First Menstrual Period.
A Very Brief Note about Discussing Homosexuality with 14Year-Olds.
The last of these elements and the full course for late
adolescence may be taught by a parent or primary caregiver of
either gender. There are legitimate reasons for preferring that this
subject matter be taught by someone of the same gender as the
student. However, I favor the father teaching the adolescent
course, regardless of the gender of the child who is being taught.
Fathers are generally more suited to ensuring that their children
dont fall prey to the harsh blows life can deal; fathers seem more
suited to teach children how to manage in a bad neighborhood,

Introduction to Parents


how to avoid getting taken by swindlers, how to avoid ever

paying credit card interest, and how to keep daughters from
getting sweet-talked into the sack. So, in that sense, fathers are a
best fit for the adolescent part of the curriculum. Of course,
each family must make their own best choice as to the most
appropriate instructor for this important and sensitive subject
This course is based on two decades of experience teaching
chastity. In putting this material together I was again reminded of, and
somewhat overwhelmed by, the state of sexuality in our country
today. The difference between holy, healthy sexuality and the widely
accepted immorality of the 21st century is appalling. Thankfully, there
are always those willing to challenge the status quo and themselves
and to seek the higher levels of human experience. We pray that this
course will bear great fruit in that direction.
The late Alan Guttmacher, past president of Planned Parenthood,
promised in 1979 that, the only avenue in which Planned Parenthood
has to win the battle is sex education. Over the last 30 years, through
school sex education courses full of distortions and contradictions and
supporting the most sordid approach to sexuality, Mr. Guttmachers
side has trounced all opposition. Hopefully, through this curriculum
and through the efforts of other chastity educators we can create a
dramatic, effective and sustained counterattack in this battle for the
hearts, minds and souls of children.
By request, we have produced Sexual Wisdom for Catholic
Adolescents in book form, but it will remain a freed download from
our web site. For those who wish to buy this book in bulk, at cost, to
distribute to older teenagers please see our Publishers Pledge in the
front of the book. Non-Catholics are most welcome to take advantage
of any of our programs. Please monitor for
more information.
Donations to our nonprofit corporation SEFAB (which stands for
Sex Education for Advanced Beginners, Inc.) are always gratefully
accepted. Checks should be payable to SEFAB and sent to the address
below. Also, feedback/criticism of any type is always most welcome.


Sexual Wisdom for Catholic Adolescents

P0 Box 5574
Huntington Beach, California 92615
The book, Sexual Wisdom: A Guide for Parents, Young Adults,
Educators and Physicians, may be ordered through your local
bookstore or online. For bulk orders please visit our website:
Saint Francis of Assisis Prayer before the Crucifix
Most High, glorious God, enlighten the darkness of my heart.
Give me true faith, certain hope, and perfect charity, sense and
knowledge, Lord, that I may carry out Your holy and true
command. Amen.

Lesson 1
The Biology of Human Sexuality

Say a prayer before the lesson.

Conversations about sexuality between parents and their children

are a natural part of family life beginning when children are very
young. Due to the nature of the subject, discussions before the
teenage years are limited. But by the time the late teenage years are
reached the talks should take a more open, adult turn. This course is
meant to help make the transition to these more adult discussions
between parent and teenager, and will hopefully set the stage for
future conversations that will last your whole lives together.
In some ways, sexuality is an extremely simple subject; in other
ways it is one of the strangest, most complex and confusing aspects
of life. For example, consider the 18th century Shakers of New
England. On the basis of their religious beliefs, this group prohibited
sex even between spouses, thus making it impossible for married
couples to have children. The only way the group could get new
members was through conversions and so, of course, the religion
inevitably died out.
Human sexuality is shrouded in mystery. It is a gift from God that
brings new life. It is associated with tremendous pleasure. This
pleasure can be very good news, but can also be very bad news,

Sexual Wisdom for Catholic Adolescents

because the desire for such pleasure often becomes an occasion for
sin and abuse.
In general, the modern age has a horribly perverted approach to
sexuality, although every generation has had some share of botching
up the issue. One concern for parents is how much to discuss with
their children, especially about the abnormal behaviors and attitudes.
Since it is important to know about sexuality, this course will tell you
a great deal.
The subject matter for this lesson is normal sexuality. Much of
the rest of the course will deal with abnormal sexuality. We will first
discuss the biology of sex so that we all know what we are talking
about, and then we will turn to the Churchs teaching about what it all
means. The discussion of healthy, normal sexuality is relatively brief
because there is not much to tell of how sexuality ought to be. The
basic idea is not at all complicated from the biological standpoint.
Most of the specifics about normal sexual behavior is learned by the
married couple in their personal relations with each other. The
couples particular preferences determine what patterns of behavior
are present in their relationship, and cannot be taught in a course.
The Marital Embrace: The Birds and the Bees
A friend noted that when his dad told him about the birds and the
bees the whole thing made him feel sick to his stomach. It may
initially strike you that way because the biological realities about
sexuality may not be the way you imagined them. But bear in mind
that it is all Gods plan and because of this there is profound goodness
and beauty in it. Your appreciation of this will increase with time.
Married couples express their affection for each other in many
ways: hugging, kissing, holding hands, etc. But the most intimate and
important way they express physical intimacy is through sexual

Foreplay: Before married couples engage in sexual intercourse, they must first become sexually aroused.
o Male Arousal: When the husband becomes aroused his
penis develops an erection. The penis becomes much
firmer, longer and wider.

The Biology of Human Sexuality

o Female Arousal: When the wife becomes aroused she

experiences vaginal lubrication (mucus is secreted from
glands inside her) and other internal changes to the
vagina. Women are typically slower to arouse than men.
Sexual Intercourse: also known as the marital embrace, the
marital act, sex, intercourse, making love, coitus,
consummating a marriage, doing it, copulation, going
to bed, and a long list of vulgar terms. The act itself is based
on the simple peg-in-hole concept. The erect penis is placed
into the lubricated vagina.
Lubrication is necessary and is naturally provided by the
glands inside the vagina of the aroused woman.

Physical pleasure increases with the movement of the genitals (the

penis and vagina) against each other.

Orgasm or Climax: an intensely pleasurable, unique sensation

that seems to affect the whole body and lasts for many
seconds. During orgasm the man ejaculates (or squirts)
semen, which is made up of millions of very small sperm cells
from the testes (also known as testicles) and secretions from
the prostate and seminal vesicles, from his penis into the
vagina. Both men and women can achieve orgasm in any one
sexual episode, or either or both may not. Men tend to be
more goal-oriented than women, in the sense that men
typically have a stronger desire to achieve orgasm with every
intense sexual encounter. A general goal should be for both
spouses to achieve orgasm together with regularity throughout
marriage. Orgasm is immediately followed by a period of a
markedly tranquil mood and physical inertness or calm which
lasts for many minutes. Also, after orgasm the man loses his
erection and the woman stops secreting lubricating mucus.
Hymen: a ring of threadlike tissue that encircles the womans
vagina, which tears upon first intercourse if still intact. The
tearing may cause slight pain or bleeding.

Sexual Wisdom for Catholic Adolescents

Early Human Development and Birth

Ovulation: An egg, or ovum, is released from one of the two
ovaries about two weeks after the womans last period.
Fertilization: After its release from the ovary, the egg cell, full
of nutrients, travels down the fallopian tube. If the timing of
sexual intercourse is right, the sperm from the man meet with
the egg in the fallopian tube and one sperm cell breaks
through the outer coating of the egg cell. The 23
chromosomes (genetic material) from the nucleus of the
sperm mix with the 23 chromosomes of the egg to make a
zygote with 46 chromosomes. (With rare, specific exceptions,
every cell in the human body, except for sperm and eggs, has
46 chromosomes.) The zygote is a unique combination of the
sperm and the egg. It is one cell but has all of the genetic
components of a human. From this point until the end of
adolescence, the developing human simply multiplies its cells
to form more cells and become larger and more developed. A
newborns body is made up of millions of cells.
Each cell in your body contains an exact copy of the 46
chromosomes found in the zygote. This genetic material is
unique to you. No one in history has ever had your exact
chromosomes, starting from the moment in which the sperm
and egg cells that made you united. This moment is called
fertilization or conception. It is at this stage that human life
Implantation: From the time when the initial cell of the zygote
divides into more and more cells until the second month of
life the developing baby is called an embryo (after the
second month it is called a fetus). Once the embryo has
traveled the length of the fallopian tube, it enters the uterus
and implants (attaches) into the side of the uterus. This is
called implantation. From here the baby continues to grow
and develop until it is ready for birth. In the weeks following
implantation the placenta develops and there is a gradual
transition from the baby receiving its nourishment from the
remnants of the big egg cell to the placenta. The placenta becomes the source of nutrients and oxygen to the baby from the

Female Anatomy (Frontal View)

The egg is released from an ovary into the open end of the
fallopian tube (depicted with a frayed appearance) and travels
through the length of it to the uterus.

Female Anatomy (Side View)

Male Anatomy (Side View)

Urine flows down the ureters from the kidneys to the urinary
bladder and then passes from the bladder through the urethra to exit
the body. During orgasm, the sperm travel up the vas deferens and
join with secretions from the seminal vesicles and prostate before
exiting the body through the urethra in the form of semen.

A sperm cell starts to penetrate the outer layer of the egg cell. The
moment of conception or fertilization, when life begins, is about to happen.
Image copyright Dennis Kunkel Microscopy, Inc. (

The Biology of Human Sexuality

mother. The reason that an egg cell is hundreds of times larger

than a sperm cell is because the embryo must live off the nutrients
that make up most of the egg cell until the placenta is formed.
The uterus or womb is where the baby develops; it is a pearshaped organ that sits with the narrow end of the pear facing
down. The narrowe r end is called the cervix and it has a hole at
the end (where the stem of the pear would be). This is where the
sperm enter. Throughout pregnancy the uterus must stretch a great
deal to accommodate the growing baby.
o Labor: the hours before birth when the uterus, which is really
a large muscle, contracts every few minutes, gradually
pushing the baby down toward the cervix. The contractions
are called labor pains, and by pushing the baby against the
cervix the hole in it gradually expands (opens) from less than
inch to about 4 inches (the width of the babys head),
finally allowing the baby to pass through it.
o Once the cervical hole is wide enough for the baby to pass
through the actual birth happens within a number of seconds.
The baby quickly passes from inside the uterus, past the
cervix and vagina and outside the mothers body. In other
words, the baby travels down the path the sperm came up.

Other Health Issues

A PAP smear is a test for cancer of the cervix. The cervix is
swabbed with a brush, Q-tip, or small stick that often looks much
like a Popsicle stick. The sample contains cells which are sent to
the lab for evaluation.
Male Circumcision: This is a minor surgical procedure in which
an extra flap of skin that covers the tip of the penis is cut off.
There is controversy as to whether this is a good idea. The history
and origin of circumcision are unclear but the procedure is a
common part of many ancient religions and cultures. One
argument in favor of it is that since most men are circumcised,
boys who arent may feel that they are abnormal, because they
look different. Also, circumcised men have less risk of infections
of the penis and possibly less risk of penile cancer. Some believe

Sexual Wisdom for Catholic Adolescents

that circumcision reduces the sensitivity of the penis and that this
helps men to control their sexual urges. However, many people
consider circumcision an unnecessary surgery. Both sides have
valid arguments.

Catholic Church Teaching on Sexuality

So What Does All This Mean?
Now that we are all on the same page regarding the scientific
aspects of sexuality we need to consider what it all means. Despite
rumors to the contrary, sexuality is not an issue the Church wishes to
hide in a closet or is uneasy with. Rather it is an issue the Church has
explored in a most open and exhaustive manner. In fact, the Holy
Roman Catholic Church is the world leader in the discussion of
sexuality. No other religion or organization speaks out so often with
such clarity and obvious authority on the subject than our Church.
The Catholic Church, however, does not promote itself well. Because
of this, many people who do not know anything about Catholicism
(including a surprising percentage of Catholics) think that the
Churchs views on sexuality are outdated and harsh, which is exactly
the opposite of the truth. The truth is that the Churchs views are far
ahead of progressive thought in the modern world and vastly more
George Weigel, one of our countrys most prominent Catholic
theologians writes:
At the beginning of the pontificate (of Pope John Paul II in 1978),
the worldand a lot of Catholicsthought the Church had
nothing of interest to say about human sexuality. The Pope's
teaching that sexual love within the bond of faithful and fruitful
(having many children) marriage is an icon of the interior life of
God reversed the polarities. Now, the Catholic Church could say
to the promoters of the sexual revolution, You think of sex as
another contact sport. We think of sex as a revelation of the
deepest truths about the human and the divine. Who takes sex
more seriously?

Catholic Church Teaching on Sexuality

Let us quote a few documents of our glorious Mother Church.

Notice that two of the lessons in this course include a number of
extended quotes from our Church. This is one of them, which makes
for a long (but I trust most interesting) lesson.
First, consider a few selected quotes from the Bible:
Genesis 1:25-28
Then God said, Let us make man in our image, after our
likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and
over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth,
and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth. So God
created man in his own image, in the image of God he created
him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them,
and God said to them, Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the
earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea
and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that
moves upon the earth.
Genesis 2:15-25
Then the Lord God said, It is not good that the man
should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him. . . . The
man gave names to all cattle, and to the birds of the air, and to
every beast of the field; but for the man there was not found a
helper fit for him. So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall
upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed
up its place with flesh; and the rib which the Lord God had
taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her
to the man. Then the man said, This at last is bone of my
bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman,
because she was taken out of Man. Therefore a man leaves
his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked,
and were not ashamed.

Sexual Wisdom for Catholic Adolescents

Matthew 22:35-40
And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question, to test him.
Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law? And he
(Jesus) said to him, You shall love the Lord your God with all
your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is
the great and first commandment. And a second is like it, You
shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets.
Ephesians 5:21-31
Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives,
be subject to your husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the
head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and
is himself its Savior. As the church is subject to Christ, so let
wives also be subject in everything to their husbands. Husbands
love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up
for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the
washing of water with the word, that he might present the church
to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing,
that she might be holy and without blemish. Even so husbands
should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his
wife loves himself. For no man ever hates his own flesh, but
nourishes and cherishes it, as Christ does the church, because we
are members of his body.
1 Cor. 6:15-20
Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ?
Shall I therefore take the members of Christ and make them
members of a prostitute? Never! Do you not know that he who
joins himself to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it
is written, The two shall become one flesh. But he who is united
to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. Shun immorality. Every
other sin which a man commits is outside the body; but the
immoral man sins against his own body. Do you not know that
your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you
have from God? You are not your own; you were bought with a
price. So glorify God in your body.

Catholic Church Teaching on Sexuality

How Does the Church Interpret Biblical Teachings About Sexuality?

Since the Bible, like any other book, is interpreted differently by
different readers we turn to the Catholic Church for the authentic
interpretation of what the Bible (Sacred Scripture) and Sacred
Tradition teach us about sexuality. The following quotations are from
the Catechism of the Catholic Church (1993). The numbers refer to
the paragraph numbers in the Catechism.
2392. Love is the fundamental and innate vocation of every human
1604. For man is created in the image and likeness of God who is
himself love. Since God created him man and woman, their mutual
love becomes an image of the absolute and unfailing love with which
God loves man. It is good, very good, in the Creator's eyes.
1652. By its very nature the institution of marriage and married love
is ordered to the procreation and education of the offspring (children)
and it is in them that it finds its crowning glory.
Children are the supreme gift of marriage and contribute greatly
to the good of the parents themselves. . . . Hence, true married
love and the whole structure of family life which results from it,
without diminishment of the other ends of marriage, are directed
to disposing the spouses to cooperate valiantly with the love of
the Creator and Savior, who through them will increase and
enrich his family from day to day. (from the document of Vatican
II, Gaudium et spes)
2207. The family is the original cell of social life. It is the natural
society in which husband and wife are called to give themselves in
love and in the gift of life. Authority, stability, and a life of
relationships within the family constitute the foundations for freedom,
security, and fraternity within society. The family is the community in
which, from childhood, one can learn moral values, begin to honor
God, and make good use of freedom. Family life is an initiation into
life in society.


Sexual Wisdom for Catholic Adolescents

1618. Christ is the center of all Christian life. The bond with him
takes precedence over all other bonds, familial or social. From the
very beginning of the Church there have been men and women who
have renounced the great good of marriage to follow the Lamb
wherever he goes (into the priesthood or religious life), to be intent on
the things of the Lord, to seek to please him, and to go out to meet the
Bridegroom who is coming. Christ himself has invited certain persons
to follow him in this way of life, of which he remains the model.
1619. Virginity (not having sex before marriage) for the sake of the
kingdom of heaven is an unfolding of baptismal grace, a powerful
sign of the supremacy of the bond with Christ and of the ardent
expectation of his return, a sign which also recalls that marriage is a
reality of this present age which is passing away.
And Now a Word from Our Recent Popes (with some parenthetical
Pope John Paul II (who was pope before Pope Benedict XVI)
wrote in The Role of the Christian Family in the Modern World (in
Latin, Familiaris Consortio -1981):
11. Consequently, sexuality, by means of which man and woman
give themselves to one another through the acts which are proper
and exclusive to spouses, is by no means something purely
biological, but concerns the innermost being of the human person
as such. It is realized in a truly human way only if it is an integral
part of the love by which a man and a woman commit themselves
totally to one another until death.
Later he writes:
11. The only place in which this self-giving in its whole truth is
made possible is marriage, the covenant of conjugal (marital) love
freely and consciously chosen, whereby man and woman accept
the intimate community of life and love willed by God Himself
which only in this light manifests its true meaning. The institution
of marriage is not an undue interference by society or authority,
nor the extrinsic imposition of a form. Rather it is an interior

Catholic Church Teaching on Sexuality


requirement of the covenant of conjugal love which is publicly

affirmed as unique and exclusive, in order to live in complete
fidelity to the plan of God, the Creator.
And further on (quoting himself at one point):
13. By virtue of the sacramentality of their marriage, spouses are
bound to one another in the most profoundly indissoluble manner.
Their belonging to each other is the real representation, by means
of the sacramental sign, of the very relationship of Christ with the
Church. . . . The content of participation in Christ's life is also
specific: conjugal love involves a totality, in which all the
elements of the person enterappeal of the body and instinct,
power of feeling and affectivity, aspiration of the spirit and of
will. It aims at a deeply personal unity, the unity that, beyond
union in one flesh, leads to forming one heart and soul; it
demands indissolubility and faithfulness in definitive mutual
giving; and it is open to fertility. In a word it is a question of the
normal characteristics of all natural conjugal love, but with a new
significance which not only purifies and strengthens them, but
raises them to the extent of making them the expression of
specifically Christian values.
The last sentence of this passage reminds me of an important truth
that can help in all areas of life, including sexuality. The truth is that
the following four words ultimately mean the same thing: normal,
natural, healthy and holy (two Ns and two Hs). The more
normal I am in the way I live my life, the more natural I am. The
more natural I am, the healthier I am; and the healthier I am, the
holier I am. All four words relate to each other. You will see this truth
illustrated again and again throughout this course.
Encyclicals are one of the most authoritative forms of writing of
the popes. They are letters of varying lengths that address a specific
topic and are meant for wide circulation. All of the popes in the last
100 years have written important encyclicals. Pope Benedict XVI, in
his first encyclical God is Love (Deus Caritas Est - 2005), discusses
two types of love described by the ancient Greeks. Eros is the type
of love related to a couples erotic (sexual) desire for each other and
agape refers to the type of love we usually attribute to Godpure,


Sexual Wisdom for Catholic Adolescents

selfless love. He makes the extraordinary point that, although eros has
been criticized throughout history, Christianity teaches that in its
proper place it is mutually complementary to agape and that indeed
agape is less complete without the genuine expression of eros. He
5. . . . the contemporary way of exalting the body is deceptive.
Eros, reduced to pure sex, has become a commodity, a mere
thing to be bought and sold, or rather, man himself becomes a
commodity. This is hardly man's great yes to the body. On the
contrary, he now considers his body and his sexuality as the
purely material part of himself, to be used and exploited at will.
Nor does he see it as an arena for the exercise of his freedom, but
as a mere object that he attempts, as he pleases, to make both
enjoyable and harmless. Here we are actually dealing with a
debasement of the human body: no longer is it integrated into our
overall existential freedom; no longer is it a vital expression of
our whole being, but it is more or less relegated to the purely
biological sphere. The apparent exaltation of the body can quickly
turn into a hatred of bodiliness. Christian faith, on the other hand,
has always considered man a unity in duality, a reality in which
spirit and matter (or body) compenetrate (permeate each other),
and in which each is brought to a new nobility. True eros tends to
rise in ecstasy towards the Divine, to lead us beyond ourselves;
yet for this very reason it calls for a path of ascent, renunciation,
purification and healing.
Our Holy Father continues to write about how often it has been
the case that cultures have mistakenly separated these two kinds of
love, even to the point of positioning them in conflict with each other.
7. Yet eros and agape . . . can never be completely separated. The
more the two, in their different aspects, find a proper unity in the
one reality of love, the more the true nature of love in general is
realized. Even if eros is at first mainly covetous and ascending, a
fascination for the great promise of happiness, in drawing near to
the other, it is less and less concerned with itself, increasingly
seeks the happiness of the other, is concerned more and more with
the beloved, bestows itself and wants to be there for the other.

Catholic Church Teaching on Sexuality


The element of agape thus enters into this love, for otherwise eros
is impoverished and even loses its own nature.
Later in the document he writes:
11. From the standpoint of creation, eros directs man towards
marriage, to a bond which is unique and definitive; thus, and only
thus, does it fulfill its deepest purpose. Corresponding to the
image of a monotheistic God is monogamous marriage. Marriage
based on exclusive and definitive love becomes the icon of the
relationship between God and his people and vice versa. God's
way of loving becomes the measure of human love. This close
connection between eros and marriage in the Bible has practically
no equivalent in extra-biblical literature.
This lesson will never end if I keep quoting wonderful passages
from the Bible and the Church, but no Catholic course on sexuality
would be complete without mention of Pope John Paul IIs Theology
of the Body. (Theology is the study of God and religion.) From
1979 to 1984 the Holy Father gave 129 short talks on human sexuality
for his Wednesday papal audiences. This group of talks is collectively
known as the Theology of the Body and has been published in book
form, the text of which runs over 400 pages. Theologian George
Weigel has called it a theological time-bomb set to go off with
dramatic consequences . . . perhaps in the 21st century. The Theology
of the Body is education on the graduate university level. It is not an
easy read. While I generally strongly encourage all students and
parents to read original Church documents in their entirety whenever
possible, this is one of the rare cases when, for most people, it is more
practical to study one small section of the document at a time, to
study it with a group (study groups for the Theology of the Body are
forming in many parishes) or to read explanations of the document as
a whole. For the sake of brevity I will not include quotes from this
tremendous document here but will just include some of main points
from this teaching in the summary below.
Selected Summary of Catholic Church Teaching on Sexuality:
Man and woman were created for each other. They are a
wonderful, natural complement to each other on a physical,


Sexual Wisdom for Catholic Adolescents

emotional and spiritual level. So perfect is the match that

married couples should be considered one flesh.
Through sexual relations, a married couple cooperates in the
love of God the Creator and freely offers a gift of love to each
Each sexual act between spouses renews the marriage
covenant. Through each act a married couple symbolically
says I do to God and to each other with their bodies.*
The love of the married couple for each other, as expressed in
sexual intercourse, is a reflection of the love of Jesus Christ
for his Church.
Sexual (erotic) love in its pure form, as meant by our Creator,
permeates and even elevates pure agape love.
Because matrimony (the joining of a man and woman through
marriage) is a sacrament, through marriage spouses and their
children receive sacramental graces.
Marriage is the normal calling of this life. Celibacy
(committing to never having sex) for the sake of the kingdom
of God is an exceptional or special calling, which only
relatively few receive (as priests and religious).
Children are the supreme gift of marriage, its crowning
glory. Large families are a sign of Gods blessings and the
parents generosity. (Catechism of the Catholic Church:
1652, 2373)
Whether married or not, by living sexually pure lives we give
a gift of love to God and to others, and in so doing we receive
a thousandfold.
Lust is disordered sexual desire. It can be managed through
the practice of virtue, through the guidance of the Holy Spirit,
and by sitting at the foot of the Cross of Redemptionby
accepting, really accepting, Jesus Christ as the only Way, the
only Truth and the only Life.
All of us sin. No one is perfectly sexually pure. Understanding the difference between lust and love and how to

See Catholic theologian John Kippleys superb book, Sex and the Marriage Covenant
(Ignatius Press, 2006)

Catholic Church Teaching on Sexuality


order our sexual drive can be a lifelong challenge, especially

during early adolescence when we first start to grapple with
the question: Do I love him (or her) or am I just physically
attracted to him (or her)? Due to original sin, the way we
view the opposite sex can easily be distorted and perverted.
Gaining insight and achieving success in this process requires
determination and patience. However, the redemptive power
of the cross is limitless. Through Confession (the Sacrament
of Reconciliation), Gods mercy extends to anyone who
sincerely seeks sexual purity.
Chastity refers to the most satisfactory, most admirable,
sexual state. Chaste people, whether married or not, are those
who successfully balance their sexual nature with the other
aspects of their person. The struggle to be chaste, or sexually
pure, always involves an element of suffering, just as does the
struggle to be pure in any other part of our lives. However, to
fail to live by Gods plan, to fail to live as we are meant to
live, always, ultimately, involves suffering on a higher level.
There is no easy route in life for anyone, but as Christians
devoted to following the will of God we know that we have
God Himself on our side, along with the Virgin Mary and the
other saints. They are always present for usinviting each of
us to achieve, with their help, moment to moment, the deepest
sense of happiness, peace and meaning.

The Lord's Prayer

Our Father, Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name.
Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

Lesson 2
Sex without Love

Say a prayer before the lesson.

Note: The book Sexual Wisdom: A Guide for Parents,

Young Adults, Educators and Physicians, upon which this
course is based, includes 17 misconceptions, referred to here
as falsehoods. To simplify, this course lists only 12 of the
17 falsehoods, but the other five are referred to within the
course content.

Now that we have seen the Catholic view of sexuality lets look at
the extreme opposite view which, sadly, has a large following in
todays world.
Falsehood: Sex without love is healthy, normal or natural.
Healthy sex emphasizes true love over all other priorities.
Because priorities often conflict they must be ordered. One must be
valued over another. When priorities, such as freedom or pleasure, are

Sex without Love


valued more highly than kindness or consideration, someone pays the

price. No priority should ever be more highly valued than love.
Though difficult to define, love is a familiar and obvious concept
even to small children.
What is love? St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274 AD) gives us the
most enduring definition. He taught that love is willing the good of
another or wanting the best for someone else.
We will focus on five aspects of love related to sexuality. Truly
loving sex is:
1. Respectful
2. Responsible
3. Disciplined (temperate, restrained)
4. Committed
5. Based on mutual trust.
All people are free to love each other in the most genuine sense of
the term; they can be free from unhealthy attitudes about sex. What is
weird is that many people today, including many college professors
and others who teach about sexuality, say that sex without love is an
acceptable, healthy alternative! I am not kidding. Many people really
say this. One of the reasons that they are so wrong is that sex focused
on pleasing oneself, without serious concern for others, is the extreme
example of disregarding the obvious importance of love. It is a excuse
to justify contrived (or false) needs (a concept I will discuss in lesson
11). The idea of sex without love defies the natural, holistic*
foundation of sexuality and contradicts the obvious fact that sexual
behaviors, whether a kiss or sexual intercourse, are meant to express
affection and caring for someone very special.
One can only wonder why anyone would want to remove love
from any part of his life let alone the part meant to express love!
Consider what Pope John Paul II wrote in Redemptor hominis (The
Redeemer of Man - 1979):
Man cannot live without love. He remains a being that is
incomprehensible for himself, his life is senseless, if love is not
revealed to him, if he does not encounter love, if he does not

looking at a person as a whole: body, mind and soul


Sexual Wisdom for Catholic Adolescents

experience it and make it his own, if he does not participate
intimately in it.

Some people actually believe that sex with a stranger can somehow compare with the multi-dimensional experience of sex with
ones spouse and lifelong love. The truth is that most people who
accept this simply have not experienced the extraordinary depth of the
sexual experience of a married couple. They dont know what they
are talking about. To consider sex without love to be a realistic option
one has to be living life on a very low level and have very little hope
for ones future.
At my college graduation, my chemistry professor told me that I
should go to Alaska and have sex with a bunch of different women.
This, apparently, was his idea of what a college graduate should do
for an intense experience.
Situations of Sex without Love:
Prostitution: the crime of engaging in sexual acts for money.
Prostitutes are almost always women. Prostitution is very
commonly associated with poverty, drug use, other criminal
activity, diseases, mental illness (such as depression and anxiety
problems), violence, abortion and suicide.
It is called the oldest profession.
Other names for a prostitute are whore, harlot,
streetwalker, slut, call girl, hooker, concubine, ho
Pimp/madam: Man/woman who acts as the boss of a
group of prostitutes at one time. Pimps or madams
supposedly protect prostitutes from the dangerous
circumstances within which they work. But pimps,
especially, are known for the terrible, abusive treatment of
prostitutes working for them.
House of prostitution (brothel, whorehouse, flophouse,
house of ill repute, bordello): A building which houses
prostitutes. It is a place often associated with street drugs,
violence and crime.

Sex without Love


One night stand or hooking up: engaging in sexual acts on a

first and only date
What if a fellow spends a lot of money on his date hoping
for sexual intercourse in return? Is that prostitution?
What if a woman has sex with a man just so she can have
a boyfriend, even though she doesnt really like him? Is
that prostitution?
Mistress: typically, a younger woman who is a regular companion
and sexual partner for a married man.
Orgy: a group of people engaging in sexual acts with each other.
This is relatively rare since most people have at least some clue
that such activities are a gross distortion of the meaning of sex.
In Pope John Paul IIs teaching on the Language of the Body he
pointed out the truly healthy way to view sexuality.
The Language of the Body:
Holding hands means something: I like you!
More intimate contact means: I like you more.
More intimate contact yet means: I like you way more!!
The marital act, the most intimate sexual act, means: I like
you so much I am willing to welcome children into our
relationship and publicly profess a commitment to you until
death do us part. The natural outcome of sexual intercourse
is to produce children. This is why it is widely referred to as
the marital act. Someone has to die to separate what is
joined through sexual intercourse: the man, the woman or the
baby (as happens in an abortion). Consider all the other
meanings of sexual intercourse from the first lesson. These are
what spouses say to one another when they have sex.
Sex without love, then, is hypocritical*. One says I do, in so
many ways with ones body, while meaning I dont in just as many
ways with the heart and mind. Obviously, you should not deceive
others with your body.

Rev. Philip Smith, O.Praem


Sexual Wisdom for Catholic Adolescents

Premarital Sex
Pope John Paul II: The great drama of any life is the
struggle to surrender the person I am to the person I ought to
Having healthy, good attitudes about sexuality throughout the
process of courtship and marriage is a great challenge. Everyone
makes mistakes. There is plenty of confusion about the relationship
between sexuality and romance among adults let alone teenagers.
One irony you may notice is that young people with the most
experience often have the worst attitudes. It took me a long time to
realize that the students in my high school who dated the most and
had the most sexual experience knew less about the real meaning of
sex than the students with less sexual experience, who had more
adult, mature, realistic attitudes.
Premarital sex (referred to as fornication in the Bible)
Premarital sex means that a couple has sex before marriage, that
is, two unmarried people have intimate sexual experiences with each
other. This is, by far, the #1 reason people seek help from a physician
with problems related to sexuality. It is one of the biggest mistakes
people make in their lives. An incredible number of people fail to see
the many types of consequences and the seriousness of the
consequences of having sex before marriage.
Premarital sex is always a serious compromise on love and so is
always a serious sin. We can understand this better if we consider
some of the potential outcomes of premarital sex, which can be
classified as spiritual, physical, psychological (or mental), and social.
A sensible person does not put someone he or she loves at risk for
serious, unnecessary consequences. (Notice that the following lists are
not meant to be complete. The student may wish to add other risks.)

Premarital Sex


Some of the Risks Associated with Premarital Sex:

Spiritual Risks:
Because premarital sex is a serious sin, it seriously damages
ones relationship with God.
By giving in to ones desires once for the sake of pleasure,
one sets oneself up for repeated sexual sin in the future.
Until we go to Confession, our spiritual loss may affect our
spiritual relationship with others.
Because premarital sex is a serious sin, until we go to the
Confession we cannot receive the graces of the Eucharist
(Holy Communion).
Because premarital sex is a sin that is done with someone
else, it is a case of cooperating with someone elses sin.
Premarital sex is associated with other sins, such as lying and
deception, because the couple doesnt want others to know.
Children and others who become aware that a couple is
involved in premarital sex may be influenced to believe that it
is a less serious sin than it is, and thus may be more likely to
get involved in sexual sin themselves.
It may sound like an overstatement but, despite the fact that
many people have premarital sex, it is such a serious violation
of the laws of God that until one makes a sincere Confession
and repents of this sin one risks suffering in Hell for eternity.
o Consider a country that is ravaged by guerrilla warfare or
terrorism for many decades. The people in the country
become used to hearing gunshots and some may think
little of it. In contrast, in a country like ours, which is not
ravaged by guerrilla warfare, when people hear gunshots
they usually become very alarmed. The same is true for
premarital sex. Because it has become common in modern
America many people dont give it the concern it deserves
and historically received.
Physical Risks:
Sexually transmitted (venereal) diseases and their many
consequences (covered in a later lesson).


Sexual Wisdom for Catholic Adolescents

Unwanted pregnancies, or more appropriately, pregnancies

in unwanted circumstances, (without fully committed
emotional, social, and financial support from both parents).
Side effects of contraceptives.
Complications following an abortion.

Psychological Risks:
Loss of self-esteem or self-respect: Questioning if one is using
sex in desperation to keep up a fragile relationship; wondering
if one is allowing oneself to be used because of fear of
unpopularity or other insecurities.
Resentment over being used, over an unwanted pregnancy,
or over acquiring a sexually transmitted disease (STD).
Fear of the physical risks listed above and the social risks
listed below, or of being caught. As a college student wrote to
a newspaper: My boyfriend and I are both very careful about
birth control, but Im well aware that no method is infallible.
The possibility that I might get pregnant haunts me.
Guilt: Wondering if one is exploiting a partner or putting a
partner at risk for selfish reasons; wondering how, if an
unwanted pregnancy results, one will explain everything
years later when the child begins to ask questions, or how one
would feel after an abortion.
Loss of intimacy: use of sex to avoid rather than to express
intimacy (especially in relationships already weakened by
poor communication); substitution of activities based on
external appearances for those which would create emotional
Embarrassment: worry over disapproval of ones parents or
ones own children or friends should they find out;
embarrassment over the possibility of others learning that one
is pregnant or is being treated for an STD.
Distrust: Questioning why a partner is willing to put one at
risk for the problems associated with premarital sex; doubting
that one is loved when there is no clear commitment, or that
the partner will continue to be supportive in case of an

Premarital Sex


unwanted pregnancy; speculating on whether a partner

would reveal that he or she had an STD, or would be faithful
after marriage, or is doing it with, or thinking about
someone else.
Stunted growth in personal identity and social skills: Premarital sex leads to an excessive emphasis on the physical aspect
of relationships and resulting loss of opportunities for
challenging and improving oneself academically, athletically,
artistically, socially, and spiritually.
Social Risks (those affecting others besides the two in mutual
Societal upheaval: Some argue that the greatest crisis facing
modem civilization is the abandonment of children, especially
by fathers, through premarital sex, divorce and drug, alcohol,
gambling and other addictions. This abandonment of children
is regarded as a main cause of adolescent and adult crime,
depression, drug abuse, alcoholism, further illegitimacy, gang
violence, academic and employment failure, etc.
Economic burdens on society: for social welfare programs to
care for illegitimate children; for treatment of abused children;
for treatment of STDs such as AIDS.
Distrust within the family: because people are sneaking
around or are afraid of sharing their honest feelings.
Dysfunctional (unhealthy or impaired) marriages: (a common
result of rushing into marriage because of a surprise pregnancy) with their effects on children, on relatives, and on
Diseases: passed on to future children, partners or spouses,
diseases spread to the general population (for example, hepatitis and HIV contracted through the blood supply).
Imposition on relatives: for example, grandparents who are
forced to raise a second generation.
Tension: among those involved in arranging for and carrying
out an abortion, or among friends of the same sex because of
jealousy or suspicion about who is having sex with whose


Sexual Wisdom for Catholic Adolescents

sometime partner, etc.

So many and so serious are these risks that one teenager broke
down in tears just reading through this list. She had already had sex
and could relate in a very personal way to many of the risks on the
Consider the above list in light of the many TV shows, movies and
songs that glamorize premarital sex and trivialize the problems
associated with it. No one ever gets a disease or gets pregnant from
casual sex according to these bright lights in our culture. They often
make diseases and unwanted pregnancies out to be jokes and ignore
the dark side of premarital sexinfluencing unknowing young
Consider the statistical facts: There are over 800,000 abortions performed in the U.S. each year. Eighty percent of these abortions are
done on single women.
Then Imagine: If just half of the people involved in premarital sex
said that they valued each other too much, esteemed each other too
much, loved each other too much to continue to put each other at risk
for the problems involved with premarital sex:
There would be over 300,000 fewer abortions in the U.S.
each year.
Because poverty is directly related to illegitimacy, government expenditures for welfare, food stamps and similar
programs would drop dramatically.
Because many prisoners were illegitimate children they have
poor relationships with their fathers. If they had been born
into stable families their chance of having gotten involved in
crime would be much less. If half of those criminals had
parents who had loved more and not had sex before marriage,
crime rates would drop and prisons would close.

Premarital Sex

Can sexual sin be forgiven?

Fortunately, God forgives not seven times, but
seventy-seven times (Matt. 18:22). He is always ready
to forgive. A woman in my office who had had an
abortion couldnt believe that God could forgive her.
The same God who parted the Red Sea couldnt forgive
her sin? Remember: Gods mercy could fill all the
oceans. It is boundless. All we need to do is go to
Confession and sincerely ask for His forgiveness. Jesus
died for every single sin any one of us commits.
John 8:3-11
The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who
had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the
midst they said to him, "Teacher, this woman has been
caught in the act of adultery. Now in the law Moses
commanded us to stone such. What do you say about
her?" This they said to test him, that they might have
some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and
wrote with his finger on the ground. And as they
continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, "Let
him who is without sin among you be the first to throw
a stone at her." And once more he bent down and wrote
with his finger on the ground. But when they heard it,
they went away, one by one, beginning with the eldest,
and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing
before him. Jesus looked up and said to her, "Woman,
where are they? Has no one condemned you?" She said,
"No one, Lord." And Jesus said, "Neither do I condemn
you; go, and do not sin again."



Sexual Wisdom for Catholic Adolescents

Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi (1182-1226 AD)

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be
consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

Lesson 3
Premarital Sex (Continued)

Say a prayer before the lesson.

Why Do Teens Have Premarital Sex?
Loneliness; looking for love, attention, warmth, affection
To be popular, to prove their self worth; to prove that they
are somebody or that they are attractive
So that a partner will love them more
Peer pressure; everybody's doing it; believing there is
something wrong with them if they don't
Infatuation, a crush or sexual tension, mistaken for love
To prove their love
It feels good.
To avoid hurting a partner's feelings when the partner wants
to have sex and he or she doesn't
Wanting to be more of a man or woman or to feel grown up
To establish their sexual identity; to prove they're not
To get back at their parents or to make someone jealous
Didn't plan on going all the way often associated with
drugs or alcohol


Sexual Wisdom for Catholic Adolescents


How many of the above motives are selfish in nature and not
loving at all?
How Teens Can Say "No" To Premarital Sex
The direct approach: Push off!
The less direct approach: I cant. It would be a sin.
Be polite yet assertive.
Use the Sandwich technique: say "No" in between positive
statements such as I really like you and I hope we can get
together again soon.
Use the Broken record technique: Keep saying No.
Change the subject. Make a joke; laugh off the proposition.
Suggest another activity that both of you would enjoy. Go out
in publicquickly, before you start down the wrong path.
Don't start to say Yes, and then try to say No. Keep your
outerwear on so no one gets the idea to take your underwear
Say Ask my parents, and if its OK with them then its OK
with me.
How to Say "No" Before the Subject Comes Up
Wear a reminder of your faith in a visible location, such as a
crucifix on a necklace.
Dress modestly without drawing undue attention to your
physical attributes. We express ourselves by the way we
dress. For women who cant decide if an outfit is modest or
not, Catholic chastity teacher Mary Beth Bonnaci has some
good advice: ask someone with whom you are not romanticcally involved and who understands sexual purity and lives
chastely (such as brother) if the outfit is modest or not, and
decide whether to wear it based on his judgment.
Agree to go to family oriented entertainment but not to PG13 or R-rated type of entertainment, because it usually

Chastity educator Colleen Kelly Mast

Premarital Sex (Continued)


contains sexually explicit acts or innuendo, or disregards the

sacredness of sex. Go to walk-in theaters instead of drive-in
Date in public areas, not in out-of-the-way places or in your
home alone.
Plan group dates.
Avoid drugs and drinking.
Plan activity dates instead of hanging out dates.

Falsehoods Used to Defend Premarital Sex:

There are many obvious falsehoods about premarital sex, such as,
you cant get pregnant the first time you have sex or during a
womans period (menstruation). These are both wrong. If you hear
something that goes against common sense, or about which you are
uncertain, ask your parents, or a wise and holy priest. Let us review
some of the most common, important falsehoods about premarital
Falsehood: Premarital sex is acceptable if the couple loves each
Premarital sex is usually not as much of a compromise on love as
sex without loveit is a step closer to normal than sex with no love at
allbut because it is so accepted it causes far greater damage.
Because of the risks associated with premarital sex (spiritual,
psychological, physical and social) to engage in it is inherently
unloving. It should come as no surprise to find that Jesus repeatedly
condemned fornication (premarital sex) throughout the Gospels and
that Mother Church continues to do so. To say that a couple engages
in it to express their love is nonsense because true love calls for
protectingfully protecting, if possiblethose for whom we care.
Some people say that premarital sex is okay as long as it doesnt
hurt anybody. But how could it not? Any time we stop considering
what love has to do with it someone is bound to get hurt.
Apply the Golden Rule: Treat each date with the thought that this
person may marry someone else; ask yourself how his or her future
spouse should want you to treat him or her today.
Apply what I call the Silver Rule: Behave as you would want


Sexual Wisdom for Catholic Adolescents

others to behave. Consider how you would want someone you respect
to act under the same circumstances. If you are at a party where a
vulgar movie is being shown, consider how your parents, other
respected family members, or a saint you have read about would act
and follow that example.
Abstinence teachers use a simple demonstration to open
discussions of sex with adolescents. A boy volunteer is chosen and a
strip of duct tape is applied firmly to his forearm. The tape is said to
symbolize the bond between himself and a girl who gives up her
virginity to him (that is, she has sex for the first time). The instructor
emphasizes the tightness of the bond, how with a first boyfriend the
inexperienced girl is capable of giving herself entirely. When the
relationship breaks up, the tape is torn off the boy's forearm,
representing the pain that the two experience from dissolution of the
bond. The tape is then transferred to successive boy volunteers, each
representing a different sexual partner for the girl. With each transfer
it loses some of its ability to stick to the boy. This loss of stickiness
represents the weakening ability of the girl to bond and form intimate
relationships with her sexual partners as she has more of them. Finally
the tape has no stickiness at all, and so its removal from a boy's
forearm takes no effort and causes no pain. The now disheartened and
cynical girl is numb in her relationships with males. She is incapable
of giving herself to them, incapable of fully trusting them, and
incapable of becoming deeply intimate with them. The same can be
said for a boy who has had a number of girl partners.
Falsehood: Premarital sex is the private decision of the two people
Intimate sexual behaviors do not occur within a vacuum, but
within surroundings made up of many relationships and situations.
What goes on inside the bedroom can deeply affect the couple and
others outside the bedroom. Consider the social risks listed
previously. Or consider the 15-year-old pregnant girl, whose baby I
delivered, who tried to commit suicide when she learned she was
pregnant. How would her suicide have affected her family?

Premarital Sex (Continued)


Falsehood: Premarital sex is acceptable for consenting adults.

This assertion leaves out the word informed. Fewer people
would be involved in premarital sex if they were truly informed about
the risks they are taking. For example, a woman patient in my practice
was surprised to have contracted Hepatitis B from her sexual partner.
She was less surprised when she questioned him and found that he
had been involved in homosexual activity in the past. Homosexual
activity is strongly linked with Hepatitis B. She was consenting, but
ill informed about the risks she was taking. Many people are
amazingly ill informed about the potential dangers of what they are
consenting to.
Falsehood: Premarital sex helps to establish a good sexual
relationship in marriage.
Falsehood: Premarital sex helps a couple to evaluate how well they
get along before they commit to marriage.
Numerous studies have clearly proven just the opposite of these
assertions. People who live together before getting married have a
much higher risk of getting divorced, and since people who live
together are sexually involved, premarital sex itself is a risk factor for
future divorce. While sex within marriage can be just as unhealthy as
premarital sex, sex between a married couple can be truly healthy
whereas sex among the unmarried cannot.
Advantages of Waiting Until Marriage to Have Sex:
Waiting means obedience to Gods will.
Waiting means obedience to ones conscience.
Waiting makes it easier for spouses to be faithful. It trains
them to have a controlled, disciplined approach toward sex. It
is empowering.
Waiting reinforces responsible attitudes toward sex.
Waiting means that if a couple gets pregnant later on in their
marriage, they will have a more committed and therefore a
more stable partnership within which to raise children.
Waiting motivates a couple to develop their relationship in
other areas.


Sexual Wisdom for Catholic Adolescents

Waiting means that sex does not play an overrated role in

relationships with the opposite sex and, in particular, in
deciding whom to marry.
Waiting means that sex is less likely to be associated with
guilt, resentment, fear, or worry; therefore, sex can be more
Waiting strengthens the bond between a married couple, since
sexual intercourse becomes something the spouses have
shared only with each other.
Waiting means no comparisons with previous sexual partners.
Waiting means no risk, or a reduced risk (you may still be at
risk if your partner has had sex with someone else), of STDs.
Waiting means that you do not scandalize others, especially
those younger than you, who look to you as a role model and
so may follow your lead into sexual sin.

Many people say that saving yourself for marriage is an outdated

idea, but purity before marriage is too beautiful to ever be outdated.

Theology of the Body Moment Pope John Paul II

In this way, continence (celibacy) for the sake of
the Kingdom of Heaven (as with priests and religious),
the choice of virginity or celibacy for one's whole life,
has become in the experience of Christ's disciples and
followers the act of a particular response of love for the
divine Spouse. Therefore, it has acquired the
significance of an act of nuptial (married) love, that is, a
nuptial giving of oneself for the purpose of
reciprocating (freely giving and taking) in a particular
way the nuptial love of the Redeemer. It is a giving of
oneself understood as renunciation, but made above all
out of love. [Papal audience on April 28, 1982]

Premarital Sex (Continued)


If one feels called to a religious vocation, premarital sex creates

an immediate and seriously sinful wedge between oneself and God. It
sets the stage for future failure should one desire to commit to a life of
chastity and to take Jesus as ones spouse or Mother Church as ones
If a Catholic feels called to marry, as opposed to being called to
religious life, then the most important decision he makes in his life is
whom to marry. When a couple abstains from intimate sexual activity
they are able to evaluate how well they are suited to each other without emotionally charged, intense, unnatural sexual experiences
confusing the issue. Thus, by practicing abstinence, the couple give
themselves the best shot at making the right choice in this most
important decision.
What if my partner and I have already had sex?
The simple answer is to stop. Now. Practically speaking that can
be very hard to do. Sometimes love is hard. Doing the right thing can
be very hard. Worse yet, doing the right thing can seem illogical.
How do you explain to your partner that youve decided not to have
sex anymore? I tell patients to simply tell it like it is: tell your partner
that you have made a step up in maturity and understanding and you
now more clearly realize what love is, and that it isnt premarital sex.
Tell the person that you want the best for him or her and for the two
of you, and that means no more physical intimacy until marriage. If
your partner is a good match, he or she will understand and will
probably be relieved to stop having sex. If your partner isnt such a
good match, he or she may get angry, argue or even quit the
relationship. In either case, you will learn a lot about your partner,
about yourself and about the relationship. You will learn whether he
or she was with you for the sex or because you two really had a good
thing. In any case, make sure you go to Confession to receive
forgiveness for your sexual sins.
This is a case of the right answer not necessarily being the most
obvious. You stop having sex with someone you love? In college, I
noticed a similar sort of situation, where the truth was the opposite of
what seemed obvious. I drove an old Rambler in those days and I
noticed that there was some blessing to having such a crummy car.


Sexual Wisdom for Catholic Adolescents

There was never any doubt that the women I dated were not going out
with me for my car. Any lady willing to get into that thing must have
genuinely liked me. A crummy car was a blessing. Funny. The same
holds true for premarital sex. If a couple abstains from intimate sexual
activity before marriage, they can be that much more confident that
each person really does love the other and that they will be that much
more likely to succeed in building a future together.
The Anima Christi (The Soul of Christ)
Soul of Christ, sanctify me.
Body of Christ, save me.
Blood of Christ, inebriate me.
Water from the side of Christ, wash me.
Passion of Christ, strengthen me.
O good Jesus, hear me.
Within Thy wounds, hide me.
Separated from Thee let me never be.
From the malignant enemy, defend me.
At the hour of death, call me.
To come to Thee, bid me,
That I may praise Thee in the company
Of Thy Saints, for all eternity. Amen.

Lesson 4
Premarital Sex (Continued)

Say a prayer before the lesson.

What is the most important thing in life according to the Catholic

Answer: Happiness!! (Or some might say Pleasure or Joy.)
But there is a bit of a catch. The catch is that there are different
types of happiness or pleasure. We will consider two here briefly.
Later we will expand on the idea.
Two Types of Happiness or Pleasure:
1) The Superficial Good or Feeling Good: Eating M&Ms,
drinking lemonade, or watching an entertaining movie
2) The Essential Good or Being Good: Opening a door for a
little old lady. This is also known as Knowing, Loving, and
Serving God.
The problem is that the first kind of pleasure can make you sick or
have other bad effects. Too much candy or too fast a ride at the
amusement park can make you feel badly. A man who kisses a pretty
woman whom he doesnt really like or care about experiences some
of the first kind of pleasure, but knows he has set himself against the
second, more profound kind of pleasure. The same is true for those


Sexual Wisdom for Catholic Adolescents

who take pleasure in looking at members of the opposite sex who are
immodestly dressed.

Theology of the Body Moment John Paul II

Happiness is being rooted in love. [Papal audience on
January 30, 1980]

The Superficial Good vs. the Essential Good

To achieve the more essential good, the more intense pleasure, we
must submit to God: putting ourselves in His hands, doing what we
ought to do. I tell students: By sitting quietly and listening attentively
to my lecture you are doing what you ought to do. Even if you arent
that interested in what I am saying at this moment, you sit quietly
because you know someone else might be interested. Perhaps
someone in the room is being touched in the most profound way,
having a life-changing experience this very night (!!!) so you sit
quietly and allow others to hear the message.
The good news is that sometimes we can have both kinds of
pleasure! The door we open for a little old lady may be light enough
so that we can hold it open with one hand while we eat candy with
other hand! In other words, in some instances we can feel good while
doing the right thing. For example, married couples can enjoy
intimate sexual pleasure without sinning.
The peace of Christ is the greatest source of joy or pleasure.
The Bible calls this peace Beatitude or blessedness. Unfortunately, when people feel badly about themselves or about life, they
often seek deliverance through superficial sources of happiness such
as alcohol, drugs, overeating, other addictions, or sometimes through
relationships with the opposite sex whether through dating, sex, or

Premarital Sex (Continued)


If I can just date him . . .

If I can just become sexually intimate with her . . .
If I can just marry him . . .
If . . . then all will be well and I will feel great happiness and
The fact is that all of these situations can satisfy or at least
hide lifes difficulties for a time, but only God can deliver the
deeper fulfillment. And we can sustain it only by coming back to
Him over and over again.
There is no other way. Drugs, alcohol, popularity or trying to be
cool, money, fame, and sexual encounters are common ways to seek
fulfillment. Literally millions of people have failedhave sinnedby
looking for pleasure in these ways and will attest to this fact. None of
these can offer the most profound or ultimate pleasure, that is
available to each of us at every moment through the peace of Christ.
To join with Christ, to be one with God, we need to keep a hand
on the door at all times so we are ready to open it whenever a little old
lady approaches. This is not an easy road. God does not provide an
easy road. We cannot expect a reprieve. But because it is His road,
because it is the road of the One who created the world, it is the best
by far. To strive to attain and maintain the deepest sense of peace and
joy is a struggle for all of usa struggle against original sin, the basic
burden that each of us carries.
Difficulties With Trying to Focus on God, the Greatest Source of
What are the steps toward sin? Many people have tried to figure
out the process that leads a person to sin. Here is one that includes
four steps adapted from the book, The Purpose Driven Life, by Pastor
Rick Warren.
1. We are tempted by a desire. For example, we get tired of
holding open the door for the little old lady, and feel we are
owed a break. This is especially true when we have been good
for what seems to be a burdensome length of time.
2. We doubt or disbelieve. We doubt that true happiness is found
by doing the right thing, by doing things Gods way, by being


Sexual Wisdom for Catholic Adolescents

true to your human naturea nature that calls you from the
deepest recesses of the heart to Do good and avoid evil.
Sometimes we lose faith that holiness is the best that life has
to offer. Since God isnt enough, we turn to false gods: sex,
alcohol, food, money, gambling, work, power.
John 6:66-68
After this, many of his disciples drew back and no longer
went about with him. Jesus said to the twelve, Do you
also wish to go away? Simon Peter answered him,
Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of
eternal life?
To whom shall we go? Well, many of us go to sex,
alcohol, food, money, toys (as in surfboards, motorcycles,
cars, stereo systems), shopping, gambling.
3. Deception. We accept false ideas. (Satan is the Father of all
We deceive ourselves into thinking that maybe the little
old ladies dont really need us to open the door for them.
Maybe the next little old lady to come through the door wont
be so frail and will be strong enough to open it without our
4. Disobedience. We act on our disbelief.

The truth is that living a Christ-centered life is as good as it gets

and that we are never owed a break and we must always be ready to
open doors for little old ladies. During times of stress (boredom,
loneliness, fatigue), or in the case of an unforeseen near occasion of
sin (a situation that tempts us), we may be too late in opening the door
if we do not remain ever vigilant.
In his book Jesus of Nazareth (2007) Pope Benedict XVI brought
up another aspect of sin. The Holy Father wrote about the parable of
the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32). We all know about the younger
son who did not want true freedom, the freedom to do good, the
freedom to follow Gods will. He wanted the false freedom of license.
He wanted to do whatever he desired. He left his home, squandered

Premarital Sex (Continued)


his inheritance, and ended up yearning to eat the food given to the
pigs. He sinned miserably. Pope Benedicts focus, however, is not on
this son, but on the older son. For when the younger one finally
returns home and his father gives a banquet and kills the fatted calf,
his older brother is bitter. Why? Pope Benedict XVI asks. The
answer the pope gives is that just like the younger brother, this son
had never really embraced the true freedom and happiness that he
had. He did not go so far as to leave home, but his bitterness revealed
that for him, too, the great privilege of living in a home in which
Everything I have is yours was not enough.
How often we fail, like the older son, to appreciate the gift of
living in tune with Our Fathers willin tune with our human nature.
How often we too live, at least in part, with the false notion that there
is something that will satisfy us even beyond having everything that
Jesus offers. How often do we let a bitterness lead us to temptation?
The great Saint Augustine (354-430 AD) wrote the famous line:
You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless
until it rests in you. Once we understand that only God can fulfill
us, we understand that the most important challenge of life is always
to try our best to follow Gods plan for us, and always to hold open
the door for little old ladies. We will understand, then, that no dating
or sexual relationship, or even marriage, can fully deliver or fulfill a
Yet our culture constantly bombards us with these mistaken
messages. They are expressed in most types of popular music, in
movies, on TV and radio, and in many other ways in our culture. You
will hear these silly messages in a million different ways in your
lifetime and will do well to consciously reject them.
To hold off from having sex before marriage may someday prove
to be a great challenge to you. You may find yourself very tempted.
Many do. Can you love yourself, your partner and God enough to do
the right thing? Can you hold Christ that close?
All of us fail in some ways in our lives. In high school I worked
very hard to break 9:30 in the 2-mile race, but I physically couldnt do
it. However, there is no such barrier with love. No one has to fail
seriously in virtue, love or morality. With Gods help, you can love
others (future boyfriends or girlfriends) enough to avoid serious
sexual sin.


Sexual Wisdom for Catholic Adolescents

Theology of the Body Moment Pope John Paul II

The heart has become a battlefield between love and
lust. The more lust dominates the heart, the less the heart
experiences the nuptial (marital) meaning of the body. It
becomes less sensitive to the gift of the person, which
expresses that meaning in the mutual relations of man and
woman. Certainly, that lust which Christ speaks of in
Matthew 5:27-28 appears in many forms in the human
heart. It is not always plain and obvious. Sometimes it is
concealed, so that it passes itself off as love . . . Does this
mean that it is our duty to distrust the human heart? No! It
only means that we must keep it under control. [Papal
audience on July 23, 1980]

Rules to Follow:
The following simple, traditional rules help tremendously in
avoiding many of the troubles associated with sexuality.
1) Dont become physically intimate with anyone until you get
Limit yourself to holding hands, hugging, and kissing (not
prolonged or to the point of arousal).
Keep clothing on.
No touching in private areas.
2) Bear in mind that no person can deliver you from inner unrest,
only God can.
3) Women naturally recognize the relationship between love and
sexuality better than men. As we will discuss, women have to
deal more with the results of unhealthy attitudes about sex.
Women suffer more from babies born out of wedlock, STDs,
contraceptive side effects, and emotional problems. Smart
ladies dont depend on men to guide them in decisions about

Premarital Sex (Continued)


how far to go with intimacy. Smart ladies dont depend on

men to guide them in how intimate a conversation should go.
A 25-year-old patient told me that he understood what I said
about premarital sex but that he and his girlfriend were SO in love
with each other (a very intense relationship) that they will
continue to have sex. No, they were not in love with each other.
They were in love with their fantasies, with themselves, and with
the superficial kind of pleasure.
Fr. Sy Nguyen wrote the following account in the church
bulletin of St. Marys by the Sea Catholic Church, Huntington
Beach, California:
I have known a girl since she was seven years old. Her
dedicated mother home-schooled her as her patient father
tirelessly provided for the family. When she was 13 she got to
travel with me to World Youth Day in Paris. Though being
among the younger kids on that pilgrimage, she showed a
great deal of self-discipline, and was able to appreciate the
spiritual blessings of the whole event. After completing high
school, she entered a traditional Catholic college and excelled
in her studies. As part of her college experience, she even
spent a month in India serving the poor. She has grown up to
be beautiful, smart, and well-grounded in her Catholic Faith.
Needless to say, she is the apple in her parents eyes and it has
been a joy for me to watch her grow up.
A few weeks ago, I got a phone call from her devastated
parents who informed me that she has become pregnant by a
man she just met during the summer vacation. I could not stop
their sobbing and I did not want to because I felt like doing
the same. It is in a time like this that one can experience in a
profound way the brokenness of humanity, the sinfulness of
man, the corruption of the flesh, not out there in the world, but
in his own self. And by the grace of God, it can lead one to
feel from the depth of his heart that he needs God to save him
from himself. As for the girl, she is dying inside as she
prepares to bring a life into the world. As for me, I appreciate
more than ever the Good News that Christ has come not for


Sexual Wisdom for Catholic Adolescents

the healthy but for the sick.

We are all sinners. We are all spiritually sick and in need of

Gods forgiveness and saving power. Any one of us, no matter what
our preparation, can fall into serious sin. It is very important that
students know that they can always come to their loving parents if
they make a serious mistake regarding sexuality. No parent will be
happy to hear the news (any more than they are happy about their
own sins) but all parents will be grateful that their student had enough
confidence in them to bring a serious problem to their attention so
they could work through it together.
Today there are probably more challenges to chastity than ever
before. Can an unmarried young adult or teenager love himself or
herself enough to remain fully committed to the goal of a truly
healthy and holy mind with regard to sexuality? Can these individuals
love others enough to go without premarital sex? The answer is yes,
but for most it will require a full commitment to seeking happiness in
the fullest and truest sense of the word: at the foot of the cross.
Prayer from the Angelus
Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy
of the promises of Christ.

Lesson 5
The Variety of Sexual Behavior

Say a prayer before the lesson.

The Sexual Revolution began in earnest in the 1960s and has been
associated with an extreme increase in sexual promiscuity. (A
promiscuous person is one who engages in sexual intercourse or other
intimate sexual acts with many people.) Research clearly shows that
premarital sex and extramarital sex (sex between two people at least
one of whom is married to someone else) are far more common today
than before the revolution. Many other forms of sexual behavior
have also become much more common during this period.
Alternative Sexual Behaviors:
When a husband and wife express their love sexually, they may
participate in any behavior that expresses affection and love as long
as they do not separate the procreative (making babies) and
pleasurable aspects of sexuality. This means that orgasm, or climax,
must be achieved through genital/genital contact. As we will discuss
later, seeking climax in ways which separate the procreative and
pleasurable aspects of sexuality opens the door for less respectful,
loving attitudes. An example of this is oral sex, which we will explain
shortly, in which the act can bring a person the pleasure of climax but


Sexual Wisdom for Catholic Adolescents

cannot make one pregnant. For this reason, among others, oral sex to
climax is immoral and sinful.
Each spouse should approach their sexual relationship open to the
desires of the partner. While no should one should engage in sexual
acts that are degrading or that make either spouse uncomfortable,
there should be a basic willingness to experiment and be creative with
each other.
Selected quotes from John Paul IIs book Love and Responsibility
Page 271. It is the very nature of the act that the man plays the
active role and takes the initiative, while the woman is a
comparatively passive partner, whose function it is to accept and
to experience.
Page 272. The man must take this difference between male and
female reactions into account, not for hedonistic (to please
oneself), but for altruistic (to please the other) reasons. There
exists a rhythm dictated by nature itself which both spouses must
discover so that climax may be reached both by the man and by
the woman, and as far as possible occur in both simultaneously.
Page 273. It must be taken into account that it is naturally difficult
for the woman to adapt herself to the man in the sexual
relationship, that there is a natural unevenness of physical and
psychological rhythms, so that there is a need for harmonization,
which is impossible without good will, especially on the part of
the man, who must carefully observe the reactions of the woman.
Page 275. Precisely because a slower and more gradual rise in the
curve of sexual arousal is characteristic of the female orgasm the
need for tenderness during physical intercourse, and also before it
begins and after its conclusion, is explicable in purely biological
terms. If we take into account the shorter and more violent curve
of arousal in the man, an act of tenderness on his part in the
context of marital intercourse acquires the significance of an act
of virtue . . .

The Variety of Sexual Behavior


The most common sexual behaviors besides genital/genital

contact are:

Petting or intimate caressing

This is sexual touching that occurs before the couples
genitals touch. Married couples may, in privacy, touch each
other in any way that they both agree to. Intimate touching
before marriage, however, is not only against Gods law, but
against common sense. Chastity teacher Molly Kelly says this
is like getting into a car and revving the engine for a short
time and then getting out of the car without going anywhere.
Such touching is an obvious lead up to sexual intercourse and
has no place among those not situated to express with their
bodies until death do us part.
Self-stimulation/masturbation: rubbing ones own genitals
with ones hand
When this is done to the point of orgasm, or climax, it may be
a mortal sin. Mental problems, like anxiety or being
compulsive, may reduce the persons responsibility (reduce
the free consent of the persons will) and thus make it a less
serious sin. Any intentional rubbing of your own genitals with
the intention of sexual arousal is a sin, even if not to climax,
whether you are married or not. It always draws one away
from Christ.
Manual manipulation: rubbing anothers genitals with ones
This is sinful if it is done with anyone but ones spouse. It is
sinful if done with ones spouse if it is done to orgasm.
Oral sex: touching ones mouth to anothers genitals
This is a serious sin for the unmarried. The act seems to be
much more common now than in the past, especially among
the unmarried. Even among married couples this act is a sin if
it causes climax.
Even though oral sex may not lead directly to climax, there
are other reasons to consider any involvement in it sinful. Oral
sex may conflict with the marital vow to love and honor.
Many people consider the positions involved with the act


Sexual Wisdom for Catholic Adolescents

degrading and dishonorable. Also, oral sex makes sexual

climax particularly easy and because of this encourages an
unhealthy, detached view of sex with an excessive focus on
the genitals. Oral-genital relations are more in tune with the
male sexual fantasy to come on already and get it over with,
or wham, bam, thank you, maam, and in that sense conflict
with the typical female desire for a more prolonged intimate
activity that is not so exclusively focused on the genitals.
Engaging in oral sex may, therefore, create an unhealthy
imbalance in a married couples sexual relationship.
Anal sex: a man inserting his penis into another persons anus
Although this is commonly referred to as the homosexual
act, it is also engaged in by some heterosexuals. Most people
find anal sex repulsive and against the dignity of the human
person. We will discuss more about this later.

How often do married people have sex?

Typical married couples have sex every week or two, but there is
wide range: some much more, others much less. If a younger, healthy
couple decides to not have sex this usually indicates a serious
problem in the relationship and the need for counseling or spiritual
direction. Some elderly couples are not sexually active due to lack of
interest or physical limitations, but many have regular sexual
Sad Truths:
In some marriages the wife never climaxes, despite her desire to
do so, because the husband focuses solely on getting himself to
climax. Also, some married women feel used by their husbands
because their husbands only interact with them physically when the
husband is interested in sexual intimacy to climax. In other words, the
husbands dont hug or kiss their wives unless the husband is planning
on going all the way. Married men tend to be more focused on
genital sexual stimulation and married women tend to be more
focused on non-genital sexual interactions, such as holding hands or
being caressed. It is important for both to consider the attitudes each
may bring into the relationship. As Pope John Paul pointed out above,

The Variety of Sexual Behavior


each should ensure that the other is a willing participant in any sexual
contact and that the sexual desires of both are addressed.
Nocturnal Emissions or wet dreams:
This is climaxing while asleep during a dream. It is a natural,
normal event often associated with sexually stressful dreams or other
stressful dreams. It is not associated with any diseases, nor is it sinful.

Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)

Sexually transmitted diseases, also known as venereal diseases or
VD, can be thought of as like having a cold in the genitals. Just as
a person who sneezes may pass an infection to another, so also a
person with an infection in the genitals can spread it to another
through genital sexual contact. If a married couple has only had
sexual intercourse with each other and neither one has ever used
intravenous drugs, the chance of either of them developing a sexually
transmitted disease is essentially zero.
During the period of the Sexual Revolution we have seen a
staggering increase in the types of STDs and in the number of people
affected in our county and in the world.

There are now 50 types of STDs and 12 million new cases each
year in the U.S.
It is estimated that one in five Americans is now infected with an
incurable STD.
It is estimated that over 30% of sexually active teenagers have
venereal warts (warts on the genitals).
From 1970 to 1990 the estimated number of tubal pregnancies
increased fivefold. Tubal pregnancies are a life-threatening
emergency and the increase in them is a direct result of the
increase in STDs of the fallopian tubes. Bacteria from the male
pass though the vagina and uterus and infect the fallopian tubes.
The infection causes scarring that can block an embryo trying to


Sexual Wisdom for Catholic Adolescents

travel down the fallopian tube. The growing embryo causes the
tube to rupture and may cause the woman to bleed to death.

The statistics go on and on and are staggering. The explosion of

STDs over the last few decades offers dramatic evidence of the
increase in sexual promiscuity that has occurred during this period.
Falsehood: STDs are not a serious problem because they are easy to
prevent, screen for, diagnose, treat, and cure.
For example, in a popular book for teenagers, The Whats
Happening to My Body Book for Girls, the question What should
you do if you think you might have an STD? is answered with Most
STDs can be treated quite easilyusually with antibioticsprovided
they are treated right away.
The fact is that there are tremendous limits to what we can do to
prevent, screen for, diagnose, treat, and cure many of these diseases.

It is very common to have an infection yet not have any symptoms and pass on an STD to others. One can have any STD and
have no symptoms and pass it on to someone else without
Many STDs are incurable.
Different STDs are often found together. If someone is found to
be infected with one STD, that person may have become infected
with other STDs at same time.
Those who use drugs, or drink too much alcohol, are more likely
to get STDs, presumably because they are more likely to have
poor judgment and be more promiscuous.
Many STDs can be transmitted from a pregnant woman to her
newborn child.

The table on the next two pages is a brief summary of the most
notable STDs. The symptoms and accuracy of screening tests are
listed on the first page and the available treatments and complications
are on the second page. (The statistics are referenced in my book,
Sexual Wisdom.)

Sexually Transmitted Diseases




Accuracy of Screening


Discharge (pus) from the genitals,

painful urination or pain in the
abdomen or testicles

Fairly good: 70-90%


Discharge (pus) from the genitals,

painful urination or pain in the
abdomen or testicles

Fairly good: 70-90% for

males, 80-90 % for


First stage: Painless ulcer/chancre

on penis, vagina or anus. Second
stage: Rash. Third stage:
headaches, vomiting, weakness,
and other symptoms.

Good to excellent:
generally well above 80%.


Recurrent painful ulcers on the

genitals, swollen glands in the

Fair: Culture test 77%.

Antibody (blood) tests are
of limited value in making
an early diagnosis.


Jaundice (yellow eyes and skin)

vomiting, dark urine, fatigue,
abdominal pain.

Excellent, but test is often

overlooked in screening.


Warts on the genitals.

Poor: 30-80%.

and AIDS

Chronic cough, diarrhea, rash,

fevers, swollen glands, weight

Blood test usually positive

within three to six months
of acquiring infection.
Cont. on next page


Sexual Wisdom for Catholic Adolescents





Antibiotics. Possible
hospitalization or surgery for
females with severe cases.
Permanent effects may persist
despite appropriate therapy.

Women: infertility, tubal

pregnancy, pelvic abscesses,
chronic lower abdominal pain.
Men: infertility and arthritis
(both unusual).


Antibiotics. Possible
hospitalization or surgery for
females with severe cases.
Permanent effects may persist
despite appropriate therapy.

Women: infertility, tubal

pregnancy, abscesses, chronic
lower abdominal pain,
arthritis. Men: infertility and


Antibiotics are very effective.

Hospitalization for one week
may be required if not
diagnosed within the first few

If untreated, leads to dementia

and death. In newborns:
congenital defects, anemia,
brain damage, death.


Antibiotic pill or cream reduces

symptoms and contagiousness.
There is no cure.

Puts one at risk for HIV

infection. May cause deadly
infection in newborn.


No cure. Immunization
available for Hepatitis B to
prevent infection of sexual
partners or exposed newborns
from known carriers.

Development of chronic
carrier state (no symptoms but
contagious to sexual partner or
fetus), liver failure, death.


Various methods used include

freezing, burning, surgery, and
laser. 20-100% success rates.
May not be possible to cure but
growth and spread can be

Causes cervical cancer

(women should have regular
PAP smears). Newborns may
develop warts on the voice

and AIDS

There is no cure. Potent

medications delay onset of
AIDS after infection and slow
the progression of the disease.
Many people die within a few
years, even with medication.

Many unusual infections and

cancers, dementia, death.
Many serious side effects from
medication. Infection can be
passed from mother to

Sexually Transmitted Diseases


I saw a delightful newlywed couple in the office because she was

complaining of discomfort while urinating, abdominal pain, and sores
on her vagina. This was just two weeks after their wedding day. She
was a virgin before the wedding but he was not. He had STD
screening before wedding to make sure he was safe. Even with that
precaution she was now suffering from a severe case of genital
It is important for young people to understand that in the modern
world one may one day fall in love with and wish to marry someone
who has had sex with someone else. While this is not the best
situation it is the situation that many individuals face, even though
they themselves have not fallen into serious sexual sin. Whatever
incurable STDs ones partner has on his or her wedding day the
spouse is likely to acquire at some point during the marriage. As a
precaution, couples who face this dilemma may wish to have the
sexually experienced partner take antibiotics to treat susceptible STDs
he or she may harbor without knowing it. Also, the sexually
experienced partner should be tested thoroughly for other STDs, even
though, as in the case above, this does not offer anything like certain
Rather than confronting the causes of the STD epidemic, our
society minimizes the problem. We are told in so many ways that
STDs are not a serious concern: that they are easy to prevent, screen
for, diagnose, treat, and cure. What we are told is wrong on all counts.
The foolish thinking on the issue was demonstrated at a medical
conference put on by Harvard and UCLA medical schools. At one of
the lectures, held in an enormous ballroom with an audience of
hundreds of physicians, the speaker made the point that condoms
should be recommended to all sexually active single people to prevent
the spread of herpes infection. (Condoms are a latex, balloon-type
covering that the man wears over the penis to prevent skin-to-skin
contact with his sexual partner. Historically they have been used to
prevent pregnancy, but more recently they have been promoted to
prevent the spread of STDs) However, a few moments before, the
same speaker had shown a slide of a woman with typical herpes
ulcers on the area next to the vagina called the vulva. A condom


Sexual Wisdom for Catholic Adolescents

offers absolutely no protection from such an infection to that area.

The professor failed to notice the obvious inconsistency of her
recommendation with respect to the slide she had just shown, and no
one during the question and answer period brought it up. This
demonstrates that physicians are people too. They can be like sheep
who blindly follow the leader without asking obvious questions.
O Heart of Jesus, I place my trust in thee.

Lesson 6

Say a prayer before the lesson.

The way in which our society minimizes the seriousness of STDs

is most evident with regard to infection with the Human
Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), the most serious STD.
The Basics About HIV and AIDS:
For HIV to be transmitted there must be contact between the
infected persons body fluids (blood, semen or saliva) and the
other persons blood. In the vast majority of cases, HIV is
spread through sex or by sharing needles used by intravenous
drug abusers. The riskiest sexual behavior is anal intercourse,
presumably because this unnatural act traumatizes the anus
enough to cause some bleeding and this allows viruses in the
semen to enter the persons bloodstream. Anal intercourse is
often referred to as the homosexual act because it is
uncommon among heterosexuals. In the 1980s, at the
beginning of the HIV epidemic, about 80% of those who were
infected with it were male homosexuals. Now homosexuals
account for about 45% of new cases. Heterosexuals now
account for 34% of new cases (black women are at especially


Sexual Wisdom for Catholic Adolescents

high risk) and about 17% get infected from using intravenous
(IV) drugs (especially black men).
Because HIV can travel through the placenta, it can infect the
babies HIV-infected women are carrying during pregnancy.
With current medical care this is now rare.
Couples who only have regular genital-genital intercourse can
transmit the virus from one to the other, but this is much less
likely than with anal intercourse.
There is some risk to doctors and nurses from getting poked
by a needle that has been used on a patient with HIV.
After being exposed to HIV, whether through sex or through
IV drug abuse, it usually takes 3-6 months before the blood
test for HIV turns positive. HIV can cause flu-like symptoms
in the first three months of the infection.
The virus gradually multiplies in the persons system over
years and causes the persons immune system to fail. Then he
or she develops opportunistic infections (those that only
occur in people who have a faulty immune systems) and
unusual tumors. Once these develop, the person has the
Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS), the last stage
of HIV infection. It often takes about 10 years after infection
with HIV to develop AIDS. AIDS is almost uniformly deadly
without strong medications. With the discovery of new
medications the death rate from HIV has dropped from 80%
to 25%. Medical science is gradually developing more
medications to treat HIV and AIDS.

The History of HIV and AIDS:

The initial 31 cases of AIDS were identified in 1981.
Since then 22 million persons have died from AIDS,
including 500,000 in the U.S.
Forty million people worldwide are currently infected with
HIV including over one million in the U.S., about a quarter of
whom do not know they are infected.
There are 40,000-60,000 new cases of HIV infection in the
U.S. every year.



Africa is the hardest hit continent in the world with 2.2

million Africans dying every year from AIDS and 12 million
African children orphaned by it each year.
San Francisco has the greatest percentage of homosexuals in
the United States. It is estimated that 50% of the San
Francisco homosexual population is infected with HIV.

A 27-year-old male requested HIV testing in my office. He had a

history of IV drug use which he knew was a risk factor for HIV.
Worried that he may have given the disease through sex to one of his
girlfriends he said he would kill himself if he tested positive for HIV.
He said he could never face them and tell them that he was positive.
HIV carries a tremendous psychological burden. Fortunately for him
and his girlfriends, he tested negative.
Sadly, the response of nearly everyone except conservative
religious groups to this awful HIV crisis has been the lowly condom.
The initial response from the government to HIV was to promote
Safe Sex, which mainly called for use of condoms and limiting
the number of ones sexual partners, whatever that meant. But this
approach was so clearly unsafe that public outrage quickly forced
officials to change the name of their program to Safer Sex, or what
Catholic chastity teacher Barbara McGuigan refers to as Safer Sin.
Our public health and school officials refuse to support abstinence
because they feel that to do so is too judgmental against those who
are already having sex. We will address the confusion around the idea
of being judgmental in Lesson 16. Not surprisingly, repeated
evaluations of the Safer Sex/condom message have found that such
programs do not lead to changes in behaviors or infection rates
among heterosexuals or homosexuals. Despite intense, costly,
widespread education efforts, homosexuals are still engaging in the
highest risk sexual behaviors and young homosexual males continue
to be infected by HIV at epidemic rates. The only realistic approach
to the horrible scourge of HIV is to promote abstinence from the
behaviors that spread it but this is the one message that government,
school officials, homosexual activists and many others refuse to


Sexual Wisdom for Catholic Adolescents

Due to political pressure from homosexuals (who worry about the

potential for discrimination against them if HIV infection is reported
to the government), physicians in most states were barred from
reporting the most deadly STD to public health authorities (as they
were required to do for other STDs) for the first two decades of this
disease. The concern of the homosexual activists is real, but so is the
fact that many, many deaths occur every year because of the failure of
our public health system. After two decades, HIV is finally being
treated as the public health issue it is and most states are requiring
that physicians report cases to authorities.
Because society has been unable to grapple realistically with this
killer, and has in many ways downplayed the threat of it, the epidemic
of HIV rages essentially unchecked. From the beginning of this
epidemic our politicians and public health leaders should have
promoted abstinence as the best and only sure way to control the
Uganda is the only African nation to have embraced sexual
abstinence as the best way to confront the HIV epidemic. Not
surprisingly Uganda has, by far, the most effective HIV prevention
program in Africa. The following quote is from a 2004 Internet
article, which discusses this remarkable success story:
Some experts say the dramatic drop in HIV/AIDS infections
in Uganda is proof that abstinence from sex is the best way to
combat the deadly disease, especially in the world's hardest hit
area, sub-Saharan Africa.
Infections in the East African country, which once had the
highest rate in the world, have dropped from 30 percent of the
population in the early 1990s to around 10 percent today.
Although promotion of condom use has been a part of
Uganda's HIV/AIDS prevention strategy, the concept of True
Love Waitsan abstinence-until-marriage program launched in
1994 and supported by schools and religious organizationsis
credited with bringing down the infection rate.
Abstinence remains the best strategy, especially for the risk
group aged 15-25 years," said Dorothy Kwenze, an HIV/AIDS
activist in neighboring Kenya. "The concept has worked well for
Uganda and can equally work for other African countries.



According to a study by development expert Rand

Stoneburner, Uganda's prevention model, used elsewhere, has the
potential to reduce the AIDS rate in Africa's worst-stricken
countries by 80 percent.
Stoneburner, a former Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention and World Health Organization (WHO) epidemiologist, says that is the same level of efficacy one might expect from
an HIV vaccine.
Uganda boasts the most successful HIV/AIDS prevention case
in Africa to date, as it is the only country in sub-Saharan Africa
where the incidence of HIV/AIDS has decreased substantially.
Four Critical Realities About HIV and AIDS:
Those who do not use intravenous (IV) street drugs and do not
engage in genital sexual activity have essentially no risk of
being infected with the HIV virus.
No matter how well informed people are about risky
behaviors many will continue to be involved in such
Ten to thirty percent of people who rely on condoms to
protect themselves from sexual partners who are infected with
the HIV virus will also become infected.
If a person is having sexual intercourse with an HIV-infected
partner and the condom slips, leaks, or breaks, that person
may die.
Although extensive discussion of measures for controlling the
HIV epidemic is beyond the scope of this course, for those who are
interested, the issue is discussed in my book Sexual Wisdom. The
book also thoroughly reviews the many studies which document the
failure of the Safer Sex message.


Sexual Wisdom for Catholic Adolescents

Matthew 5:27-28
You have heard that it was said, You shall not commit
adultery. But I say to you that every one who looks at a
woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in
his heart.
Websters Dictionary defines pornography as writings, pictures,
etc., intended to arouse sexual desires. Dirty pictures is a more
succinct definition. Dirty because pornography takes something
beautiful and throws it in the gutter. Pornography includes
photographs, movies or stories about people, mostly women, who are
in various states of undress or who are engaged in sexual activities.
Pornography is hard to define because it is sometimes difficult to
draw the line between modesty and immodesty. One photograph of a
naked woman may not be pornographic, yet another of a woman
partially clothed may be pornographic. A U.S Supreme Court justice
addressed this confusion when he wrote of pornography: Cant
define it but know it when I see it. Porno is Greek for prostitute.
Most pornography is directed toward men, since men are far more
visually oriented when it comes to sexuality. The first major
pornographic publications appeared in the 1950s.
Some pornographers try to make pornography more acceptable by
including girl-next-door kind of pictures and interesting articles.
Softcore or milder forms of pornography might seem less harmful
than hardcore forms (which are the worst). But because softcore
pornography is much more common, its overall effect on mens
attitudes is probably at least as great as that of hardcore porn. Also,
use of softcore porn usually leads to viewing of hardcore porn.



Theology of the Body Moment Pope John Paul II

I would say that lust is a deception of the human heart
in the perennial call of man and womana call revealed in
the mystery of creationto communion by means of mutual
giving. . .
. . . lust is a real part of the human heart. (But) It is one
thing to be conscious that the value of sex is a part of all the
rich storehouse of values with which the female appears to
the man. It is another to "reduce" all the personal riches of
femininity to that single value, that is, of sex, as a suitable
object for the gratification of sexuality itself.
. . . for the man who looks in that way (lustfully), the
woman ceases to exist as an object of eternal attraction.
[Papal audience on September 17, 1980]

Pornography is Big Business

The U.S. spends over $12 billion on pornography each year.
Internet: This is now the greatest source of pornography in the
world. It is estimated that over 8% of Internet users are addicted
to Internet pornography. (We will discuss sexual addiction in a
later lesson.)
Magazines: Girlie magazines have combined sales of more than
35 million copies each month.
Strip clubs: places where pitiable women dance while disrobing
and otherwise disgracing themselves in front of men.
Bachelor and Bachelorette parties: parties given before a wedding
which are meant to be a joyful get together for the brides or
grooms friends but which are often ruined by pornographic


Sexual Wisdom for Catholic Adolescents

Pornography is Against Gods Law

Galatians 6:7-9.
Do not be deceived; God is not mocked, for whatever a
man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his own
flesh will from the flesh reap corruption; but he who sows to
the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not
grow weary in well-doing, for in due season we shall reap if
we do not lose heart.
Pornography sows one to the flesh.
Pornography is the Opposite of Virtue
Virtues are those character traits that we admire most. They are
the good habits that make us Christ-like. Modesty has been
considered a virtue by the great thinkers of all major cultures (from
both the East and the West) throughout history. Modesty means
dressing or acting in such a way that we do not call extra attention to
our sexual natures. Pornography is the opposite of modesty, and thus
of virtue. It draws one inward, focusing on ones desires and so draws
one directly away from God.
Pornography is Unrealistic and Promotes Warped Attitudes
Pornography is damaging, in part, because it often looks realistic.
It is fake, but it doesnt look fake, and so it promotes harmful
fantasies and a warped view of life. For example, oral sex is a
mainstay of hardcore pornography, yet it is hard to imagine in a
relationship in which both partners truly value the dignity of the other.
Throughout pornography sexual acts are distorted, unnatural versions
of the real thing. Watching pornography is the worst way to learn
about normal sex.
Writer Malcolm Muggeridge, who converted to Catholicism at the
end of a long life said: How do I know pornography depraves and
corrupts people? [Because] it depraves and corrupts me.
A stripper justifies what she does for a living by saying that she
isn't doing anything wrong; it's just entertainment. The problem, she
says, is that men have dirty minds.



Let us be clear. The job of a stripper or porn star is to put sinful,

adulterous thoughts in the minds of men. The better the woman is at
putting lustful thoughts in men's heads the more she is paid. The more
these women arouse men and make them want to masturbate, the
more money the women make. That is a far cry from ballet or other
legitimate entertainment. These women make money not because they
entertain but because they stimulate, and create sexual tension.
Pornography Depersonalizes and Degrades Women
With pornography, women are seen as creatures or sex objects.
How women look is emphasized to the neglect of everything else.
Pornography depersonalizes and devalues women. It is no
coincidence that pornographers use terms that liken women to
animals: bunnies, pets, and sex kittens. The more a man looks
at porn, the more warped his attitudes toward women become
(overemphasizing appearances), and the deeper the hole he digs for
himself. The more such attitudes become entrenched, the harder for
the man to be healed of them; the deeper the hole, the harder it is to
climb out. Our popes have tirelessly defended the dignity of each
person. We should always consider the whole personnever just a
persons body, as if he or she is merely a thing or animal.
Pornography Makes Light of the Risks of Having Many Sex Partners
As with falsehoods associated with STDs, pornography downplays the risks associated with sex. In the fantasy world of
pornography no one gets hurt; no one gets pregnant; no one becomes
infected with a disease; no one feels shame, guilt, fear, remorse,
embarrassment, or distrust. No one suffers from the obvious
consequences of having many sex partners. All of this is part of the
phoniness of pornography.
Pornography Promotes Other Serious Falsehoods
That women enjoy being sexually exploited or used
That the best sex is that which is most sexually stimulating
That the primary goal of sex is to have the best orgasm
That the more sexual partners one has, the better lover one


Sexual Wisdom for Catholic Adolescents

Pornography is Meant for Psychologically Immature Males

Pornography is billed as Adult Entertainment, or Entertainment for Men, but it is actually entertainment for those with
juvenile, or immature, attitudes toward sexuality. Teenagers view
more Internet pornography than adults. No true man looks at
pornography. The more a person looks at pornography, the more his
attitudes will remain juvenile and distorted.
Pornography Abuses Women
Pornographers are ready and willing to pressure women who
arent very smart and who dont respect themselves (often due to bad
childhood experiences) into pornography. It is no coincidence that
these women are often involved with drugs, alcohol, abortions, STDs,
suicide, and eating disorders (such as anorexia or bulimia). This is
what happens to people who dont respect themselves. Women in
pornography have often been involved in situations with sexual abuse
and violence. Sometimes violent abuse occurs to women while
making pornography. People who are hurting and who then become
involved in sinful circumstances only hurt more. Catholics need to do
more to minister to the women and men involved in pornography,
who are truly broken vessels. (Psalm 31:13)
Pornography Helps No One
Some claim that pornography helps men to release sexual tension.
The argument is that men with pent up sexual tension can masturbate
while viewing pornography, thereby relieving themselves and
avoiding hurting women. But when men regress into adolescent
fantasies, when they pursue distorted ideas, when they slouch into
darkness, there will be a serious ultimate cost. It may be that the most
common response to pornography is masturbation, but there are other
possibilities, and these become more likely since one use of
pornography so often leads to another. It is no surprise that rapists and
child abusers often use pornography.
The claim that pornography releases sexual tension is the opposite
of the reality. Pornography increases sexual tension. It is true that
men feel temporary relief for a few minutes after masturbating. But in
doing this the man has allowed himself to sin, and once a person fails
in the natural call to do good, he is more likely to fail again. Any man



who, due to depression, loneliness or anxiety, fails himself and resorts

to pornography knows that he has failed and feels even lower. In
desperation, he is likely to resort to the same sin or to other sexual sin
and then sexual sin becomes habitual. Also, with each new viewing of
pornography more images become imprinted in his brain forever.
There is no evidence that the use of pornography is associated in any
way with emotional health.
Temptations to Pornography Call One to Virtue
It is an age-old teaching that to be virtuous requires practice and
persistence. If one struggles with a particular vice, such as viewing
pornography, the best way to overcome it is to turn yourself over to
Christ and to practice the virtue that is opposed to it (in this case,
chastity) over and over again, opening oneself up to grace. That is
why virtues are called good habits. The more you practice a virtue
the more habitual it becomes. The more one turns away from
pornography, the easier it becomes. The same is true for vices. The
more one falls into vice the more likely one is to get mired in vice
(otherwise known as sin or, when it has legal implications, crime).
The more one sins by looking at or masturbating while viewing
pornography the more likely one is to do it again.
Custody of the Eyes or Modesty of the Eyes
This means keeping your eyes from looking at that which you are
not meant to see. Some people call it bouncing the eyes, meaning
that when you see a woman immodestly dressed, or a picture or
video with sexual impurity, you make your eyes bounce away from
the image. This is an important way for men, especially, to practice
the virtue of chastity.
Modern Challenges
Young men should be especially aware that we live in an unusual
time. Photography is a relatively new invention. One hundred years
ago there were few pictures of beautiful women to gawk at. Now we
have immodesty displayed on magazine covers in every market in the
country. There are provocative advertisements in most newspapers
and magazines, and on many Internet sites and TV shows. It is very
easy for men to become entranced by so many images in so many


Sexual Wisdom for Catholic Adolescents

settings in our culture. No other generation of men in history has had

such a challenge.
After seeing indecency in PG or PG-13 movies, it is very easy to
start going to R-rated movies to see more. After seeing indecency in
popular magazines, it is very easy to seek mens magazines that
offer worse. Once one begins to travel down this path it can be like an
addiction; the man seeks more and the line between what he has seen
and the step into further vulgarity becomes obscure. Young men are
wise to listen to those who have fallen before them. Do not go to
movies or look at pictures that display immoral sexuality. Once one
has entered the teenage years it is possible to develop severely
distorted views of sexuality. Experts tell us that with the Internet it
can happen in a few months.
A man may think that if he can just get enough pornography he
will be satisfied. This is one of the devils great lies. It is wholly false.
Remember, with every fall from the straight and narrow path, one
digs an ever-greater hole out from which one must eventually dig
Three Rules for Young Men: These may help men understand where
to draw the line on what they look at.
1. Dont look (gawk, or stare) at a woman, who is looking at
you, for so long a period that it makes her feel uncomfortable.
2. Dont look at a woman, who is not looking at you, for so long
a period that it would make her feel uncomfortable if she were
looking at you.
3. Dont look at a picture or video of a woman for so long a
period that it would make her feel uncomfortable if she was
really present and was looking at you. (This assumes that she
has healthy attitude and isnt in the picture or video for the
purpose of having strangers stare at her.)
Similar to these is the Three Second Rule which says that men
should not look at an immodestly dressed woman, or a picture or
video of one, for more than three seconds. Any time beyond this is
likely to be harmful.



Many men, unable to control their eyes, develop an inordinate

interest in the physical appearance of women. Sadly, some men, and
even some women, not only date but even marry people to whom they
are physically attracted but with whom they are otherwise poorly
Child Pornography: pornographic material involving children
This is a dreadful sin and crime, which victimizes innocent
children in the most degrading, abhorrent manner.
The Most Beautiful Woman on Earth
Years ago I heard a man, who was in his 60s, claim that his wife
was the most beautiful woman on earth. Later, when I met her I was a
little surprised to find that she was an average-looking 60 year-old
with no particular claim to beauty, and no apparent craving for it. In
other words, she looked more like the Before picture in makeover
advertisements than the After picture. However, she was clean and
neat, and very pleasant and likable. Clearly, too, she was an excellent
life partner for her husband. What he meant in saying that his wife
was the most beautiful woman in the world was that, after a few
decades of marriage, she had become a treasure for him, and that
when it came to women he only had eyes for her.
It took me a few years before I really began to understand what
this man was saying, but recently I find that I am experiencing the
same thought. Though my wife and I are well past our physical prime
she is to me the most beautiful woman on earth, and it is wonderful. It
is an experience that may be rare today given the number of failed
marriages and the popularity of shallow attitudes, such as the idea that
beauty is to be found in hair treatments and plastic surgery. It is hard
to imagine such attitudes among those mired in pornography and
involved in the endless search for the perfect looking body. The sad
part is that the more a man sifts through pornography the less likely
he is to find the most beautiful woman in the world living under his
own roof.


Sexual Wisdom for Catholic Adolescents

The Memorare
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary,
that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection,
implored they help, or sought thy intercession was left unaided.
Inspired by this confidence,
I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother.
To thee I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful.
O Mother of the Word Incarnate,
despise not my petitions,
but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen.

Lesson 7
Artificial Contraception and Sterilization

Say a prayer before the lesson.

If sexually active married couples do nothing to prevent

pregnancy, about 85% will become pregnant each year. Because
couples may have serious reasons to avoid pregnancy right after the
wedding, or every year thereafter, and because many unmarried
couples want to have sex without getting pregnant, birth control or
family planning methods have been developed. There are natural
ways to limit family size which are in concert with Gods will and
Church teaching, and there are artificial ways which are immoral and
against Church teaching. We will first discuss the artificial ways, but
before we do that we need to divulge an important secret.
Our Little Secret
The vast majority of people have no appreciation for what I am
about to tell you. In fact, most adult Catholics do not understand the
meaning of what I am about to tell you. The secret is this: the Holy
Roman Catholic Church, above all else, is a church with a healthy
obsession with Jesus Christ. For example, Pope John Paul II began
the first of his fourteen encyclicals with the words: The Redeemer of
Man, Jesus Christ, is the center of the universe and of history. (The
Redeemer of Man, 1979) Everything that the Church does or teaches


Sexual Wisdom for Catholic Adolescents

is based on this one mission: drawing people closer to Jesus. Given

the many aspects of the Church and the many ways in which the
Church touches our lives this most basic fact is easily lost in the
One of the reasons that even many Catholics are unclear on this is
that most Catholics have not read Church teachings. To understand
what the Catholic Church is really about you must read what the
Church teachesnot from a book about Catholicism nor from
someone telling you about Catholicism (especially in this day when
even some priests and nuns are unreliable sources of information)
but from the original Church documents themselves. These are now
readily available on many websites, but the best site, of course, is the
Vaticans own site at Here, from the home page
under Resource Library you will find the Bible, the official
Catechism of the Catholic Church, the documents of the Second
Vatican Council and the Code of Canon Law. If, from the home page,
you click on The Papal Archive you will find every major
document written by every pope going back for over a century. There
you can read exactly what the Holy Fathers wrote on a great many
subjects. Now I certainly dont expect you to read all these
documents, but you could pick out some to read or at least to read
enough to get the essence of them, and you certainly should use them
as resources.
At the end of this course, we list some of the magnificent
documents the Church has recently produced which relate to sexuality. If youre old enough to read The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
youre old enough to explore these documents and, if you do, our
little secret will become very obvious.
Sadly, most Catholic adults have never read any of these
documents. Worse yet, many people in leadership roles in our church
have never read any of them. If you read even a few of them you will
find how true this is: our Church has a healthy obsession with Jesus
Christ. Its whole focus is to worship and follow Him.
So why bring this up now? Because the Churchs teaching on
artificial contraception, which baffles many people, will now make
perfect sense to you. If the only thing the Church cares about is
bringing people closer to Christ, and if contraceptives did not affect
this relationship and did not cause people to love each other less, then

Artificial Contraception and Sterilization


the Church wouldnt care a stitch about whether couples used

contraceptives or not. Unfortunately, these methods do directly
support harmful, unholy attitudes, and that is why the Church has
always considered their use immoral.
Contraceptives are artificial methods used to prevent conception
that include potent hormones or devices or both. They were illegal
until the 1930s and until that time all Christian religions considered
their use immoral or wrong. Women who used contraceptives were
considered tramps. However, in todays world, contraceptive use is
generally accepted with no particular shame attached to it. More
women use them than do not. Clearly, all women who use
contraceptives are not tramps, but due to propaganda by the media
and politically powerful organizations like Planned Parenthood (the
largest provider of abortions in the country), public discussion about
Church teaching and the moral implications of contraceptive use has
been effectively stifled for decades. Before 1930, churches and the
general public understood that efforts to avoid pregnancy can have an
effect on ones attitudes about sexuality, including ones openness to
Gods will. Yet, today, there is essentially no discussion or mention of
this anywhere.
Are We More Sophisticated than the Good Old Days?
Now, one could argue that the reason modern culture has
generally accepted contraceptives despite the previous rejection is that
we are more intelligent or sophisticated than prior generations.
However, that is a rather difficult position to defend. For example,
considering just the area of entertainment see how sophisticated we
really are nowadays:

We are the culture that idolizes singers, movie stars and other
entertaining but otherwise unimpressive persons who are often in
and out of drug treatment centers, in and out of court over child
custody, domestic violence, or divorce proceedings, blah, blah,
Most adults culture cant name such basics as:
o The Seven Deadly Sins (which are, for the record, pride,
greed, envy, anger, laziness, lust and gluttony.)


Sexual Wisdom for Catholic Adolescents

o The 4 cardinal virtues (for the same record book, they are
prudence, justice temperance and fortitude)
But those same adults could easily name:
o The star of the latest trendy movie.
o Their favorite episode of the latest tasteless reality show

All across our country, movie theaters are installing voicemail

announcements which tell adults not to bring children under 3 into
PG-13 or R-rated movies. It is amazing that anyone would bring
small children into these movies (some would say this is an act of
child abuse) and yet so many people do it that theaters feel
obliged to discourage them with announcements.

We have highway signs announcing the latest ultimate fight in

which two pathetic chaps are literally put in a cage, like animals,
and people pay to watch them try to kick each other in the head.

We could give many examples in other aspects of modern life, but

the point is that we should not consider the present generation to be
particularly sophisticated. In fact, maybe we have something to learn
from prior generations.
Main Types of Artificial Contraceptives:
Condom: a barrier method (prevents the egg and sperm
from joining). A latex balloon that is slipped over the penis.
This method is not very effective in preventing pregnancy but
is the only method that helps prevent STDs.
Hormones: This includes The Pill (given by mouth),
injections, and implanted cylinders that are surgically inserted
under the skin of the arm. All are potent steroid hormones and
so have multiple potential side effects such as high blood
pressure, migraine headaches, and blood clots. Some types
cause acne although some newer types are used to treat acne.
Intrauterine Device (IUD): This is a device that is inserted
into the uterus and remains there for years. It is the most

Artificial Contraception and Sterilization


effective method aside from sterilization. It is not used in

younger women due to the higher risk of STDs.
The main mechanism of action of IUDs is to cause an
abortion. The IUD prevents the developing baby from
attaching to the inner lining of the uterus, thereby killing it. A
few decades ago, in a most peculiar effort to conceal that this
is the main way in which the IUD works (and a lesser way for
hormones like The Pill), pro-abortion political leaders in the
medical profession forced a change in the dictionary
definition of pregnancy! For political reasons only, the major
dictionary magically changed from saying that pregnancy
began at conception to saying that it began with the
attachment of the baby onto the uterine wall a week or so
later, called implantation.
By this false definition a woman is not pregnant even
though conception has taken placeeven though the egg has
been fertilized by the sperm and the act that joins the
chromosomes of the mother and father has been completed.
Science has known for over a century that conception is the
act in which each of us began our existence, yet the political
leaders of the medical profession and dictionary companies
agreed to spread the lie that the mother isnt pregnant at
conception but only at implantation. Scientists continue to
regard every other species as pregnant at conception because
there is no political agenda behind the question of when a
guppy becomes pregnant.
By changing the definition of pregnancy for humans only,
politically motivated physicians use a standard propaganda
technique. This is just what Hitler, Stalin, and Chairman Mao
of communist China did. But even if you call a four-toed
hedgehog a three-toed woodpecker it doesnt change what it
is. It still has four toes and it still cant fly.
To justify the use of birth control methods that can cause
abortions physicians and dictionary editors decided that a
relatively minor event determines pregnancy: the attachment
of the embryo to the side of the uterus after bumping into it.
The argument for the importance of this event is that it allows
the transfer of nourishment for the baby from the egg to the


Sexual Wisdom for Catholic Adolescents

mother. However, the transfer of nourishment only begins to

occur after the placenta develops, which occurs gradually over
the weeks following the day the embryo attaches. On the day
the woman becomes pregnant per the revised definition,
there is no transfer of nourishment. All that happens on that
day is that the embryo sticks onto the side of the uterus. It is
hardly an event to compare to the astounding changes which
occur on the day of conception.
Fortunately this lie has proved to be too big and so the
dictionary companies reversed themselves over the last few
years and have gone back to the old definition: they have
removed the references to implantation that they added to the
definition a few decades ago. In Sexual Wisdom we quote a
leading, liberal physician spokesperson saying that
According to the medical definition, conception occurs not at
fertilization but at implantation. At the time (1990) she was
right but now, with the definition changed back to the
original, she is very wrong. How embarrassing for her and so
many other pro-choice physicians! It shows how one can get
richly deserved mud in the face if one gets too enthusiastic
about a propaganda campaign based on lies.
Diaphragm: This is a device placed inside the woman that acts
as a barrier method (prevents the egg and sperm from
joining) much like the condom. It is not very effective or
popular. It is safe, although can lead to urinary tract infections
(bladder and kidney infections).
Withdrawal: With this method, the man removes himself from
the woman prior to ejaculation. It is safe, unnatural,
ineffective, and unpopular.

Failure rates:
The typical failure rate for contraceptives is from 3-10%. For
example, The Pill has an 11% failure rate for females under 19 years
of age and 4-5% for those over 19. Notice that these are failure rates
per year. Therefore, the likelihood of pregnancy increases with each
year used.

Artificial Contraception and Sterilization


Surgical Sterilization:
This is called a vasectomy for men. The vas deferens are
surgically tied off and cut. For women the sterilization procedure is
called a tubal ligation or getting ones tubes tied. The fallopian
tubes are surgically tied off and cut. The failure rate of either of these
procedures is 3-5 per 1,000 patients per year, which is to say that they
do occasionally fail to sterilize the person.
But What About Love?
The main problems with artificial methods of contraception are
clear when we consider the effect of contraceptives and sterilization
on our five aspects of love:
Contraception focuses sexual activity on achieving pleasure as
opposed to nurturing a relationship. A boyfriend demands that a
woman has sex with him to prove her love. He may not be so
ready to abuse her if she was not on The Pill. Or, a boyfriend says
to his girlfriend: I know youre afraid of getting pregnant or
getting a disease but dont worry, Ill use a condom. By
promising to eliminate the possibility of pregnancy and STDs, the
risks associated with sex are played down and sexual risk-taking
is encouraged. Contracepting couples are more likely to ignore the
risk of pregnancy that sexual intercourse entails. It is
disrespectful to ignore the risks you create for others and so
contraceptives encourage disrespect, especially for women.
Consider the following conversation with a patient:
Me: Is there any possibility that you are pregnant?
Twenty-something patient: No
Me: No possibility whatsoever?
Patient: No, Im on The Pill.
Me: The Pill has a failure rate.
Patient: Dont say that.


Sexual Wisdom for Catholic Adolescents

Contraceptives put the responsibility for preventing
pregnancy on science, not on the couple. If the couple gets
pregnant, its The Pills fault. Contraceptives were supposed to
free us from the risks of unwanted pregnancies and abortions, yet
during the period of explosive increase in their use there was a
dramatic increase in the number of unwanted pregnancies and
This is why people talk about the contraception-abortion
mentality. People who use contraceptives are often overconfident
that they will not get pregnant, and when they do they are more
likely to feel that they are victims of faulty science, and therefore
justify having an abortion. Often the man, the woman, or both
blame the woman for a contraceptive failure, so he may push
her to have an abortion or she may feel she owes it to him.
Pregnancies are more of a surprise when the couple has been
using contraceptives, so they are generally less ready and willing
to cope with the responsibility of a baby. Contraceptives
discourage couples from taking full responsibility for their
People have unrealistic confidence in contraceptives, and so
take unreasonable risks. While I was explaining the failure rate of
contraceptives to a sexually active teenager she blurted out, But
something has to work! To truly impact the number of unwanted
pregnancies we must address the underlying problem: sexual risktaking and the rejection of true love. True love means being fully
responsible. With contraceptives, couples often feel that the
method bears some responsibility; they are only sort of
responsible if they get pregnant.
Speaking to a young lady on The Pill:
Me: What if your pregnancy test is positive?
Patient: Oh, there is no way I can have a baby right now!
(She was overjoyed that her pregnancy test was negative.)
A patient of mine noticed some unusual bleeding from her
vaginal area. It turned out to be the first sign that she was
pregnant. She was pregnant despite having been sterilized years

Artificial Contraception and Sterilization


earlier. When she called her husband, his response brought her to
tears so she handed the phone to me. I was amazed to find that he
was more concerned with suing the physician who performed her
sterilization procedure than with the safety of his wife and child!
Contraceptives and sterilization encourage people to accept
only limited responsibility. But limiting our responsibility means
limiting our love. People who use artificial contraceptives are
being only sort of responsiblelike the driver who asks the
passengers to buckle up their seat belts but then drives recklessly.
With contraceptives people are freed to have sex with less
commitment or with no commitment at all (a one-night-stand,
hooking up or prostitution). For example, a friend was dating a
wonderful man whom she envisioned to be her future husband.
Her contraceptive failed and she became pregnant. His response
was to write her a check to pay for an abortion and he then
disappeared from her life. He was relying on the contraceptive to
give him the pleasure that he wanted. Only after the contraceptive
failed did she understand that he was not committed to the
Contraceptives promote the false belief that people cannot
control themselves. Uncontrollable urges become needs that can
only be met through the use of contraceptives. (More on this in
Lesson 11.) Contraceptives and sterilization require essentially no
sexual restraint. With them, one need not practice the virtue of
temperance or self-control, the cardinal virtue associated with
Because of the many problems just discussed, the use of
contraceptives often creates distrust in relationships. For example,
I dont love him but we can make love anyway because Im on
The Pill. Or, Shes willing to have sex, but how committed is
she to this relationship?


Sexual Wisdom for Catholic Adolescents

Theology of the Body Moment Pope John Paul II

It can be said that in the case of an artificial
separation of these two aspects (of sexual union, the
loving and life-giving aspects), a real bodily union is
carried out in the conjugal act (sexual intercourse), but it
does not correspond to the interior truth and to the
dignity of personal communion: communion of persons.
This communion demands that the language of the body
be expressed reciprocally in the integral truth of its
meaning. If this truth be lacking, one cannot speak either
of the truth of self-mastery, or of the truth of the
reciprocal gift and of the reciprocal acceptance of self on
the part of the person. Such a violation of the interior
order of conjugal union, which is rooted in the very
order of the person, constitutes the essential evil of the
contraceptive act. [Papal audience on August 22, 1984]

Due to the obvious, serious effects of artificial contraceptives on

attitudes, I stopped prescribing them in 1989. I was trained in the
manner of all physicians in this country and had bought into the many
lies about contraceptives. I did not second-guess the system until I
was out of training and really started to listen to patients in my private
practice. There I found the complaints, mostly from women, about the
horrible abuses of sexuality, and could not help but see the obvious
link to contraceptives.
Most physicians prescribe contraceptives without considering
their effects on patients attitudes. They buy into the lies about
contraceptives. In fact, the multimillion-dollar contraceptive industry
is enthusiastically supported by the medical profession. There is little
critical thinking or open-mindedness among physicians on this

Artificial Contraception and Sterilization


One of the worst abuses of contraceptives is the promotion of

them to teenagers in a foolish effort to reduce the teen pregnancy rate.
Studies have repeatedly shown that encouraging teenagers to use
contraceptives does not reduce the teen pregnancy rate. Not only that,
but doing so leads to more promiscuity, abortions, diseases and other
problems. I fully discuss these studies and the reasons why all of this
was predictable in my book, Sexual Wisdom, but that is beyond the
scope of this course. The evidence, however, is undeniable. The idea
of promoting contraceptives to teens is based on the assumption that
teenagers are too immature and self-centered to understand that
abstinence before marriage is the best choice, that teens are going to
do it anyway, and so should be encouraged to use contraceptives.
Common sense and science prove how wrong this idea is.
Falsehood:Contraceptives always work and are, therefore, sufficient
for responsible sex.
People ask contraceptives to bear partial responsibility for their
actions even though each method of contraception has a well-known,
significant failure rate.
Falsehood: Contraceptives all work by preventing conception.
Contraceptives most often work by preventing conception, but, as
we mentioned before, the IUD works mostly as an abortifacient.
Likewise, one of the ways in which contraceptive hormones, such as
The Pill, work is to prevent implantation, and so they too
occasionally cause abortions. This can be verified by reading the
package insert.
Legitimate Uses of Contraceptives
There are a number of possible valid uses for hormonal
contraceptives. The potions are not evil in themselves, only in how
they are used. Though unusual, there are situations in which it proper
to use them, for example, for the treatment of irregular periods. When
an unmarried woman is entirely committed to sexual abstinence, the
use of artificial contraceptives may be advisable. There are also
situations in which married couples may use artificial methods for
medical reasons so long as the couple mimics the use of natural
methods by abstaining from sexual activities during fertile times to


Sexual Wisdom for Catholic Adolescents

help to allay the unhealthy effects on their attitudes. This should first
be discussed with the couples spiritual advisor. The key point in all
of this is that artificial contraceptives have an inherent tendency to
obstruct a couples efforts to achieve holiness, and this truth must be
honestly addressed by every married couple.
Contraceptives and World Overpopulation
It is said that we need contraceptives or the world will become
overpopulated. Unfortunately, many issues like this become clouded
with bias because so many people base their positions on political
agendas instead of on facts. The student should be aware of some of
the poorly appreciated realities about this.
People throughout history, even well before Christ, have worried
about the worlds ability to support its human population. This is
presumably because the world does seem to be a crowded place to
anyone in the middle of a large city. However, those who have flown
in an airplane can assure you that this impression is not true. There is
an enormous amount of open land still available in this world.
Heres an interesting question to ask of others: how many square
feet of elbow room would each person would have if all the people in
the world (estimated to be 6 billion) were put inside the state of Texas
(267,277 square miles)? Most people will answer that each person
would have one or two square feet. (Try this on your friends!) The
actual number calculates to 1,200 square feet per personthe size of
a small house. While there have been innumerable dire warnings
about world overpopulation in the past few decades, the most
respectable sources now say that the world population will likely peak
at about eight to ten billion in the next few decadesa number the
earth seems quite capable of sustaining far into the future.
In contrast to these dire warnings about overpopulation, we now
read from the most respected authorities about a birth dearth (too
few children) in many countries, especially in Europe. This is the
result of decades of artificial birth control, which has dropped the
birth rates so low (well under the replacement level of 2.1 children
per couple) that the native populations of these countries are
essentially dying off. Therefore, a number of countries, such as
Germany and Singapore, are now paying couples to have more

Artificial Contraception and Sterilization


Given these facts, the idea that artificial contraceptives are needed
to solve an overpopulation problem seems misguided and simplistic.
The War Against Population (Ignatius Press, 1999), by Dr. Jacqueline
Kasum, is a valuable resource for those interested in more
information on this subject.
The Jesus Prayer
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, have mercy on me, a

Lesson 8
Natural Family Planning
(also known as Fertility Awareness)

Say a prayer before the lesson.

Among Catholics, Muslims, and some Evangelical Christian
groups Natural Family Planning methods (NFP) remain the only
morally acceptable methods for reducing the likelihood of pregnancy
for married couples. NFP is considered moral because here natural
methods excel in supporting relationships in the same critical ways
that artificial methods fail. NFP methods are in harmony with a
positive, nurturing, holistic* approach to sexuality.
From the Catechism of the Catholic Church we read:
Periodic continence, that is, the methods of birth regulation
based on self-observation and the use of infertile periods, is in
conformity with the objective criteria of morality. These methods
respect the bodies of the spouses, foster tenderness between them,
and favor the education of an authentic freedom. In contrast,
every action which, whether in anticipation of the conjugal act,
or in its accomplishment, or in the development of its natural

looking at a person as a whole: body, mind and soul

Natural Family Planning


consequences, proposes, whether as an end or as a means, to

render procreation impossible is intrinsically evil:
Thus the innate language that expresses the total reciprocal selfgiving of husband and wife is overlaid, through contraception, by
an objectively contradictory language, namely, that of not giving
oneself totally to the other. This leads not only to a positive
refusal to be open to life but also to a falsification of the inner
truth of conjugal love, which is called upon to give itself in
personal totality . . . the difference, both anthropological and
moral, between contraception and recourse to the rhythm of the
cycle . . . involves in the final analysis two irreconcilable concepts
of the human person and of human sexuality. (paragraph 2370)
Modern natural methods are as effective at preventing pregnancy
as standard artificial methods of contraception. By far, the main factor
that affects how well methods of NFP work is motivation. Among
those who use it, couples who are motivated are far less likely to get
pregnant then couples who are not motivated.
NFP gives a couple a greater awareness of the womans natural,
bodily rhythms and allows the couple to use this knowledge to
become pregnant or to avoid pregnancy. These methods can be used
to identify the period of time each month when the woman is fertile
(able to get pregnant) and when she is infertile (when she cant get
pregnantusually about two and a half weeks per month). If a couple
wishes to avoid pregnancy, they should have sex only during infertile
Three Types of NFP:
1) Rhythm method: This is the original method of natural birth
control, developed in the 1930s. It is based on calculating the
day the woman is most fertile. The couple then avoids
intercourse during the week that spans that day. It is no longer
taught because it depended on a womans period being
regular, which is not always the case. For some reason, people
who ridicule NFP almost always refer to the Rhythm method.
They are apparently unaware of the modern methods.


Sexual Wisdom for Catholic Adolescents

2) Ovulation, Billings, or Cervical Mucus Method: In this
method, developed in the 1960s, the woman watches for
certain signs that tell her she is ovulating or fertile. The main
sign is the type of cervical mucus she has. This mucus has
different qualities at different times of the month. Each time a
woman uses the restroom, she collects a sample of mucus on a
piece of tissue and looks for certain qualities. With training,
she can distinguish between fertile and infertile periods.
3) Symptothermal Method: This method is similar to the Ovulation Method except that additional signs are used to help
figure out the period of fertility. The main extra sign is the
womans body temperature, which is taken and recorded daily
the first thing in the morning. Usually, a womans temperature
will rise about a half a degree around the day she ovulates.

The last two of these methods have been successfully used for
decades in a variety of cultures, including the uneducated poor in
developing countries.
Then Along Came On Human Life (Humanae Vitae)
On Human Life (Humanae Vitae) was a prophetic encyclical
written by Pope Paul VI in 1968. It reinforced the Churchs age-old
stance against the use of artificial contraceptives at a time when many
thought the Church would change its position. It has become the most
controversial Catholic Church document of modern times. The
following are some rather long but beautiful quotes from this
marvelous work. Some students may find them difficult to
understand. If you do, just try to get the general message: its worth
the effort. The numbers refer to the part of the encyclical quoted.
10. With regard to physical, economic, psychological and social
conditions, responsible parenthood is exercised by those who
prudently and generously decide to have more children, and by
those who, for serious reasons and with due respect to moral
precepts, decide not to have additional children for either a certain
or an indefinite period of time.

Natural Family Planning


11. The sexual activity, in which husband and wife are intimately
and chastely united with one another, through which human life is
transmitted, is, as the recent Council recalled, noble and
worthy. It does not, moreover, cease to be legitimate even when,
for reasons independent of their will, it is foreseen to be infertile.
For its natural adaptation to the expression and strengthening of
the union of husband and wife is not thereby suppressed. The fact
is, as experience shows, that new life is not the result of each and
every act of sexual intercourse. God has wisely ordered laws of
nature and the incidence of fertility in such a way that successive
births are already naturally spaced through the inherent operation
of these laws. The Church, nevertheless, in urging men to the
observance of the precepts of the natural law, which it interprets
by its constant doctrine, teaches that each and every marital act
must of necessity retain its intrinsic relationship to the procreation
of human life.
14. Therefore We base Our words on the first principles of a
human and Christian doctrine of marriage when We are obliged
once more to declare that the direct interruption of the generative
process already begun and, above all, all direct abortion, even for
therapeutic reasons, are to be absolutely excluded as lawful means
of regulating the number of children. As well to be condemned, as
the Magisterium of the Church has affirmed on many occasions,
is direct sterilization, whether of the man or of the woman,
whether permanent or temporary. Similarly excluded is any action
which either before, at the moment of, or after sexual intercourse,
is specifically intended to prevent procreationwhether as an end
or as a means. Neither is it valid to argue, as a justification for
sexual intercourse which is deliberately contraceptive, that a
lesser evil is to be preferred to a greater one, or that such
intercourse would merge with procreative acts of past and future
to form a single entity, and so be qualified by exactly the same
moral goodness as these. Though it is true that sometimes it is
lawful to tolerate a lesser moral evil in order to avoid a greater
evil or in order to promote a greater good, it is never lawful, even
for the gravest reasons, to do evil that good may come of itin
other words, to intend directly something which of its very nature


Sexual Wisdom for Catholic Adolescents

contradicts the moral order, and which must therefore be judged
unworthy of man, even though the intention is to protect or
promote the welfare of an individual, of a family or of society in
general. Consequently, it is a serious error to think that a whole
married life of otherwise normal relations can justify sexual
intercourse, which is deliberately contraceptive and so intrinsiccally wrong.
16. Now as we noted earlier, some people today raise the
objection against this particular doctrine of the Church concerning
the moral laws governing marriage, that human intelligence has
both the right and responsibility to control those forces of
irrational nature which come within its ambit and to direct them
toward ends beneficial to man. Others ask on the same point
whether it is not reasonable in so many cases to use artificial birth
control if by so doing the harmony and peace of a family are
better served and more suitable conditions are provided for the
education of children already born. To this question we must give
a clear reply. The Church is the first to praise and commend the
application of human intelligence to an activity in which a rational
creature such as man is so closely associated with his Creator. But
she affirms that this must be done within the limits of the order of
reality established by God. If therefore there are well-grounded
reasons for spacing births, arising from the physical or
psychological condition of husband or wife, or from external
circumstances, the Church teaches that married people may then
take advantage of the natural cycles immanent in the reproductive
system and engage in marital intercourse only during those times
that are infertile, thus controlling birth in a way which does not in
the least offend the moral principles which we have just
explained. Neither the Church nor her doctrine is inconsistent
when she considers it lawful for married people to take advantage
of the infertile period but condemns as always unlawful the use of
means which directly prevent conception, even when the reasons
given for the later practice may appear to be upright and serious.
In reality, these two cases are completely different. In the former
the married couple rightly use a faculty provided them by nature.
In the latter they obstruct the natural development of the

Natural Family Planning


generative process. It cannot be denied that in each case the

married couple, for acceptable reasons, are both perfectly clear in
their intention to avoid children and wish to make sure that none
will result. But it is equally true that it is exclusively in the former
case that husband and wife are ready to abstain from intercourse
during the fertile period as often as for reasonable motives the
birth of another child is not desirable. And when the infertile
period recurs, they use their married intimacy to express their
mutual love and safeguard their fidelity toward one another. In
doing this they certainly give proof of a true and authentic love.
17. Responsible men can become more deeply convinced of the
truth of the doctrine laid down by the Church on this issue if they
reflect on the consequences of methods and plans for artificial
birth control. Let them first consider how easily this course of
action could open wide the way for marital infidelity and a
general lowering of moral standards. Not much experience is
needed to be fully aware of human weakness and to understand
that human beingsand especially the young, who are so exposed
to temptationneed incentives to keep the moral law, and it is an
evil thing to make it easy for them to break that law. Another
effect that gives cause for alarm is that a man who grows
accustomed to the use of contraceptive methods may forget the
reverence due to a woman, and, disregarding her physical and
emotional equilibrium, reduce her to being a mere instrument for
the satisfaction of his own desires, no longer considering her as
his partner whom he should surround with care and affection.
21. The right and lawful ordering of birth demands, first of all,
that spouses fully recognize and value the true blessings of family
life and that they acquire complete mastery over themselves and
their emotions. For if with the aid of reason and of free will they
are to control their natural drives, there can be no doubt at all of
the need for self-denial. Only then will the expression of love,
essential to married life, conform to right order. This is especially
clear in the practice of periodic continence. Self-discipline of this
kind is a shining witness to the chastity of husband and wife and,
far from being a hindrance to their love of one another, transforms


Sexual Wisdom for Catholic Adolescents

it by giving it a more truly human character. And if this selfdiscipline does demand that they persevere in their purpose and
efforts, it has at the same time the salutary effect of enabling
husband and wife to develop to their personalities and to be
enriched with spiritual blessings. For it brings to family life
abundant fruits of tranquility and peace. It helps in solving
difficulties of other kinds. It fosters in husband and wife
thoughtfulness and loving consideration for one another. It helps
them to repel inordinate self-love, which is the opposite of
charity. It arouses in them a consciousness of their responsebilities. And finally, it confers upon parents a deeper and more
effective influence in the education of their children. As their
children grow up, they develop a right sense of values and achieve
a serene and harmonious use of their mental and physical powers.

As should be obvious from these quotes, the main reason that this
short encyclical is so controversial is that most of the people who
reject its teaching have never read it.
World Opinion
Prior to 1930, the world was in general agreement about the use
of contraceptives.

1931 Washington Post editorial: The suggestion that the use

of legalized contraceptives would be careful and restrained
is preposterous.
Mahatma Gandhi (a world famous religious and political
leader of India): I urge the advocates of artificial methods of
birth control to consider the consequences. Any large use of
the methods is likely to result in the dissolution of the
marriage bond.
Sigmund Freud (the founder of psychoanalysis): the separation of procreation and sexual activity (as occurs with
contraceptives) is the most basic of perversions and the
foundation of all others.

Unfortunately, today many more people use contraceptives than

Natural Family Planning


NFP. Most have not given much thought as to why. Most make this
choice based on what others do, or what a physician recommends
rather than on thoughtful consideration.
But What About Love?
People who give the issue thoughtful consideration are likely to
strike upon some obvious conclusions. NFP helps couples to have a
balanced approach to sexuality without overemphasizing it. NFP
reliably emphasizes the priority of love, including the five aspects we
have previously discussed:
With NFP a spouse is not considered a sex object to fulfill a
need. A couple may feel needful but, when they learn that they are
fertile on a particular night, they caress but stop short of genital
intercourse. In such circumstances, NFP teaches couples that
every sexual encounter is meant primarily to bring them closer
together, not to fulfill a sexual need. By teaching sexual restraint
the couple is more able to respect each others desires and wellbeing.
NFP leaves little doubt for where the responsibility lies for the
consequences of sexual activity. With NFP there is no pill or
gadget to blame should a blessed event (pregnancy) occur. With
contraception one may hear: Its The Pills fault. I took it every
day. With NFP the responsibility for pregnancy lies clearly with
the couple. One doesnt perform an act with the hope of no ill
effects. Rather, the act is replaced by other kinds of behavior, in
order to eliminate the possibility of such consequences.
NFP teaches self-discipline, and is therefore liberating. With
it, people learn to control their sexual desires, instead of being
controlled by them.


Sexual Wisdom for Catholic Adolescents

NFP couples are more aware of the possibility of pregnancy,
and therefore of the kind of commitment required to engage in
sex. Such methods are clearly not appropriate for unmarried
couples, but only for those willing to truly stand by their
behaviorwilling to welcome a child into this life, to educate that
child and to be emotionally available to that child every day of
their lives. Thats commitment!
As a result of all of the above, NFP engenders trust between

Can people love each other if they use contraceptives or are

This is where things get a bit complicated. Many married couples
who use contraceptives love each other very much. Such couples may
love each other more than some couples who do not use artificial
methods. In other words, a couple using NFP may begin their
relationship far from the heart of Christ and, though NFP helps, it
may not bring them as close to Christ as a couple who started off very
close to Christ and were drawn away from Him by the use of
contraceptives. There are any number of scenarios possible when one
starts comparing couples, but that is not the issue. The issue is what
the expected effect of each method is on the attitudes of individual
couples who use them. Those who use artificial contraceptives must
strive against the harmful effect of the method on their attitudes. The
question is: How much better could their relationship be, and how
much closer to Christ could they be, if not for this damaging
Each one of us is on a path toward bettering ourselves, a path of
personal growth and maturity, with regard to our sexuality as well as
to all important aspects of our lives. One can always have better,
holier attitudes than one currently has. The point is that there is a
difference between artificial and natural methods of family planning
with respect to how each method is likely to affect attitudes. This is
much like the fact that the kinds of friends one chooses or the kinds of
entertainment one watches can affect ones attitudes. Artificial

Natural Family Planning


methods, by their nature, tend to affect couples for the negative and
natural methods, by their nature, tend to affect couples for the
Falsehoods about NFP
Many people have never heard of NFP, and when these methods
are mentioned the methods are often criticized by ignorant people
who state falsehoods about them. Some of these falsehoods are that
NFP can only be used by people in certain religions and that NFP
causes sexual problems and birth defects. Let us briefly comment on
these falsehoods.

The use of NFP is not restricted to certain religions. Any

married couple who wishes to have a healthy, loving, Godcentered relationship can use it.
There is no evidence that NFP causes any sexual problems. In
fact, abstaining from sex as required by NFP is used to treat
some types of sexual problems.
There is no evidence that NFP causes birth defects. This is
pure conjecture on the part of those with an agenda against

What about using artificial contraceptives in abusive relationships?

Some argue that while natural methods may be ideal in healthy
relationships, artificial methods are better suited for relationships
suffering from poor communication, distrust or abuse. It is true that
natural methods may not be capable of healing seriously troubled
relationships. In such cases, the positive influences of NFP may not
become manifest. Contraceptives appear to be a desperate but perhaps
necessary alternative, particularly when women can see no other
The problem with this idea is that artificial methods enable
couples to avoid addressing the fundamental problems in their
relationships, and so those problems persist or worsen. For example,
if a man is raping his wife, the use of contraceptives actually makes
possible continued rape by reducing the fear of having to raise a child
as a result of rape. Because of their harmful influence, artificial


Sexual Wisdom for Catholic Adolescents

methods have little capacity, in and of themselves, to reduce tensions

that can lead to abuse and still more tension.
For example, in a letter to pop psychologist Dr. Joyce Brothers, a
woman expressed her fear of contracting AIDS since her husband was
seeing prostitutes. The husband refused to talk to her about the
situation or to use a condom. Dr. Brothers answered that Any partner
who respects and loves his spouse should be willing to take
precautions. She discussed condoms (which is what she meant by
precautions) briefly and then concluded with an admonition to the
wife to be more assertive with your husband and demand that he
change. The obvious inference is that he use a condom.
To recommend condoms to this innocent woman is outrageous
and requires not only that one ignore the failure rate of condoms but
that one ignore the underlying problems threatening this couple's
relationship. This woman should not risk her health or life for her
husband's pleasure. Dr. Brothers should have told her to protect
herself fully by refusing to have sex with him until truly safe sex was
reasonably assured. As in this example, the use of contraceptives,
whether to avoid pregnancy or disease, allows underlying abuse to
continue. Contraceptives are an easy but ill-considered way out of
difficult circumstances.
Natural methods are not a cure-all for serious sexual problems
among married couples. But while artificial methods may allow a
couple to act as if nothing is wrong, they are likely to make a troubled
relationship worse. Instead of offering contraception to desperate
women, society should help them evaluate whether or not to remain in
their current troubled relationships and should work to develop
resources and realistic options for these women. We fail women who
are faced with such dilemmas by suggesting that contraceptives are
the most realistic option.
Everybodys a critic. NFP also has critics on the extreme religious
NFP is criticized not only by liberals, or progressives, but also
from the other end of the sociopolitical spectrum: by Catholics with
fanatical religious views, who seem to think that they are holier than
the Pope. Despite the clear acceptance of NFP by Rome, these people
say that the use of either contraceptives or NFP is immoral. They

Natural Family Planning


assume that making no effort to regulate ones fertility demonstrates

the greatest obedience to God. While it is noble and good to attempt
complete submission to God, this thought is misguided. It erroneously
implies that NFP is less than fully obedient.
Our Church expects fertile couples to have children, but it does
not say how many. While it encourages large families, the Church
wisely leaves the question of the use of NFP (for serious reasons
such as the spacing of children) to each couple. Those couples who
use NFP have a natural tendency to be open to having more children
in the same way that it promotes other loving, family-oriented
attitudes. Therefore, couples who use it are naturally drawn to Christ.
Some will quote Bible verses such as Be fruitful and multiply to
argue that NFP is against Gods laws. They fail to understand the
secret: that Catholics are to have a healthy obsession with Jesus
Christ. We do not worship a book, nor traditions, but a living God.
Any Bible quote can be taken out of context (and most of them have
been at one time or another). We are of the faith that never just quotes
the Bible. The goal of our Church is to do all it can to help us follow
Christ. The bride of Christ is His Church on earth and we are to obey
it. After full consideration of the issue, our Church has repeatedly,
consistently (since 1853) spoken in favor of the regulation of fertility
by natural methods for those couples who want to do so.
Couples who use NFP must do so with reflection, prayer and,
perhaps, spiritual counsel. NFP can be abused. Couples can use it for
selfish reasons. But there is nothing inherently disobedient or
unchristian about using it.
NFP is the best-kept secret of the Catholic Church.
It should be no surprise that those who use NFP have a divorce
rate that is far less than the general population. Any method that
promotes love should be expected to lower the divorce rate. It is
estimated that the divorce rate among couples who use NFP is about
3%, as opposed to the national average of about 50%.
One might also expect, with only a quarter of the population now
living in homes with an intact family, that anything associated with a
3% divorce rate would be wildly popular. But the sad truth is just the
opposite. NFP is mostly ignored and often ridiculed and yet contraceptives, which led to a sexual revolution noted for dramatically


Sexual Wisdom for Catholic Adolescents

increased divorce, sexual promiscuity, epidemic STDs, illegitimacy,

sexually depraved attitudes, sexual deviations, and sexual related
violence, have gone from forbidden to nearly sacred cow status in
a few decades. Lets explore the reasons for this in the next lesson.
The Sign of the Cross
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

Lesson 9
Natural Family Planning (continued)

Say a prayer before the lesson.

With all the advantages of NFP and so few disadvantages why is
NFP not more generally accepted? Some reasons are obvious:
1) Although they are more expensive, artificial methods are
easier to use. It is easier to take a pill every day than to follow
fertility patterns and communicate with your spouse on an
ongoing basis. Artificial methods are more in keeping with
the modern worlds heavy emphasis on convenience.
2) Modern, Western medicine uses a disease model of health
care and artificial methods fit this: every circumstance must
be given a disease label. Fertility (the ability to get pregnant),
then, is seen as a disease that must be treated with
medications and surgery, rather than as a state of health.
3) Artificial contraceptives bring hundreds of millions of dollars
every year to the drug companies. Our government spends
about $200 million each year in support of artificial methods
of birth control. In contrast, NFP is promoted by a few
essentially unknown nonprofit organizations and in various
degrees, by a few Catholic dioceses. There is no money made
promoting NFP.


Sexual Wisdom for Catholic Adolescents

These are all good reasons for the limited popularity of NFP. But
there is a larger issue. There is another reason. It has to do with a
deadly epidemic, one that you have never heard of. Let me offer an
example to explain.
A man was planning to have pornographic movies at his bachelor
party. When asked about this and asked what his fianc thought about
it, he said that he was fine with it, and he added that she also was
fine with it. He was okay with it and she was okay with it.
My proposal is that these two people are threatened by a deadly
illness: The Im OK, Youre OK, Were All OK Syndrome, which in
the modern world is epidemic and it is deadly.

The Im OK, Youre OK, Were All OK Syndrome

To understand this syndrome I must first relate some history. In
the attempt to stay informed in the field of sexuality for the past
twenty years, I have read a great deal of liberally slanted material
about sexuality written by sex instructors, sexologists (people who
study sex), and sex therapists (people who treat others for sex related
problems). To read this sort of material for twenty years is a very odd
thing to do and I dont recommend it, but the amazing thing is that
during all that time, throughout all that reading, I never encountered
the words integrity, virtue, honor, or purity. The interesting
thing is that when one reads serious literature about sexuality from
other cultures and from other times one does find these words
throughout the writings. These concepts are found in the serious
writings about sexuality in other cultures but not in the articles and
books on the subject in our own culture. We are the first culture in
history to have discarded these words. The reason that these words are
not found associated with sex in this culture is because this culture
has lost the ideas behind these words.
Ours is the first culture to change the most basic goals of life,
which have always been to improve and excel where possible and to
strive for greatness. We are called to be the best basketball player,
dancer, student, or writer that we can be. As Catholics, it is most

Natural Family Planning (continued)


important that we strive for greatness in how we love God, neighbor,

and selfto be holy. You are meant to be the best that you can be, to
climb every mountain. It is the most basic of all human drives, even
(as the martyrs have taught us) more basic than the drive to survive.
Unfortunately, this is not the way modern people think. For the
first time in history a culture has changed the goal. The great personal
challenge of the modern era is not to strive for excellence but simply
to strive to be okay. In 1967 a new book on psychology called Im
OK, Youre OK became a bestseller and it continues to sell well
almost 40 years later. Well, what exactly is it to be okay? That
depends on each persons opinion. But no matter what it is, it has
nothing to do with excellence.
We might, therefore, call the state of the modern mindset the Im
OK, Youre OK, Were All OK Syndrome. What if we try and put
OK with the words related to greatness: OK integrity, OK
virtue, OK honor. It doesnt fit, and it doesnt even begin to touch
the idea of reaching for the stars or striving for excellence.
Safer Sex is the program we have adopted to battle the HIV
epidemic. Its main component is the lowly condom. We could say
that Safer Sex is OK. No one claims that it has anything to do
with greatness or virtue, or that it is particularly safe or fulfilling. But
it is OK.
How safe is Safer Sex? Well, its as safe as each individual
feels it should be. For one person it is safer to have sex with only
two new partners a month instead of four. For another person, it is
Safer Sex to have sex with only one new partner every three years
as opposed to every two. To another it is safer to use a condom half
the time instead of only a quarter of the time. In its public literature,
Planned Parenthood boldly states that Safer Sex means to know the
phone number of ones sexual partner. Most would probably agree
that that hardly qualifies. The term Safer Sex is so very OK and
random that it is essentially meaningless.
During an office discussion with a young lady, I offered a brief
but brilliant(!!) discussion on why she should stop having sex with
her boyfriend. She stopped me in my tracks by insisting that she is
all right with what they are doing, and he is all right with what
they are doing. They are both all right with it. Theyre all right.
Theyre fine. Theyre OK. End of discussion. The Im OK, Youre


Sexual Wisdom for Catholic Adolescents

OK, Were All OK Syndrome ends all discussion about being all that
you can be.
Married men go to professional basketball games and fantasize
about the cheerleaders. What happened to faithfulness? What
happened to: I will love you and honor you all the days of my life?
What about: I will always be true to you? What about: I only have
eyes for you? It appears that a lot of married men are OK with
dismissing all of that.
Virtue, honor and other superlatives simply do not come to mind
when thinking about Safer Sex, premarital sex and married men
ogling cheerleaders. Now, many will say, Hey! Lighten up, Dr.
Wetzel! Its OK. But does that sound like our Lord Jesus Christ? Is
that in the Bible? Does the Bible say, Above all else, lighten up?
No, of course not. What the Bible and our Church teach, and what has
been taught about sexuality from trustworthy sources throughout
history, are calls to strive for purity, virtue and chastity. Being OK
has never been good enough in any prior civilization and it is
certainly not good enough now.
Our thinking has become infected on the most basic level. The
Im OK, Youre OK, Were All OK Syndrome is a plague that is
increasingly infecting our marriages, our children and our young
adults. It is seeping into every aspect of our culture through our
entertainment, educational systems, government, and, sadly, even our
Pope John Paul II proclaimed that ours is a Culture of Death
because of its acceptance of abortion, euthanasia and other issues.
One might add to this: people who accept a standard of OK and who
have stopped striving for excellence are in some sense dead. They
have given up that basic element of human nature, the element that
makes us most alive: striving to improve. As St. Augustine put it:
Did you say enough? You have perished.
The Im OK, Youre OK, Were All OK Syndrome is a deadly
illness. It is a fatal epidemic that has taken over the thinking of most
of modern society. It has always been with mankind (the saints call it
lukewarmness) but only in the modern age do people have the
boldness or stupidity to call second or third rate the goal. What is
most fundamental to the human condition is the struggle to improve
oneself, and especially in the things that matter most: love, virtue,

Natural Family Planning (continued)


character, integrity, and holiness. People who stop struggling for

excellence and who accept a standard of OK are the farthest thing
from being fully human, fully alive.
Consider the Im OK, Youre OK, Were All OK Syndrome with
respect to marriage. In a discussion with a fifty year-old man about
his marriage, he told me that his relationship with his wife was best
described as a cease fire, like most people their age. They have
what you could call an OK marriage. Or, perhaps more aptly
named: a dead marriage, afflicted by a deadly illness. It was no
surprise to learn that his marriage had eventually ended in divorce.
We live in a Culture of Death not only because many people are
OK with abortion and euthanasia, but also because they have lost the
most essential orientation of humanity. They have rejected what truly
alive people strive for, and have instead embraced OKedness.
Contraceptives fit neatly into such a setting. Contraceptives are
clearly OK, and many people are fine with using them.
NFP loses out amidst lukewarmness.
Why bother with NFP even if there is a gain. Our marriage
will probably be OK even if we use contraception.
We couldnt possibly raise one more child.
It takes too much effort to communicate with my spouse and
to develop self-restraint.
Im too lazy to think, or study, or pray about what the
Church teaches. The Church is too rigid anyway. It never
allows us to relax and just hurt others or ourselves a little bit,
or to take small steps with the devil.
It takes too much courage to go against the popularity of the
sacred cow of contraception.
Yes, the Church rejects the Im OK, Youre OK, Were All OK
Syndrome, just as it rejects contraception. It rejects them now and it
always will. Those who question the Church on this fail to grasp the
obvious: contraceptives by their nature discourage love of God and
spouse. Therefore, the Church will always be opposed to their use.
Those who are interested in more information about NFP should
contact their local diocese, the Couple to Couple League


Sexual Wisdom for Catholic Adolescents

( in Cincinnati, the Pope Paul VI Center

( in Omaha or the Billings
Ovulation Method Association of the U.S. at
We adore Thee, O Christ, and we bless thee;
because by Thy holy Cross Thou hast redeemed the world.

Lesson 10

Say a prayer before the lesson.

Pope Benedict XVII at World Youth Day 2008:
How can it be that the most wondrous and sacred human space
the wombhas become a place of unutterable violence?
Abortion is the deliberate killing of a developing child in its
mothers womb. Any abortion is a serious sin for all involved, even in
cases of rape and incest (where a child is conceived by two close
relatives, such as a father and his daughter).
Those who are not sure if the babies who are aborted are human
should do an Internet image search for abortion to see pictures of
aborted babies or watch the video Harder Truth which is on our
website at under Abortion Video.
Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta said, It is a poverty to decide
that a child must die so that you may live as you wish. One could
It is a poverty for a man to decide for a woman that their child
must die so that he may live as he wishes.
It is a poverty for a parents to decide for their daughter that their
grandchild must die so that they may live as they wish.


Sexual Wisdom for Catholic Adolescents

Before 1973, when abortion became legal, there were about

200,000 abortions performed every year in the United States. After it
became legal, this number leaped to 1.5 million abortions every year
in U.S. (over 4,000 per day).
A normal pregnancy lasts 40 weeks (9 months). About 40% of
abortions are performed after 8 weeks of pregnancy, with about 390
late abortions (after 20 weeks) done every day in U.S.
Abortion techniques:
Note: aside from saline abortions, all instruments used in
abortions are introduced into the uterus via the vagina.
Suction aspiration: this is the most common technique. A
suction tube is introduced into the uterus and the embryo is
torn to pieces as it is sucked out of the womb.
D&C (dilatation and curettage): A metal tool is used to scrape
out the embryo from inside the uterus.
Saline abortion: used between 3-6 months of pregnancy. A
physician injects an extremely salty solution into the uterus
which causes the uterus to go into labor and the baby is born
soon after. The salt solution can dramatically scar the babys
skin. These marks are often referred to as burns and those
babies who survive (abortion survivors) may be seriously
disfigured. (However, few of those babies who are born alive
are allowed to live.)
Partial birth abortion: usually used in the third trimester. The
legs of the fetus are located using an ultrasound machine and
one is grabbed with a metal instrument and pulled out of the
uterus. Then the other leg and the rest of the body are pulled
out except the head, which is too large at this age to pass by
the cervix. A metal instrument is then used to pierce the skull
and a suction apparatus is used to suck out the babys brain.
The skull is then crushed and removed from the uterus in
RU486 (abortion pill): only used in early pregnancy. It takes
days to work and there are many possible side effects. No one
knows what effect it has on the babies that survive. Also, it is
unclear what problems may arise when RU486 is taken later
in pregnancy than recommended, which happens.



Morning after pill: used within days of sexual activity to

abort a possible pregnancy. It prevents the baby from
attaching to the uterine wall (implant) and so the baby dies.

Abortion is legal in all 50 states. To reduce the number of

abortions, pro-life activists have worked to pass laws aimed at helping
women make better, more informed choices. Not surprisingly, women
and girls who take time to make a decision and who are more
informed are less likely to go through with an abortion. Ironically,
feminists and other pro-choice activists always oppose these
measures, despite the obvious benefits to women, because they see
any law that reduces the number of abortions as a political threat to its
legal status.
The proposed laws, some of which have been passed in some
states, include:
Requiring an ultrasound test prior to an abortion. The
ultrasound shows pictures of the baby in the womb, allowing
a woman to see what she is about to abort. She can then better
decide whether it is a human being or just tissue. This dose
of reality is often enough for a woman to change her mind
about aborting her child.
Requiring a waiting period of 1 or 2 days after the woman
applies for an abortion before doing the procedure. Many
women, because of the terrible emotional state they are in
after learning that they are pregnant when they dont want to
be, rush into the decision to have an abortion. As with any
serious decision, women can only gain by pausing a few days
to reflect on it. Given some time to let their emotions calm
down and to think the situation through more carefully, many
women realize that the better choice is to not to have an
abortion. There are no medical reasons for a woman to rush
into an abortion. It is perfectly safe for her to delay a few days
to consider her decision.
Requiring that the woman read a pamphlet which shows what
the so-called tissue looks like at various stages of growth,
again, simply to inform the woman.


Sexual Wisdom for Catholic Adolescents

Requiring parental permission for minors to have an abortion,

with the reservation that the teenager may apply to a judge for
a waiver when she might suffer abuse at the hands of her
parents if they were informed. This is a particularly sound
idea because it not only promotes the involvement of healthy
families, but in the case of abusive families the girl is
connected with appropriate legal and social service resources.

Abortion is such an awful reality that pro-choice activists do not

use the word. Instead, they use the word choice as the propaganda
code word for abortion. In their efforts to hide the truth, they
discuss only one aspect of choice: legal abortion gives a woman the
lawful option of aborting her child. In reality, the situation is more
complicated and legal abortion affects at least three choices:
1) The choice of whether to have premarital or risky sex. Like
contraceptives, legal abortion leads men and women to risk
pregnancy by having sex before marriage. It gives them a way
out, should they get pregnant. This is why people speak of the
contraceptive-abortion mentality. Contraceptives encourage
risk-taking which leads to a greater need for abortion. This is
exactly what happened. During the period of increasing
acceptance of contraceptives, abortions became much more
2) The choice of whether or not to abort. Women often choose to
have an abortion by themselves, but often that choice is made
for her by the father of the child or by her parents. With legal
abortion, others can more freely pressure a woman who
doesnt want to abort her child to do so. One would expect
irresponsible men to be pro-choice since legal abortion gives
them a way out from the responsibilities of fatherhood.
3) The choice to have a safe abortion. The figure on the next
page, which is more fully discussed in Sexual Wisdom, shows
a dramatic drop in the number of deaths from abortion well
before it was legalized, mostly because of the discovery of
antibiotics and other medical advances and mostly unrelated
to its becoming legal.



This subject is complicated but since abortion became legal there

has been some drop in the number of deaths from it, some increase in
number of medical complications from it, and a great increase in
emotional problems related to (due to the dramatically increased rate
of abortions). Making abortion legal was supposed to make the
procedure safe; however, given the increase in the number of medical
and psychological complications that is not the case.
Many people predicted that making abortion legal would lead to
irresponsible attitudes and more sexual risk-taking (promiscuity).
They argued that this promiscuity would lead to more unwanted
pregnancies and more abortions. They were right. After abortion
became legal, the number of abortions more than doubled. By
offering an escape from unwanted pregnancies, legal abortion
seems to lessen the risks of promiscuity and so encourages it.


Sexual Wisdom for Catholic Adolescents

Freer access to abortion is at least as much a threat to some

women as it is a hope for others. As author David Reardon notes: the
promise of legal abortion to free women by giving them choice is,
in great part, an illusion, as too often abortion is used as a tool to
exploit, manipulate, and abandon them.* It should come as no surprise
that most women are prolife and young men are among the most
enthusiastic supporters of legal abortion.
While efforts to restrict abortion through the courts are most
praiseworthy, the real answer to the abortion crisis is to change
peoples hearts and minds about sexuality. If a couple is having sex
before marriage, and are thus not being fully responsible, then love
has been surrendered to another priority. For the abortion rate to drop,
people need to love each other enough to be unwilling to risk an
unwanted pregnancy.
The Grieving Process after Miscarriage & Abortion:
A miscarriage occurs when a baby dies inside the mothers womb
from natural causes. Miscarriages are common, usually occurring
early in pregnancy, and are often due to a serious defect of the
developing baby. Everyone agrees that it is normal for couples to be
emotional after a miscarriage. In the case of late miscarriages, some
couples name the baby and even celebrate his or her birthday. After a
miscarriage, physicians recommend that couples ask to see the
remains of their baby. This helps the parents go through a normal
grieving process.
What is extraordinary is that because of a political agenda, there is
a double standard for women who grieve following an abortion.
When women choose to kill the (usually healthy) baby developing
inside of them, they are often told that there is no reason for them to
have the natural feelings of guilt, regret, anger and despair that often
follow an abortion. They are never shown the dead baby. The medical
profession, liberal feminists, the main stream media, and other allies
of pro-choice groups have successfully promoted the idea that women
who have abortions do just fine. We make it much harder for women
and men who have lived through an abortion because no one

D. C. Reardon, Aborted Women: Silent No More (Chicago: Loyola University Press,




acknowledges that such feelings are normal, and so they suffer alone
and in silence.
Post Abortion Syndrome: (Post means after. So this syndrome is
one that only affects people after an abortion.) Following an abortion,
many women suffer from depression, nightmares, flashbacks, guilt,
anniversary reactions (having particularly strong symptoms on the
anniversary of the abortion or on the date that would have been the
babys birthday) and other mental disturbances. These symptoms
usually begin to occur months to years after an abortion. It is common
for women to start to have symptoms 5-10 years after the procedure.
Women, by their nature, bond emotionally to the baby they carry
from early pregnancy, and usually make every effort to protect it. For
example, many women from the beginning of pregnancy refuse to
take any medication, even Tylenol, to protect their baby. Women who
abort their child act directly against this mothers instinct and so are
often deeply wounded. This wound is Post Abortion Syndrome.
Healing comes when they accept that they are wounded and go
through the process of getting spiritual and psychological help for
their wound.
Popular culture and medical spokespeople, with unusual certainty,
deny that PAS exists. They worry that by acknowledging the misery
that people go through from an abortion they might threaten the legal
right to have one, and there is no greater sin to a liberal than to
threaten the right to have an abortion. Despite this denial, we know
from the testimony of thousands of women and men (whose babies
were aborted) that Post Abortion Syndrome most certainly does exist.
Over decades, numerous ministries have been created specifically to
help those with this condition.
Those who claim that Post Abortion Syndrome doesnt exist refer
to inept research which only evaluated women within the first few
months after having their abortion. This is usually too early to make
the diagnosis and so, of course, these studies are meaningless.
Women and men suffering from Post Abortion Syndrome should
seek counseling, such as through Project Rachel, which is available in
many dioceses. The website is


Sexual Wisdom for Catholic Adolescents

Approaches to Infertility
Fertile means being able to get pregnant. Infertile means that
a couple cannot get pregnant despite their efforts to do so. Infertility
affects about 10% of married couples and can be caused by medical
problems of either the wife or the husband, usually the wife.
Couples should generally not go through involved, expensive
infertility testing until they have tried to become pregnant with NFP
for at least one year. To do this, the couple times their sexual activity
to correspond with when the woman ovulates (releases a fresh egg).
The treatment for infertility depends on the cause. Some
treatments, such as natural family planning, are very simple. Others
involve complicated, expensive medical procedures. For example,
some types of surgery can cure certain problems of the uterus. Other
methods manipulate eggs, sperm or developing embryos. The egg and
sperm may be taken from the parents who are going to raise the child
or the egg or sperm may be taken from friends or strangers.
Sometimes a human embryo is placed inside the womb of the woman
who will be raising the child, or it can be placed inside the womb of
another woman, a surrogate mother, who gives birth to the couples
child. Sometimes processes are used which can lead to the formation
of more than the desired number of embryos. In these cases extra
embryos may be frozen and stored for later use or killed. You can see
from these many situations why some people consider some of the
treatments of infertility disturbing and gruesome. Most infertility
treatments are expensive and most are not paid for by insurance.
Moral Dilemmas
Infertility is too big of an issue for us to discuss in detail, but the
student should be aware that some infertility treatments are seriously
immoral and are, therefore, against Church teaching. Procedures that
assist nature and allow the parents bodies to work normally are
generally acceptable, whereas those which conflict with nature are
not. Procedures which require complex medical procedures are
particularly worrisome as a group, but some are fine. New methods
are being developed all the time. Most of the methods rejected by the
Church put a child at risk, often with little risk to the parents. Of
course, the opposite should be true. The adults, who make the

Approaches to Infertility


decisions, should take the risks, not babies. That is why adoption is
such a marvelous option for infertile couples.
The following are some of the moral issues associated with
infertility treatments and the Catholic position on them.

Many methods require either the husband or a sperm donor

to provide sperm by masturbation. Sometimes the physicians
office even supplies pornography for this. Masturbation is
always immoral. However, it is moral to collect sperm after
sexual intercourse between a married couple.
Some methods may cause damage to the baby. Should the
baby then be killed? How much damage or potential damage
should be allowed? The Catholic view, of course, is that the
baby should never be killed.
Some methods use eggs or sperm from people other than the
parents, so that the child is not related by blood to one or both
parents. These are always immoral.
Some methods require storing frozen embryos or killing extra
embryos produced by the procedure. These are always
One method, called Selective reduction of multi-fetal
pregnancy, is a delicate-sounding procedure that is used to
kill extra babies in the womb when infertility treatments lead
to more embryos than the couple desires (which usually
means more than one or two). It is common knowledge that
when there are more than two (twin) embryos in the womb
there is a greater risk of medical complications. For this
reason, infertility doctors who create such dilemmas are
usually quick to recommend that all but one or two embryos
be killed. To do this the physician inserts a needle into the
womb. Using ultrasound guidance, he then pokes the needle
into the heart of a randomly chosen extra baby and squirts
potassium chloride into his or her heart, killing the child. The
Church, obviously, condemns this horrific procedure.
Some infertile couples develop an emotional problem in
which they become obsessed with a desire for blood-related
offspring. Unfortunately, the ready availability of infertility


Sexual Wisdom for Catholic Adolescents

treatments (which are a profitable business) promotes such

thinking. Many couples become so obsessed that they will
stop at nothing to have their own child, all the while failing
to explore the adoption option. This is not to say that the large
number of infertility clinics is regrettable, but only to point
out one down-side of the business.
A great moral concern is the unknown mental effects that
some of these procedures may have on the children thus
created. Each child is unique. There are probably some
children who might not be deeply affected by the thought that
they had a surrogate mother or a sperm donor for a parent.
But there are those who would be. The problem is that no one
can know beforehand the effects on each child and, again, this
places all the risk on the child. When parents are homosexuals
the psychological risk is worse. Not only must the child deal
with the questions about how he or she came to be, but he or
she must also cope with the odd nature of homosexuality.
Both surrogate parenting and homosexual adoption are
morally illicit.

Adoption: This is a marvelous alternative to abortion and to immoral

treatments of infertility. Adoption solves an existing problem without
creating a new one. With adoption, the wonderful difference is that
the parents take the risks, not the child. The child goes from an
orphanage or foster home into a more stable and natural family
environment. The parents deal with whatever spiritual, emotional, or
physical problems the orphan has gotten from his or her rocky start in
On the issue of adoption, I might add that it is not just infertile
couples who can help orphans. Christ said: Whatsoever you do to the
least of my brethren that you do unto me." Orphans certainly qualify
as the least of our brethren. Notice that Christ did not say:
"Whatsoever you do to the least of my brethren . . . only if you are
infertile." Therefore, Catholic families should seriously consider
adopting at least one orphan. Are there Catholic families who could
not take in one more child? It is sad to consider that there are children
left for homosexual couples to adopt. If each Catholic family could
just take in one orphan . . . what a different world this would be.

Approaches to Infertility


People often assume that families with more than two or three
children are Catholic. What if people assumed that a family was
Catholic because the parents had adopted one or more children . . .
what a different world this would be.
A Prayer of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta (1910-1997 AD)
People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered; Forgive
them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives; Be
kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true
enemies; Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you; Be honest and
frank anyway.
What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;
Build anyway.
The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow; Do good
Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough; Give
the world the best you've got anyway.
You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God: It was never
between you and them anyway.

Lesson 11
The Greatest Falsehood about Sexuality

Say a prayer before the lesson.

Falsehood: People, especially men, have specific, genital, sexual
This falsehood is the primary subject of my book, Sexual
Wisdom. I shall refer to it here as there as the Needs
Misconception. I believe this is the most important faleshood about
sexuality today and the most common attitude behind most types of
sexual abuse. We will greatly limit our discussion of it in this course
but teens should be familiar with the general idea.
The Needs Misconception asserts that men need to climax, need
to fulfill fantasies, or need to have sex frequently, or in certain
positions. It is the lie that is most often used to justify sexual
misbehavior. For example, a patient complains that her boyfriend
demands that they have sex every day. She doesnt want to, but he
says that he needs to. She agrees to sex every day because of his
needs, but she feels used for doing so: those who accept this
falsehood justify premarital and extramarital sex because one has
needs. They even justify sex with a prostitute if it is to fulfill a
To understand this falsehood better, let us point out the difference
between a need and a desire. For example, we need food and sleep. If

The Greatest Misconception


we do not get enough of either of them, something bad happens: we

get sick and die. Also, there are certain things that chil-dren need for
them to develop normally. If a child is not nurtured and given loving
attention something bad happens: he develops emotional problems.
Children need loving attention.
The difference between a need and a desire is that if one is
deprived of a need something bad happens. But if one is deprived of a
desire one may be unhappy or frustrated but not hurt. For example, if
a woman strongly desires chocolate covered raisins and cannot have
them, she may be frustrated, but she will get over it. Nothing truly bad
The fact is that there are no specific sexual needs. There are no
health or emotional problems from not having sex. In fact, sexual
abstinence (not having sex) is used to treat some sexual problems.
Not having sex helps some people overcome sexual problems. The
worst effects of not having sex are frustration and wet dreams (a
natural event). Wet dreams usually dont happen to men who have
sex regularly, but they are not associated with any physical, mental or
spiritual problem.
Many celibates (priests, monks, nuns, widows, and widowers) are
very holy, loving, together, people. Clearly, many people who are
not sexually active are not lacking anything fundamental to their
being. Nothing bad happens to them from being abstinent.
We all have sexual desires that can be particularly strong when
we are bored, lonely, depressed or otherwise off our game, but there
is no such thing as a specific genital sexual need.
It is important to clarify that people do have general sexual needs.
An example of this is what is referred to as the marital debt.
Spouses do owe each other sexual intercourse at regular intervals.
They also have an obligation to kiss, hug, caress and hold hands
regularly both inside and outside the bedroom. Part of the marriage
vow means that each will ensure that the other is not sexual starved
and that they will meet the general sexual needs of the other.
The Needs Misconception, based on the idea that people have
specific sexual needs, causes serious trouble in three ways:
1) The idea that people need sex introduces inequality and an
imbalance into relationships and is the most common cause of


Sexual Wisdom for Catholic Adolescents

the abuse of sex in society today. It gives men unwarranted
power and control over women, as in our earlier example of
the girlfriend who had sex with her boyfriend because he
thought needed to. Or consider a man who feels that he
needs sex in a particular position. His wife doesnt want
to, but his is a need and hers is only a want. How can a
woman deny her spouse something that he needs?
Imagine two people at a table on which sits a deliciouslooking chocolate-fudge brownie. Now imagine the same
situation, except that the brownie has been replaced by a stalk
of broccoli. Since the first case involves an intense pleasure, it
is likely to lead to one person taking advantage of the other.
How desirable and convenient it would be if one person can
convince the other that he or she has a need for that brownie,
so as to get more than one's fair share. It would be even better
to convince oneself of this need, in order to avoid feeling
guilty for being selfish about the brownie. This is what
happens with sex. When one person is convinced that he has a
need the other person gets taken advantage of.
A good Christian man told me that he can not go longer
than one month without having sex with his wife. But what if
his wife wishes to go a bit longer than a month without sex?
What if she wants to wait one more week (due to illness,
fatigue, or other unusual circumstances)? Is it rape if he
demands sex with her? He said that it cant be rape if its his
own wife!! He is wrong!
2) The Needs Misconception misdirects people from the most
basic goal of sex. The goal of sex should be to bring spouses
closer togetherto enrich or enhance a relationshipwhether
through holding hands, having intercourse or showing affecttion in other ways. But when one person is perceived as
having a need, the goal becomes fulfilling that need. If
fulfilling the need conflicts with the spouses wishes the result
is abuse, most commonly of the woman.
There are five main reasons people have sex.
1. To unite the couple in love: to bring the couple together

The Greatest Misconception



spiritually, emotionally and physically. To bind the couple

to each other and to God.
To procreate (to make babies), if it is in Gods plan.
To feel good: to enjoy physical pleasure and to bring
physical pleasure to ones spouse.
To reduce stress (climaxing does temporarily reduce
To satisfy sexual desire: to keep ones spouse from
thinking about having sex with others. Each spouse should
learn how often the other spouse wants to have sex and
how often is good for both of them. That is part of what
the I do of the wedding vow means.

The most important of these reasons is to join together in

love, to enrich, to validate a relationship*. Love, and thereby

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church (1993): (Numbers refer to paragraph
1643. Conjugal love involves a totality, in which all the elements of the person enter
appeal of the body and instinct, power of feeling and affectivity, aspiration of the spirit
and of will. It aims at a deeply personal unity, a unity that, beyond union in one flesh,
leads to forming one heart and soul; it demands indissolubility and faithfulness in
definitive mutual giving; and it is open to fertility. In a word it is a question of the normal
characteristics of all natural conjugal love, but with a new significance which not only
purifies and strengthens them, but raises them to the extent of making them the
expression of specifically Christian values
2332. Sexuality affects all aspects of the human person in the unity of his body and soul.
It especially concerns affectivity, the capacity to love and to procreate, and in a more
general way the aptitude for forming bonds of communion with others.
2360. Sexuality is ordered to the conjugal love of man and woman. In marriage the
physical intimacy of the spouses becomes a sign and pledge of spiritual communion.
Marriage bonds between baptized persons are sanctified by the sacrament.
From the Pontifical Council for the Familys The Truth and Meaning of Human
Sexuality: Guidelines for Education within the Family (1995):
11. Human sexuality is thus a good, part of that created gift which God saw as being
very good, when he created the human person in his image and likeness, and male and
female he created them (Genesis 1:27). Insofar as it is a way of relating and being open


Sexual Wisdom for Catholic Adolescents

holiness, is the most important aspect of any part of our lives,
including sexuality. All sex must be within a moral, loving
context. By maintaining love as the most important priority of
our sex lives we unite ourselves to Gods will and we abandon
ourselves to Him.
The primary goal of each sexual interaction is to express
love, not to fulfill a need. When sex is focused on fulfilling a
need, it steers the relationship in an unholy, unhealthy
3) The Needs Misconception is the reason why many people,
especially men, have addictive attitudes about sex. The need
for sex is like the alcoholics need for a drink. Male sexual
addiction has always existed, but it is now far more accepted
than ever. People now tend to accept that Boys will be boys,
that Men cannot control themselves, or that Men are
As with other addictions, the idea that one needs sex is
enslaving. It enslaves us to our passions. With it, true sexual
freedom is impossible. As with other addictions, many men
feel trapped by their desires, in this case for lust. A popular
radio talk show host told his listeners one day that he has two
heads, one above his waist and one below it. He said that the
one above his waist cant control the one below. What a sad
statement for this confused and unhappy man to make in front
of his many listeners: announcing to the world that he is a
slave to lust. Unfortunately, this idea is now very common.
The Needs Misconception makes sex a god to which one
goes to fulfill ones most basic needs. With it, sex, not God,
takes center stage in ones life. That is why so many men, in
particular, are lost in sexual darkness. They are trying to meet
what they wrongly think is a basic need. Since the need
must be met, all else becomes secondary. They are overcome
with the thought of fulfilling their need, whether through
pornography, sex with a prostitute or a stranger, risking STDs

to others, sexuality has love as its intrinsic end, more precisely, love as donation and
acceptance, love as giving and receiving.

The Greatest Misconception


or unwanted pregnancies, otherwise abusing or neglecting a

loved one, or even through rape.
Pope Benedict XVI addressed the Needs Misconception during
World Youth Day 2008. Referring to the other god of possessive
love he said:
Authentic love is obviously something good. Without it, life
would hardly be worth living. It fulfills our deepest need, and
when we love, we become most fully ourselves, most fully
human. But how easily it can be made into a false god! People
often think they are being loving when actually they are being
possessive or manipulative. People sometimes treat others as
objects to satisfy their own needs rather than as persons to be
loved and cherished. How easy it is to be deceived by the many
voices in our society that advocate a permissive approach to
sexuality, without regard for modesty, self-respect or the moral
values that bring quality to human relationships! This is worship
of a false god. Instead of bringing life, it brings death.
Some say that all sin is based on lies. This Needs Misconception
is the lie that leads to much sexual sin. It is no coincidence that the
Needs Misconception directly conflicts with Christian mentality,
which is to try to meet the genuine needs of others, not ones own
false needs.
The Needs Misconception is an old idea (which can be found in
writings that are over 1000 years old) but it has been given a great
boost in the last few decades. During this time the Sexual Revolution
has supported contraceptives, pornography, masturbation, promiscuity, prostitution, and homosexuality. Each of these in its own way
supports the idea that men have specific sexual needs that must be
met, and are geared toward the fulfillment of these contrived needs.
Hence the Needs Misconception is expressed more boldly, frequently
and passionately the further we get into this revolution. The great
irony is that the Sexual Revolution gave us just the opposite of what it
promised. It promised sexual freedom, but delivered sexual
enslavement to so-called needs.


Sexual Wisdom for Catholic Adolescents

Sexual Addiction and Sexual Abuse

A person can be addicted to just about anything: sex, alcohol,
drugs, food, cigarettes, gambling, shopping, TV, work, exercise, etc.
Addictions are unhealthy, behavior patterns that a person uses to cope
with stress even though the behavior is likely to cause harm to the
addict or others.
Addicts find false comfort in their addiction. Instead of offering
the addict the peace he is looking forthe peace that only God can
givethe addiction creates trouble in the addicts life and in the lives
of those around him. We have already discussed many forms of
sexual abuse that relate to the Needs Misconception, including
premarital sex, sexual abuse within marriage, pornography,
prostitution, and sex without love. We will now discuss other sexual
problems that relate directly or indirectly to the Needs Misconception.
Sexual Addiction:
Any person can act as an addict at times without being one.
Many people get drunk on an irregular basis but are not alcoholics.
People can have the sexually addictive attitudes to some degreethey
can accept the Needs Misconception to some degreewithout being
considered a sexual addict. But sexual addiction does exist. Some
people are unable to control their sexual urges to such a degree that
sex creates continual trouble in their lives. Such behaviors can include
having sex with many partners, including sex with strangers, paying
for prostitutes or phone sex compulsively, constantly seeking
pornography via the Internet, magazines or movies, or compulsive
It is beyond the scope of this course to address fully what you
should do if you are developing a tendency in any of these areas. The
following suggestions will help put a person on the right path.

Be sure to confess every occurrence of sexual sin when you

go to Confession. If the behavior continues, find a priest who
can act as a spiritual advisor and see him each week for faceto-face Confession.
Increase your prayer life and attend Mass more frequently.

Sexual Addiction and Sexual Abuse


Discuss your problem with your parents so that they can help
you with it.
Either you or your parents may wish read Sexual Wisdom,
which covers the issue more fully.

Sexual Harassment: When a person makes sexual advances (physical,

written or verbal) to or requests sexual favors from someone who
does not want to receive such attention. Sexual harassment in the
workplace is a crime. It is behavior that affects an individual's
ability to do his or her job or creates a work environment that is
unpleasant or upsetting. The victim does not have to be the person
who is the main focus of the offensive behavior. Anyone affected
by it can be considered a victim. Common examples are:
inappropriate touching, telling off-color jokes, or sending vulgar
pictures via email.
Sexual Abuse or Molestation: This is a level beyond harassment,
when one person touches another sexually in a manner that is
inappropriate or unwanted. This is sometimes associated with
intimidation or threats, and is especially serious when an adult
touches a child in inappropriate ways. In that case it is called
child molestation, a most serious form of child abuse and a
terrible crime. It may cause serious injury or emotional trauma to
children, and may lead to lifelong problems. Victims of child
molestation should seek professional help. Child molesters are
often addicted to pornography.
Domestic Violence: Physical violence between a dating or married
couple. It is important to know that once a woman is beaten by a
husband or boyfriend she is at risk for being beaten again, or
killed, by the same man or a future boyfriend or husband. Despite
what might seem to be obvious warning signs, many women do
not foresee the problem. Often such women have suffered some
kind of abuse as a child. The warning signs, as you would expect,
are similar to those for date rape (discussed later in this lesson).


Sexual Wisdom for Catholic Adolescents

Common Features of Men Involved in Domestic Violence:
Consistently disrespectful of the woman, family members or
Easily angered
Not religious
Use alcohol or drugs
Have demanding, rude or impulsive nature
Look at pornography
Pressure their girlfriend(s) to have sex before marriage
Use vulgar language

Rape: A man forcing a woman to have sex with him against her will.
Rape may occur under many circumstances. In cases where a
woman is completely dominated by the man, rape is a horrific
crime, and one in which the woman may rightly fear for her
life. A most serious kind of rape is when a stranger forces
himself on a woman in an isolated place. It is a situation over
which the woman usually has no control. Women who are
raped in this way may be murdered afterward and, if not, may
suffer lifelong emotional problems. Rape often seriously
damages the womans ability to relate to men.
Prostitutes are at particular risk for being violently raped, or
raped and then murdered.
Most rapes occur by a man the woman knows. Women at
highest risk for rape are those under 20, those who drink too
much, and those who have had sex with boyfriends from a
young age. A woman is far more likely to get raped if she
herself is drunk.
Rapists vary greatly in their attributes. Some come from
troubled childhoods, some are obviously nasty, belligerent
fellows, some are athletic and charming; and others are nonathletic, quiet and shy. Many have been unable to develop
normal relationships with women. Many have alcohol or drug
problems, are criminals and are addicted to pornography.
Some rapists cruise singles bars. Most rapes are done by men
under 25 years of age who grew up in poor neighborhoods.
Feminists have developed a saying that rape is about power
and control and not about sex. This is wrong. Feminism is

Sexual Addiction and Sexual Abuse


about power and control. Rape is about sex and violence, and
can also be about power, control, stress, depression, anger,
chemical dependency, insecurity, narcissism, childhood
trauma or neglect, etc.
Date rape is used to denote when a woman is raped by her
date. The common profile of a date rapist is a verbally
abusive, angry, controlling, jealous man who is prone to
violence and who drinks too much or uses drugs. There are a
number of date rape drugs that a man may put in a womans
drink to intoxicate her, then rape her while she is passed out.
At social gatherings, women should never leave a drink
Consensual sex: This means that two people have agreed to
have sex with each other, as opposed to rape, in which one
does not agree.

Because of the great increase in sexual promiscuity during the

Sexual Revolution, there is now much confusion as to what rape
means. Sometimes it is unclear how much of a crime, if any, has
been committed. Does a woman have to agree to every stage of
undress and to every sexual act? For married couples, the
wedding vows mark the time when men and women give consent
for intimate sexual acts. By saying a public I do the couple
clearly agrees to undressing together and to engage in intimate
sexual acts. With premarital sex, it can be much less obvious
when each person agrees to what.
In the more common, less serious case of rape the woman has
some control over what happens and, in fact, may be partly to
blame. Women often make choices that seriously increase their
chances of getting raped. While this is an unpopular idea among
feminists, it is the reality. For example, there was a muchpublicized case of a hotel receptionist accusing a famous
professional athlete of rape. She flirted with the athlete, a married
man, when she met him at the check-in counter of a hotel, and
then accepted his invitation to meet at his room late that night.
Alone, and at the set time, she knocked on his door. She knew that
by doing this she sent the message that she was willing to have
sex with him. They had sex and she later called it rape. He says


Sexual Wisdom for Catholic Adolescents

it was consensual. This is clearly very different from the most
serious rape scenario and, while justice may demand that he repay
a debt to society, she clearly is partly to blame for whatever
happened that night.
Are women who dress provocatively partly to blame when
they are raped? Again, in some cases, the answer has to be at least
a conditional yes. There are consequences to actions. How one
dresses sends messages to others. A woman who dresses
seductively is sending a seductive message. She wants to arouse
and attract men, even though she is more likely to attract the
wrong kind of man. The reality is that some men, in part as a
response to a womans clothing (or lack of clothing), will get
ideas that involve sexual abuse of the woman he is staring at. By
seeing a woman who is seductively dressed, a man is more likely
to develop such ideas and to act on them, the extreme of which is

Incest: sex within a family. Usually, this occurs when a father forces
himself sexually on his daughter or an uncle forces himself on a
niece. It is an unconscionable sin and a crime.
Polygamy: The practice in which a man marries more than one
woman. This is against Catholic teaching and against the law.
The Hail Mary
Hail Mary, full of grace! The Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou among women,
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Lesson 12
Homosexuality and Other Sexual Deviations

Say a prayer before the lesson.

Normal Sexual Orientation:
Heterosexual: a person who is mostly attracted to those of the
opposite sex.
Abnormal Sexual Orientations:
Bisexual: a person who has no strong preference for either sex.
Homosexual: a person who is mostly attracted to those of the
same sex.
(Note: About 1-3% of people are considered homosexual and
there are far fewer bisexuals than homosexuals.)
Sexual deviancy has become a very controversial issue in the past
few decades. In some ways the truth about sexual deviancy is as
obvious as the nose on ones face. As the quotes from Genesis in our
first lesson point out, men and women naturally complement one
another. From the sexual standpoint, the male and female sexual
organs fit each other like a hand in a glove. Consider the ever popular
Lego toys. The top and bottom of each Lego piece complement each
other perfectly. Homosexuality is like trying to turn a Lego piece
upside down and attach it to another. It doesnt work.


Sexual Wisdom for Catholic Adolescents

In other ways, however, the issue of sexual deviancy is more

complex. One of the most complicated aspects is the question of what
sexually arouses someone, or to put it another way: what is a sexual
orientation? There are many examples of how people confuse men
with women. Female impersonators can be most convincing. Or, as
another example, when I taught chastity to adolescents I showed them
a particular photograph (frontal view) of a person in unisex clothes.
To their frustration, they were unable to identify the person's gender.
They did acknowledge, however, that if the person was of the
opposite sex, then he or she was reasonably attractive. It is unclear
what potential each of us has for becoming sexually aroused by
persons of the same sex.
People may even be aroused by objects that are not usually
thought of as sexual. For example, there is a video that lasts about two
minutes and shows nothing more than two hands peeling an orange,
and yet it is an unmistakably sensuous movie. One counselor told me
that this film brought back such vivid memories of her own childhood
sexual abuse that she had to leave the room before the video ended.
She could not sit through a movie of two hands peeling an orange due
to the memories it brought up! Clearly, humans can be sexually
aroused by a wide variety of stimuli.
This issue is complex and remains, at the end of the day, a great
mystery. Let us leave it with the point that any normal person may
have occasional unusual thoughts or dreams. They may even have
sexual thoughts about people of the same sex, or about objects
(oranges or other odd things).
Unfortunately, our society has missed the boat on the issue of
sexual deviations in a most dramatic and tragic way. Many people
have become too focused on experimenting with what arouses them
and trying to feel comfortable with whatever sexually stimulates
them, whether deviant or normal. In responding to sexual stimuli we
should be far more focused on making choices true to our nature
which maintain our dignity and follow Gods will than trying to fit a
label, such as homosexual or exhibitionist.
We all need to learn how to restrain ourselves sexually throughout
our lives. For example, any time we are attracted to a person, we have
to restrain ourselves to some degree. We cannot kiss or touch anyone
we want to. While we may develop sexual feelings from certain



experiences, including some that may be quite strange, giving in to

most of them would lead to very undesirable outcomes and is sinful.
Most people have imaginative thoughts, fantasies and dreams about
sex (heterosexual or otherwise) and, while these are natural, they are
not worth focusing on.
For example, if a man becomes sexually aroused while playing
with a child, he has several options. The normal response is to accept
that he has become aroused yet carry on with the child, allowing the
state of arousal to pass, without dwelling on it and without it
becoming an issue. This is the healthy option. Alternatively, he can
react with abhorrence and guilt and may, from that point on, avoid
associating with children for fear of another episodean unnecessary
overreaction. Another unhealthy response would be for him to
consider this arousal a sign that he has an orientation toward
children, and that he has a "need" which can only be satisfied by
them. This attitude allows for the possibility of having sexual
experiences with this child, or others, to explore his sexuality and
learn to feel more comfortable with who he really is. Obviously,
this is a terrible idea and a horrible sin.
Lesbianism or female homosexuality is much less common and
less studied than male homosexuality. For the sake of simplicity, then,
I will restrict my comments to male homosexuality.
Until the 1970s, male homosexuality was considered a sexual
deviation or perversion. Then, homosexuality became reclassified
from deviant to normal by political activists in the medical field. This
decision was not based on new scientific knowledge but simply on
politics. Homosexuality is objectively disordered which means that
it is abnormal. As with any other abnormality it is not a sin to have
the condition, but it is always a sin to engage in homosexual acts.
Homosexuals have sought to distance themselves from their
deviancy by creating the term gay. This term is meaningless. The
excuse for introducing it was that homosexuality supposedly denoted
more than an orientation and had cultural, social and lifestyle
implications; and the term gay was meant to reflect this broad view
of homosexuality. Thirty years later homosexuals continue to argue
with each other about what those implications are, without a clear


Sexual Wisdom for Catholic Adolescents

answer. The only thing gay clearly means is that the person is
homosexual. This is much like the case of redefining pregnancy, or
replacing the word abortion with the awkward and misleading term
termination of pregnancy. These are all cases of political activists
successfully manipulating popular opinion. Redefining words and
creating unnecessary new words or phrases are standard propaganda
After 20 years of studying the issue, the only reason I can find
that people use the term gay is to avoid the term homosexual.
Homosexual leaders argue endlessly among themselves about
whether their lifestyle is inherently promiscuous, is inherently
associated with anonymous sexual encounters (having sex with a
complete stranger), is only for young men, or is particularly
associated with an emphasis on physical appearances, the arts or,
more generally, the sensual aspects of life. Because it has no clear
definition and because there is no advantage to using it, we will not
use the term gay and simply stick with the term homosexual.
From this discussion it follows that there is no one type of
homosexual. There is as much variety among homosexuals as among
heterosexuals. However, due to the nature of homosexuality there are
certain traits common among those involved in it. The student should
be aware, however, that these traits may not apply to any one
homosexual or homosexual couple.

Homosexuals typically participate in sexual acts which most

people find disgusting. For example, anal intercourse, or what
some call the homosexual act, is unhealthy, unnatural, and,
extremely unappealing to most people.
o Anal sex is medically unhealthy: Anal sex is associated
with a long list of health problems including anal fissures
(cracks in the skin that often bleed), incontinence (leakage
of stool due to a loss of tone in the muscles which
surround the anus), anal cancer and a number of serious
infections. This is true even among homosexual couples
who have never had sex with anyone else. In contrast,
regular sex between spouses has no unhealthy



o Anal sex is biologically unnatural: Anal sex is on the level

of drinking through one's nose. Given adequate
preparation it can be done, but it is hardly nature's way.
For example, there is no natural lubrication with anal sex
and so artificial lubricants must be used. Also, the penis is
too large to put into the anus without an unusual amount
of preparation. While rare, sporadic examples of
homosexual behaviors occur, homosexuality (a persistent orientation that is solely toward the same sex) has not
been observed among animals in nature.
o According to information provided by homosexuals
themselves, many perform acts that are even more
offensive than anal intercourse. We will not discuss these
but any act that is against the dignity of the human person
is immoral and sinful.
Many homosexuals are highly promiscuous. Sexual Wisdom
reviews the overwhelming evidence for this. One study, for
example, showed that 28% of homosexuals have had sex with
over a thousand partners. Such promiscuity is rare among
heterosexuals. Homosexual acts, like contraceptives, break the
connection between intimate sexual acts and the risk of
getting pregnant. This frees people to fulfill their needs
promiscuously, and so it is no surprise to find that most
homosexuals have sex with far more people than most
The homosexual community and most homosexual
individuals are unable to accept abstinence as the obvious
response to the HIV epidemic. Their outright rejection of
sexual abstinence has led to the unnecessary deaths of many,
many thousands of homosexuals. Even homosexual leaders
acknowledge that they could have stopped the HIV epidemic
through abstinence, but opted not to.
o Anyone willing to entrust his or her life to a balloon
(condom) has a serious mental problem. This is what most
homosexual political leaders continue to advise and what
most homosexuals continue to do.


Sexual Wisdom for Catholic Adolescents

These attributes support to the idea that sexually addictive attitudes

are widespread among homosexuals.
Anal Sex
Anal sex is difficult to talk about because it is so offensive. But
because it is so common among homosexuals and so harmful we must
discuss it. It is a subject that needs to come out of the closet. One
reason that this discussion is important is because if any one sexual
act is abnormal by definition then key falsehoods of the Sexual
Revolution are called into question (such as, that no one should care
about what people do in the privacy of their own homes, that any
sexual act is okay as long as it involves two consenting adults, and
that no one has the right to tell another what they can and cannot do).
Because anal sex is unhealthy, unnatural, against the dignity of the
human person, against human nature, lowers a persons self-respect,
is highly offensive, and immoral, it is rightly considered abnormal
and all of the basic assumptions of the Sexual Revolution are
therefore mistaken. We will discuss more about this in the next
The great irony is that while anal sex is a crucial issue to bring out
of the closet, neither side will discuss it. Conservatives won't discuss
it because it is so distasteful. Liberals wont discuss it because they
want to avoid associating this repulsive act with homosexuality.
Do sexual deviations such as homosexuality have a genetic cause?
Many people have been deceived into thinking that homosexuals
are born that way, and therefore should be considered normal. This is
totally against our scientific knowledge. The truth is that we are
formed by nature (our genes or chromosomes, our heredity) and
nurture (the environment in which we grew up). Everything about us
has some component of each. While science has yet to show a genetic
basis, it is assumed by experts on both sides of the aisle that there
may be some genetic element in some cases. The same, of course,
may be true for depression, alcoholism or other sexual deviations but
that doesnt make these normal or healthy either. Experts on both
sides of the argument now agree that homosexuality is caused by
some combination of genetic, social, psychological, cultural and
physiological factors. Scientists have tried for decades to find a



homosexual gene and have failed. It does not exist.

Homosexual political leaders have conducted a propaganda
campaign to convince gullible people that homosexuality is normal.
This campaign has been successfully conducted over decades through
the media, various government institutions, the medical profession
and teachers. The idea that homosexuality is normal is now widely
accepted by those who have either not kept up with scientific
knowledge or choose to ignore what science tells us.
Homosexual political leaders refuse to acknowledge the success
of thousands of people who, through ex-homosexual ministries and
counseling, have changed from homosexuality to heterosexuality,
even when these people show up in large numbers to protest scientific
meetings. The chromosomes in these people did not change, but their
sexual interests and behaviors did.
Homosexuality in Other Cultures
Homosexual political leaders also try to justify homosexuality as
normal by noting that it is found in many cultures. This is true.
However, most cultures also have prostitution, depression,
alcoholism, pyromania and all sorts of other mental problems. It is
foolish to suggest that just because a condition is found in various
cultures it is normal.
Homosexuality is an abnormality, not a sin.
After twenty years of searching, I have not found one argument,
based on reason, that would lead a rational person to believe that
homosexual behavior is normal, healthy, natural, or holy. There is not
one argument from medicine, biology, sociology, anthropology or any
other area that would lead one to consider it much different from the
other sexual perversions. If you consider the arguments used to
defend homosexuality and apply them to the other sexual deviations
you will find out how true this is.
I had a typical exchange along this line with the lead editor of a
national science magazine who published an article supporting the
idea that homosexuality is normal. I wrote him to show the error of
each of the four assertions he used to defend his point. In response to
my usual calm, charming email(!!), he wrote me a short, angry note
that did not respond to any of my points and simply labeled me a


Sexual Wisdom for Catholic Adolescents

bigot for ignoring the overwhelming evidence that supported his

position. Then he directed me with the strongest emotion never to
write him again. His response included no information about the
overwhelming evidence, which, of course, does not exist.
There is widespread intolerance today of those who think that
homosexuality is abnormal, despite the fact that it is an entirely
justifiable, valid opinion based on reason and facts. The response of
liberals to this invariably relies on emotion. Often, they even go so far
as to say that to think homosexuality is abnormal means that you hate
themhate being the absolute worst emotion. They change the whole
discussion from one of thought to one of emotion. And why would
anyone hate a homosexual anyway? People dont hate those with
other sexual problems. Over two decades I have yet to find anyone
able to defend homosexual acts or homosexual promiscuity with an
intelligent defense. The only liberals who I have spoken to about this
who have kept control over their emotions have agreed that anal
intercourse is unhealthy and offensive.
Pope John Paul II began his much loved encyclical Faith and
Reason (1998) with the words: Faith and reason are like two wings
on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth . . .
Without the strong wing of reason the human spirit could not rise, but
rather would be left flopping around on the ground flapping one wing.
The Catholic Churchs teachings on morality is based on faith and
reason. Moral teachings of the Church must reflect sound logic,
scientific fact, common sense, statistical knowledge, and an
understanding of the human mind and world history. Anyone familiar
with Church teachings or Church history knows how steadfastly the
Church has promoted academic study in all areas. It has provided
consistent leadership in the development of universities throughout
the world from their start. The issue of homosexuality is a remarkable
demonstration of how the Church grasps complex issues. Sad to say,
it is also a good example of how often people criticize Church
teachings without bothering to find out the reasons behind them.
Our Church clearly teaches that to be homosexual is not a sin, any
more than being depressed or being obsessive compulsive is. But
those with a predominantly homosexual gender orientation, as with
the rest of us, must strive for sexual purity; and all homosexual acts
are sinful.



Students who are interested in the issue of homosexuality should

read the Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Pastoral
Care of Homosexual Persons by the Congregation for the Doctrine of
the Faith (1986). The Church also has an extraordinary ministry for
homosexuals called Courage ( Catholics struggling with this issue should contact Courage and should read the
excellent books written by its founder, Fr. John Harvey.
Until quite recently, the most people agreed that homosexuality is
abnormal. Nowadays, if you hold to this view you may be called a
homophobe by those who think homosexuality is normal. This is
inappropriate name-calling, but homophobia does exist.
A homophobe is one who is fearful of homosexuals. Homophobes
worry that they may not be normal because they have had
homosexual thoughts. When homophobes see homosexuals it reminds
them of the homosexual thoughts they have had and of their worries
about being homosexual. Because of this, some homophobes become
angry around homosexuals and may attack them or say mean things to
them. Homophobes have gone so far as to murder homosexuals.
Homosexual leaders often call anyone who thinks that
homosexuality is abnormal a homophobe. This is nonsense, but there
is no excuse for prejudice against homosexuals. Prejudice is an
irrational stereotype and is never acceptable. Prejudice is a leading
cause of disrespect, contempt and terrible inhumanity throughout
history, whether due to a persons race, language, ethnicity, skin
color, religion, place of residence or something else. Prejudice is
wrong in any form, including prejudice against homosexuals.
Homosexuals have a problem, but they are in no way lesser
persons than those without the problemno more than an
exhibitionist, a pyromaniac or an alcoholic. Homosexuals and other
sexual deviants must always be treated with the respect and dignity
accorded to all persons. Prejudice in any form is based on ignorance
and irrationality. However, it is not prejudice to hold to the truth
about homosexuality: that it is abnormal, that people should never
engage in homosexual acts, that homosexuals should not marry each
other, that homosexual couples should not adopt children, etc. By
respecting the truth one respects the person.


Sexual Wisdom for Catholic Adolescents

Other Sexual Deviations: As with homosexuality, all of these are far

more common in men, as one would expect given that the Needs
Misconception generally applies to men. As with homosexuals, other
sexual deviants are not sinners for having the problem. It is not a sin
to be tempted. It is a sin to give in to disordered desires and,
especially, to act on them.

Voyeur: sexual abnormality in which one has a habit of

seeking sexual arousal from looking at sordid pictures, videos,
or movies or looking at live people in states of undress or who
are having sex
Exhibitionist: sexual abnormality in which one has a habit of
seeking sexual arousal from displaying ones own private
body parts to strangers
Fetish: sexual abnormality in which one has a habit of seeking
sexual arousal from the use of objects
Transvestite: sexual abnormality in which a man has a habit
of dressing in womens clothing for sexual arousal
Sexual Masochist: sexual abnormality in which one performs
sexual activities which are meant to cause physical pain to
Sexual Sadist: sexual abnormality in which one performs
sexual activities which are meant to cause physical pain to
Transsexual: sexual abnormality in which persons are genetically one gender, but feel that they are mentally the other
gender: a womans mind trapped in a mans body or the other
way around. Transsexuals sometimes take sex hormones or
have surgery to make themselves look more like the opposite
sex. Some people defend these treatments because some
transsexuals seem to be happier afterward. But what if a man
gets the idea that his left hand is the source of all the evil in
his life? He demands that a surgeon cuts off his left hand and
he seems to be happier after the surgery. Does the fact that he
appears happier make his original disturbed thought normal?
No, of course not. Is it likely that he really is happier and that



cutting off his hand really did solve his problems? No, not
likely at all. Most transsexuals are severely disturbed people.
Bestiality: sexual abnormality in which one has sex with
Pedophilia/Child Sexual Abuse: sexual abnormality in which
an adult performs sexual acts with children. This is an
abhorrence and a serious crime which often causes severe
mental problems for the child.
o Child Abuse Registries: a system to allow the government
to track sex offenders (child abusers and rapists)
o Megans Law: a series of laws in various states which
require that authorities publically list information about
sex offenders on web sites. The information reveals where
sex offenders live, what sex crimes they have committed
and other information.

The Priest Scandal or Sexual Abuse Scandal in the Catholic Church

In the past few years many cases of sexual scandal that involved
Catholic priests came to light. The cases uncovered were from as far
back in time as the 1970s. Over 90 percent of the cases involved
adolescent males or adult males, so it was primarily a scandal of
homosexuality. There were also some children involved. The
headlines declared that it was an epidemic of pedophilia (the abuse of
children) whereas the articles under those headlines showed that it
was actually a scandal of homosexuality (though, as one might have
predicted because of their bias, the newspapers and TV newscasters
never used the term homosexual.)
This homosexuality scandal was a natural and predictable result
of widespread dissent against church teaching (including denial of the
perverse nature of homosexuality) and a failure over the past decades
to follow traditional priestly practices. Since the Second Vatican
Council in the 1960s, dissent by Catholics from Church teaching
greatly increased, including the acceptance of homosexual behavior
for everyone including priests and religious. The dissenters made
many blunders but prominent among them was their failure to take
into account that sexually addictive attitudes are rampant among
homosexuals. Bad theology, bad philosophy, and bad psychology
combined to create terrible events.


Sexual Wisdom for Catholic Adolescents

While the anti-Catholic media had a field day in manipulating and

distorting the facts about the scandal, one must readily concede that
without the medias involvement much about the scandal would not
have been brought to light.
The scandal was really five scandals:
1. The sexual abuse of teenaged males, adult males and children
by priests, with the great majority being done by homosexual
2. The gross negligence among some Catholic bishops and
others responsible for managing those priests, once their sins
were known. Many of the priests involved in these horrible
acts were allowed to continue to do them, even after they had
been discovered, because their superior mishandled the
3. Scandalously biased anti-Catholic press coverage of events by
the media.
4. The barrage of thoughtless discussion about the scandal by
priests from the pulpit without consideration for the children
sitting in the pews. It is a terrible scandal to discuss such a
dreadful situation openly with children present.
5. The refusal of some Catholic press and many Church leaders
to discuss the fact that the scandal was one of homosexuality,
not pedophilia.
Although it is harder to get excited about a scandal involving
events from as far back as three decades, the fact is that scandalous
cases of sexual abuse did occur over those decades by many Catholic
priests. In his response to the scandal, Pope John Paul II used the
harshest sort of language. He said: There is no place in the priesthood and religious life for those who would harm the young. And,
The abuse which has caused this crisis is by every standard wrong
and rightly considered a crime by society; it is also an appalling sin in
the eyes of God. Pope Benedicts assessment was equally frank:
How much filth there is in the Church, even among those who, in the
priesthood, should belong entirely to Him (Jesus).
In defense of our priests, remember that the reported events in this
scandal occurred over decades. While priest should be held to a



higher standard, considering the relatively few cases that occurred in

any one year, priests are no more likely than others to be involved in
the homosexual abuse of teens. Therefore, the widespread call from
the media to end priestly celibacy as a response to the scandal makes
no sense, and simply demonstrates the anti-Catholic medias agenda.
Instead, the response should be to use greater caution in admitting
those with homosexual tendencies into the priesthood and for
seminaries to return to traditional Church teachings and practices.
Treatment of Homosexuals and Other Sexual Deviants
Therapy for homosexuality, pedophilia and other deviations often
works and is the same as for other sexual problems such as
heterosexual promiscuity. It mainly relies on individual counseling
directed at emotional and spiritual problems. Interestingly, the focus
of successful therapy is not on the deviant thoughts or behaviors, but
on resolving underlying factors such as poor family relationships,
how to better get along with others and depression. Even without
discussing sexual issues, homosexuals often respond to counseling
with fewer deviant thoughts and a greater ability to control their
behavior. As with other mental illnesses, therapy is not always
successful and often involves a long and difficult struggle.
Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel
St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle;
be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the Devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray,
and do Thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God,
thrust into Hell, Satan and all the other evil spirits,
who wander through the world, seeking the ruin of souls.

Lesson 13
Sexual Codependency

Say a prayer before the lesson.

Codependency is an unhealthy response to addiction (or
dependency). An example of alcoholic codependent behavior is
when someone who knows a person is an alcoholic, but urges the
person to drink anyway, or helps the alcoholic hide the alcoholism
from his or her physician.
Sexual codependence can occur on two levels. First, women can
be thought of as codependents when they tolerate male sexual
addiction. As with other addictions, this is often to avoid rocking the
boat, to remain in the addicts good graces, or to cover up the
addiction for some other gain. Codependents cant respond normally
to an addict because they lack maturity, insight, intelligence, selfconfidence, or emotional stability. Women codependents feel, as the
song says, that Without him I cant go on. They will do whatever
they must to keep their men happy and interested in them, even if it
means getting involved in some very strange circumstances. As with
other types of addictions, sexual codependents may be thought of as
being addicted to the addict. In this case, the drug of choice is a
person. They feel that they need a man like an alcoholic needs a
drink, and so will do whatever is necessary to have one.

Sexual Codependency


One woman told me that it is unnatural for women to abstain

from sexual intercourse with their boyfriends. Such an attitude, no
doubt, is music to the ears of irresponsible boyfriends. Crazy,
codependent attitudes such as this are possible only in a world of
easily available contraception and abortion. Without contraception, a
woman who had sex with each boyfriend would end up with the
confusing situation of having many children from different fathers.
The foolish idea that premarital sex is natural leads one to the absurd
position that artificial contraception allows sex to be more natural
that artificial contraception has finally delivered mankind from
thousands of years of unnaturalism.
Codependent women try to overlook the risks they take when they
have premarital sex. They make extreme efforts to look good for men.
Many women, including those who pose for pornography, have a
pathetic obsession with their looks to the neglect of their minds and
souls. For example, some women have so many surgeries performed,
such as breast augmentation, that it is hard to recognize them from
what they used to look like. In contrast, normal women place the
emphasis on virtue and bringing inner joy to others. As we read in the
Sirach 26:1-4, 13-18
Happy the husband of a good wife, twice-lengthened are his
days; a worthy wife brings joy to her husband, peaceful and full is
his life. A good wife is a generous gift bestowed upon him who
fears the Lord; be he rich or poor, his heart is content, and a smile
is ever on his face. . . . A gracious wife delights her husband, her
thoughtfulness puts flesh on his bones; a gift from the Lord is her
governed speech, and her firm virtue is of surpassing worth.
Choicest of blessings is a modest wife, priceless her chaste
person. Like the sun rising in the Lords heavens, the beauty of a
virtuous wife is the radiance of her home. Like the light which
shines above the holy lamp stand, are her beauty of face and
graceful figure. Golden columns on silver bases are her shapely
limbs and steady feet.
A second way of considering sexual codependency is that our
society as a whole may be codependent when we call abnormal sex


Sexual Wisdom for Catholic Adolescents

normal, such as in the case of sexual deviants. The first response of a

society to help those who suffer from sexual addictions, including
homosexuality and other sexual deviations, should be to verify that
they are abnormal and need help. As with alcoholism and other
addictions, a person who doesnt realize that he has a problem is two
steps away from solving it. The first step in helping such people is to
help them to realize that they need help. The next step is giving them
the help they know they need.
Tolerance is the politically correct stance in a society that
considers freedom its highest priority. However, tolerance of
perverted behavior is a sin because it ignores the Truth of which our
Lord is the author. A compassionate person does not deny or ignore
another person's problem. A compassionate society should not deny
that heterosexual addiction, homosexuality and other sexual
deviations are problems.
One misguided defense for tolerance of sexual deviations is that
people should be able to do what they want in their own homes.
This is another example of our cultures obsession with sex: the
special rules we apply only to sexual matters. If a neighbor is beating
his wife or child, we do not shrug our shoulders and say that it's none
of our affair because it's happening inside their home. Such a position
would demand either apathy (I don't care what my neighbor does in
his own home which may really mean I don't care about my
neighbor) or a double standard (Homosexual behavior is not
acceptable for my children, but is acceptable for my neighbor's
children or for my neighbor).
As Catholics (or any people of goodwill), we must do what we
can to help homosexuals or others with sexual problems, however, we
should never put them down or ridicule them. Further, in Christian
charity, we should make every effort not to provoke them to anger.
Because the issue is so emotional for so many people, this can be a
very difficult line to walk. However, the fear of provoking anger
should not inhibit us when there is a reasonable chance that our
efforts to help someone recognize a problem or deal with it will

Victims of the Sexual Revolution


Victims of the Sexual Revolution

Falsehood: By making premarital sex more acceptable, the Sexual
Revolution has liberated women.
Feminism began a hundred years ago with the goal of acquiring
equal rights, especially equal voting rights, for women. This goal has
been largely met, leaving the principals of the movement looking for
other ways to exercise their power. To their shame, feminists have
become so focused on power that they have lost sight of what is truly
good for women. So now more women are against them than with
them. Motherhood doesnt offer the kind of power feminists seek.
They find the role of motherhood too restrictive. To liberate women
from the natural role of motherhood, feminists try to destroy the
traditional family structure. They do this by promoting sexual
promiscuity, abortion, contraceptives and homosexuality.
These attitudes have put feminists at the head of the Sexual
Revolution. Yet, the sad truth is that the Sexual Revolution has been a
male-oriented revolution directed at fulfilling male sexual needs. It
is a revolution brought on most obviously by the acceptance of
contraceptives, which have pressured women to take risks to please
men. It has brought great suffering by causing record levels of STDs,
by legitimizing and spreading dehumanizing pornography, by
increasing the hostility between the sexes, and by causing critically
high divorce and illegitimacy rates. Those who have suffered the most
from the new promiscuity include children, grandparents, homosexuals (because of HIV disease) and, most especially, women. It is
ironic that, because of their desire for power, feminists have eagerly
supported a revolution which has had particularly widespread, brutal
consequences for women.
Effects of the Sexual Revolution on Women:
The increasing promiscuity and other abuses of sex during the
Sexual Revolution has led to ever-greater suffering for women.
1. Women suffer more than others from STDs.


Sexual Wisdom for Catholic Adolescents

The medical consequences of STDs are typically more

far-reaching and serious for women.
Women are usually the main caretakers for children with
2. Women suffer more than others from illegitimacy. Their
options are:
Accept being a single parent, which often means that they
will struggle financially. Single mothers and their children
are the largest portion of those who live in poverty.
Ask parents or other family members to raise the child.
Seek an abortion.
Seek an adoption.
Marry out of fear of having to raise the child alone.
3. Women suffer more than others from the side effects of
contraceptives. All contraceptives except condoms are what
you could call male friendly since they only cause side
effects for women.
4. Women suffer more than men from emotional stresses such as
guilt, fear, distrust, anger, etc., related to premarital sex.
Effects of the Sexual Revolution on Children:
Born with diseases (STDs)
Raised in broken homes
Suffer child abuse, related to being from an unwanted
pregnancy. This is often when a child is beaten by a boyfriend
of a single mother.
Suffer death (the ultimate child abuse) through abortion
Effects of the Sexual Revolution on Grandparents:
Due to the Sexual Revolution, many elderly people have to make
many sacrifices. The contraceptive/abortion mentality often results in
many of our elderly suffering the disappointment of not having
grandchildren. Those who are blessed with grandchildren frequently
are the envy of those who have none. Also, due to sexual promiscuity,
many grandparents end up raising their grandchildren. Sexual
promiscuity often leads to conditions that are too chaotic for the
parents to raise their own children. Raising their grandchildren is a

Victims of the Sexual Revolution


hardship for many of our elderly, especially for those in poor health
or who have financial problems.
Effects of the Sexual Revolution on Homosexuals:
Due to HIV alone, homosexuals have paid a fearsome price for
their promiscuity. However, the terrible spiritual and emotional
darkness surrounding homosexual sin must be an even greater cost.
Mother most pure, pray for us!

Lesson 14
Good Sex

Say a prayer before the lesson.

How do we ensure that sex becomes something greata part of
the celebration of life? Sexual experiences that are based on true love,
and within Gods plan, enrich and strengthen relationships. They are
free from emotional uproar, free from fear or unwanted pregnancies
and diseases, free from enslaving, addictive attitudes and the mindless
pursuit of self-gratification. They are, for the most part, one positive
experience after another. Such sexual experiences are, as Catholic
theologian Dietrich von Hildebrand wrote, something great, deep,
and mysterious.
While breathtaking pleasures are common to good sex, they are
not the main goal. Aspects such as pleasure, procreation, and fun are
entirely valid, but with good sex, the main focus is on bringing the
couple closer to God and to each other: sex within the context of the
peace of Christ. With good sex, both partners try to make the
experience as pleasurable for their partner as possible: not only in
terms of physical pleasure, but blessedness as well.

Good Sex

Theology of the Body Moment - Pope John Paul II

We resume our analysis of the Song of Songs (of
Solomon) with the purpose of understanding in a more
adequate and exhaustive way the sacramental sign of
marriage. This is manifested by the language of the body, a
singular language of love originating in the heart. At a
certain point, expressing a particular experience of values
that shines upon everything that relates to the person he
loves, the groom says
"You have ravished my heart, my sister, my bride; you
have ravished my heart with one glance of your eyes,
with one bead of your necklace How sweet are your
caresses, my sister, my bride..." (Sg 4:9-10)
. . . Through the name "sister," the groom's words tend to
reproduce, I would say, the history of the femininity of the
person loved. They see her still in the time of girlhood and
they embrace her entire "I," soul and body, with a
disinterested tenderness. Hence there arises that peace
which the bride speaks of. This is the peace of the body,
which in appearance resembles sleep ("Do not arouse, do
not stir up love before its own time"). This is above all the
peace of the encounter in mankind as the image of God
and the encounter by means of a reciprocal and
disinterested gift. "So am I in your eyes, like one who has
found peace," (Sg 8:10.) [Papal audience on May 30, 1984]



Sexual Wisdom for Catholic Adolescents

When we talk about good sex, we distinguish it rather carefully

from ideal or perfect sex. Due to original sin, none of us can be
perfectly holy. In the same way, good sex is not the highest but the
higher level, the level most of us can more or less realistically
Perhaps it is easier to understand this higher level of sexuality by
creating a list of characteristics relating one level to another as in the
classic Catholic book The Soul of the Apostolate. In the book, the
author listed the features of nine levels of spirituality. These levels
gives one an idea how one rates in comparison to the spiritual
masters. Lets consider a similar system related to sexuality.
Optimally, there should be three levels: perfect sex, healthy sex, and
unhealthy sex. Unfortunately, due to the number and seriousness of
sexual problems in todays world, we need to further divide unhealthy
sex into five separate levels. Consider, then, the following seven
Level 1 Perfect Sex: Gods ideal toward which we strive but can
never achieve.
Attitudes: always perfect. Always open to new life (a baby)
with every act of sexual intercourse.
Sexual activity within marriage is all perfectly in balance
with, and supportive of, the relationship; all sexual activity
before marriage stops short of arousal.
No frustrations associated with sex.
Level 2 The Higher Level: Healthy, functional, basic, normal
Attitudes: occasional or minor mistakes, with a consistent
desire to improve ones attitudes. Open to new life (a baby)
with every act of sexual intercourse.
Minimal sexual fantasizing.
Sexual activity within marriage is usually supportive of the
relationship. Sex is routinely enjoyable and reaffirming, and
sometimes extraordinarily so. Sexual intercourse takes place
only with ones spouse. Sexual activity before marriage
leading to arousal is rare and avoided.

Good Sex


Frustrations associated with sex are relatively uncommon, and

usually transient and mild.
Dress: always modest.

Level 3 Some sexual problems.

Attitudes: acceptance of some unhealthy attitudes and falsehoods.
Not always open to new life (a baby) with every act of sexual
Sexual activity within marriage is sometimes an barrier to
intimacy or leads to serious conflict; sexual activity before
marriage which leads to arousal (perhaps including some
undressing or heavy petting) is common but without
intercourse; infrequent self-stimulation.
Frustrations associated with sex are occasionally serious and
difficult to control.
Dress: at times dress in tight-fitting clothes or clothes meant
to accentuate one's figure or physique.
Level 4 Serious sexual problems
Attitudes: more serious submission to needs and other
falsehoods. Frequent or prolonged sexual fantasizing.
Having sexual intercourse despite often being closed to new
life (having a baby).
Sexual Interactions: some insistence on sex in a position or
with a frequency that one's spouse disapproves of; sexual
intercourse before marriage with one or a few sexual partners;
general openness to pornography and self-stimulation, oral
sex to climax.
Frustrations associated with sex are frequent and often
Dress: frequent immodest attire.
Level 5 Very serious sexual problems
Attitudes: markedly unhealthy, with full commitment to the
Needs Misconception and other falsehoods.
Sexual interactions: sexual intercourse before marriage with
many partners; extramarital sex; compulsive self-stimulation;


Sexual Wisdom for Catholic Adolescents

habitual exposure to pornography or erotic entertainment;

infrequent payment for sex (including money spent on a date
in expectation of sexual favors); men openly reject their
responsibility for an unintended pregnancy; occasional use of
force for sex in a position or with a frequency one's partner
clearly disapproves of; anal sex, whether engaged in by
heterosexuals or homosexuals; active involvement in sexually
deviant behavior including homosexuality, transvestitism,
voyeurism, and any of the others except transsexuality.
Frustrations associated with sex are very frequent and poorly
Dress: typical attire is clearly aimed at being sexually

Level 6 Severe sexual problems: Sexual addicts as defined by

Attitudes: essential disregard for those who satisfy the
person's sexual desires.
Sexual interactions: frequent sexual intercourse whether
married or not with whomever is available; pay for sex
regularly; frequent use of force for sex in a position or with a
frequency one's partner clearly disapproves of; date rape;
Level 7 Most severe sexual problems: the most extreme, degrading, violent or life-threatening sexual practices.
Attitudes: most unhealthy
Sexual interactions: prostitution; rape; genital sexual activity
with a known HIV-positive person (with or without a
condom); sadomasochism; child molestation; incest.
These seven levels may seem arbitrary and rigid, but they
illustrate some important principles. Both individuals and couples,
whether married or unmarried, can identify their currentbut by no
means permanentstate with respect to these seven levels. The idea
then is to move toward Level 2 and remain there, always seeking
ways to move closer to Level 1.

Good Sex


Forming good attitudes about sex is an ongoing process. The goal

is to make steady, overall progress up the scale. Depending on the
individual or couple, Level 2 may take years, decades or a lifetime to
achieve. Setbacks will occur and each person or couple will face
unique difficulties. More important than achieving Level 2 is the
depth of the commitment made toward getting there, which reflects
the depth of commitment to giving your heart to Jesus.
Catholic theologian Christopher West offers an important perspective in his book, The Good News about Sex and Marriage:
Its a mistake to think marriage somehow provides a
legitimate outlet for our disordered sexual desires. In a clarion
call for husbands to uphold the dignity of their wives, John Paul II
stated that a man can commit adultery in his heart even with his
own wife if he treats her only as an object to satisfy concupiscence
(cf. General Audience 10/8/80). Despite what the secular media
had to say, the Pope was in no way suggesting that the marital
relationship is itself adulterous. In a world that pushes sex merely
to gratify disordered instinct, John Paul was calling spouses back
to Gods original intention of self-donation as the norm for sexual
This is a difficult calling. Even the most devoted of spouses
must face the reality of mixed motives and imperfect desires. But
Christ has definitively revealed, fulfilled, and restored the nuptial
meaning of the body by making a sincere gift of his own body
to his Bride on the cross. This means loving as Christ loves is
truly possible through the power of the Holy Spirit who has been
poured into our hearts (Romans 5:5).
The Glory Be
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end. Amen.

Lesson 15
Sexual Morality

Say a prayer before the lesson.

Sexual morality is one of those subjects that most people neither
study nor think about. Therefore, most people lack an understanding
of even the most basic concepts. This situation could be considered
quite hilarious if it werent for the fact that this confusion leads to
tremendous sadness and suffering. Most of what one reads about
sexual morality in books, newspapers and magazines, or hears on
radio, TV or in conversations is just plain wrong. Therefore, we will
spend a bit of time on the subject.
Students who understand this lesson will have an important edge
over others. They will be far more capable of handling the
predicaments they face in their own lives and of helping guide others
who are confused about these issues. It is true that the philosophical
and theological issues that underlie this discussion can be
overwhelming. However, it is also true that most students can follow
the basic ideas and will find them very helpful.
Morality refers to the rightness or wrongness of actions or
behaviors. We act morally when we act in a good, loving and holy
manner. Immoral behavior is wrong, sinful, or evil. Notice that moral
behavior is not based on being nice. There is an important difference
between being nice and being good. A man may be nice to a woman

Sexual Morality


so that she will have sex with him. Being nice is not a reliable guide
for morality. Being good is.
Because God commands us first to love, love is the main standard
by which we judge whether behavior is right or wrong, moral or
immoral. The Sexual Revolution failed in that it called on people to
abandon love for the sake of pleasure or mistaken notions of freedom.
When we abandon love, we directly reject Gods call. As St. Paul tells
us, So faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is
love. (1 Corinthians 13:13)
Falsehood: Morality is based on each persons opinion, so it means
something different to each person.
This falsehood is at the heart of moral relativism, an idea which
has become very popular over the past few hundred years. Moral
relativism rejects the idea that love should be the main basis for our
behaviors. To the moral relativist, morality is whatever an individual
thinks it is based on whatever standards he or she wishes to follow.
But if morality is whatever a person thinks it is then there can be no
agreement about what is moral, only individual opinions. As a result,
we hear the absurd statement that Your morality is yours and my
morality is mine. No, prostitution is wrong, no matter what the
It is true that there are times in which people disagree about what
is moral and what is not. There are situations in which it may be hard
to know what the moral path is. For example, Was it right for me to
tell my parents about something my sister did even when I promised
her I wouldnt tell them? In this case, if what your sister did was
serious it was probably best that you told your parents. If what she did
wasnt serious at all then it would likely be wrong to go against your
word. It can be difficult to know which course of action is the most
loving to your sister and parents. But, based on this type of situation,
moral relativists mistakenly think that no one can ever be sure about
anything related to morality.
Moral standards are based on universal, or objective, truths
The terribly mistaken idea that there is no universal, or common,
morality is based on a more basic mistaken idea that there is no
universal truth. (This is the one part of the discussion that gets a little


Sexual Wisdom for Catholic Adolescents

abstract, but stay with me.) Universal truth, also called objective
truth, is the truth regardless of what any one person thinks. It is the
truth that exists outside, or separate from, anyones experience. If a
tree falls over in the woods and no one sees it fall, did it really fall?
Yes, of course it did, even though no one witnessed it. The truth of
the matter is that the tree fell, no matter whether anyone saw it or not.
Those who deny the existence of universal truth believe, for
example, that one cannot know that a human hand has five fingers on
it. They believe that they can only think a hand has five fingers. In
fact, everyone may think a hand has five fingers on it, but still no one
can be absolutely sure that human hand has five fingers. They believe
that a bulldog is not a rose, but at the same time it is a rose. I realize
that this sounds crazy, but this is the fallout of moral relativism, and it
is the basis for many of todays most popular religions, including
New Age and Taoismreligions which seem to be especially popular
among movie stars. Now you may be starting to understand where
some of the really weird ideas in this world come from.
Many students will find it interesting to learn that this argument
about the existence of a universal truth goes back to ancient times. It
is one of the most basic questions in life: can you know something for
sure or do you just think that you know it? As you might guess,
throughout history most people have agreed that there are truths about
life that are true no matter what any person thinks otherwise. Dogs
bark, whether you think they tweet or not. A spoon is not a banana
whether one thinks it is or not. Moral relativism, based on the denial
of universal truth, forbids any obvious claims about morality and yet,
unfortunately, it has become the predominant philosophy over the
past few hundred years; or at least it has become the philosophy that
people who dont know much think they believe. Alan Bloom begins
his best-selling book, The Closing of the American Mind with the
following comment about todays college students: There is one
thing a professor can be absolutely certain of: almost every student
entering the university believes, or says he believes, that truth is
relative. (You may want to ask college students this question
yourself, if you know any.) Most people who believe that there is no
certain, universal truth have not thought this through.
If all truth is relative, or based on whatever you think, then you
cannot know anything for sure. You cannot know if ones hand has

Sexual Morality


five fingers. You cannot know if a duck quacks. This idea

presupposes that you can only truly know one thing: that you dont
know anything. But how can you know that if you dont know
anything? The idea is inconsistent with itself. It is very strange to
consider why anyone (let alone the majority of educated young people
in this world) is willing to base all else that he or she believes on such
a truly odd idea that nothing can be known for certain.
Catholicism has always opposed moral relativism, but instead
upholds the belief in universal truth. Catholics believe that God exists
whether or not someone thinks He doesnt or even if a lot of people
think He doesnt. His existence doesnt depend on us. Remember the
exchange between Christ and Pilot?
John 18:37-38
At this Pilate said to him, so, then you are a king? Jesus
replied: It is you who say I am a king. The reason I was born,
the reason why I came into the world is to testify to the truth.
Anyone committed to the truth hears my voice. Pilate said to
him: What is truth?
Notice that Pilate mocks our Lord with the moral relativists
I once thought that the goal of Catholicism was to teach about
love. This is too narrow of a view. The Churchs goal is to teach
about the truth, the definite, universal truth, about God, about man,
about mans relationship to God, and about love. The fundamental
task of each person is to seek the truth, which begins and ends in the
person of Jesus Christ. Catholics not only believe that God exists but
also that our greatest task in life is to submit to His authority.
The denial of a universal truth is not only the underlying
philosophical belief of moral relativism, but also of liberalism. The
core belief of a liberal is that there is no truth outside of himself. A
liberal, therefore, views the world not from the standpoint of reason,
but of feelings or emotions. Reason and logic are needed for exploring truth and there is no point to exploring truth if there is no truth.
People with a liberal or progressive view are far less likely to
believe in God, an authority who exists outside of them because they
only believe in their own perspective. They are also far less likely to


Sexual Wisdom for Catholic Adolescents

carry out a reasoned, calm debate about sexual morality, because to

them a debate is not about understanding the truth, but about promoting a particular agenda or viewpoint that they feel comfortable with.
Back to Morality
If one cannot be sure about any truth in life then one certainly
cannot be sure about the morality (rightness or wrongness) of any act.
But once one realizes that there a truth that is independent of ones
point of view, then it makes sense that there can be a universal
moralitya morality that is independent of the viewpoint of the
individual. When a bank robber kills an innocent bank teller there
should be no debate about the immorality of the act. No reasonable
person would say Murder for money seems immoral to me, but I
dont want to impose my judgment on others. Moral relativists
believe that one can never call any act immoral, evil or sinful because
whatever is immoral for one person may not be immoral in the eyes
of another. They cannot say for sure that robbery, murder or rape are
wrong. They can only say that these acts seem wrong to them.
So lets now take the grand leap and assume that, in fact, a bird
cage is not a computer and blue is not the same as red. Lets agree
that there are things that can be known, including the morality of an
act. If that is true, then we are free to state with confidence that
robbing a bank and rape are wrong. But how is it that we come to that
conclusion? How is it that we know right from wrong?
Consider, as the great Protestant theologian C.S. Lewis did, what
happens when a fellow cuts in front of a line of people going into a
theater. The white, Catholic man from Ohio judges that the man has
done an immoral act. The Chinese, Buddhist woman behind him also
judges the act to be wrong. A black man from Africa saw the act and
he too judges it to be wrong. Each of these persons from different
continents and cultures, and with different religions, agrees that
taking cuts in line is wrong. They all judge it to be immoral. And, of
course, the same is true for the vast majority of immoral acts: lying,
cheating, stealing, etc. How do each of these people come to the same
conclusion? What authority tells them this? How do they all know
that it is wrong to take cuts in line? What is amazing is that most
people cant answer these questions. They cant tell why obviously
immoral acts are wrong. (If you have as much fun as I do picking on

Sexual Morality


college students you may want to ask some of them why taking cuts is
wrong. So far, I have yet to find one who knew the answer.)
How do we know that bank robbery, rape and taking cuts in line
are wrong? The answer is that there is a natural moral law written on
every human heart. They are laws that are given to us from God. It is
not only ones culture that teaches right behavior, but something
found within each one of us. Each person has an inborn sense of what
it means to love and what distinguishes right from wrong and good
from evil, and each of us is called to follow this sense. This is part of
our God given human nature.
To put things in perspective, lets discuss some more about
natural law in the context of three kinds of law. The three types of law
which tell us what is right and what is wrong are divine law, natural
law and human law.
1) Divine law: the law directly given to men by God, such as the
Ten Commandments. God tells man what actions are moral
and immoral. God tells man how to behave and man is to
obey. God tells man how to love.
2) Natural law: the law which men can know if they are smart
enough and in-tune enough with their own nature. The idea of
natural law goes back at least as far as the ancient Greeks. As
one would expect, the laws of nature are the same as the laws
of God (who created nature). Divine law and natural law
always give the same answer as to what is right or wrong. In
other words, if man is smart enough he will come to
understand moral law as God himself understands it. The first
rule of the natural law is: Do good and avoid evil. Natural
law is the law written on the human heart (Rom 2:15).
According to St. Thomas Aquinas the Angelic Doctor of the
Catholic Church, natural law is nothing other than the light
of understanding infused in us by God, whereby we
understand what must be done and what must be avoided. It
is the law that tells a person to open the door for a little old
lady and to clean up ones own mess. It is the law that tells us
not to rob banks. It is a law that that includes absolutes. For
example, it is always wrong to torture a baby. Natural law,
as Pope Pius XII wrote, is the foundation upon which the


Sexual Wisdom for Catholic Adolescents

social doctrine of the Church rests.
Moral relativists dont believe in natural law and tell us
that morality is based not on a persons nature but on each
persons own set of circumstances and, in particular, on ones
For a better idea we turn to Pope John Paul II, who wrote:
It must certainly be admitted that man always exists in a
particular culture, but it must also be admitted that man is
not exhaustively defined by that same culture. Moreover,
the very progress of cultures demonstrates that there is
something in man which transcends those cultures. This
something is precisely human nature: this nature is itself
the measure of culture and the condition ensuring that
man does not become the prisoner of any of his cultures,
but asserts his personal dignity by living in accordance
with the profound truth of his being. (The Splendor of the
Truth [Veritatis Splendor], No. 53).
Natural law is the moral law based on love. It is simply
the behavioral extension of love. For example, dumping
nuclear waste next to where people live is immoral. Reckless
driving and premarital sex are immoral. All are immoral
because they violate the common good and therefore are
unloving. They are immoral in any culture.
3) Human law or civil law: The system of man-made laws that
are enforced by the courts.
Legal systems try to reflect the natural law as closely as
possible by making immoral actions illegalby punishing
wrong behavior. As Martin Luther King wrote: A just law is
a man-made code that squares with the moral law or the law
of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with
the moral law. To put it in the terms of St. Thomas Aquinas:
An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law
and natural law.
While Gods law and natural law give the same answers,
there are practical limits on legal systems, which cannot fully
reflect the natural law. For example, according to natural and

Sexual Morality


divine law it is wrong for a child to lie to his parents, but it is

not against the law of the land. Bank robbery and cheating on
income taxes are easier cases. They go against all three types
of law. Because man-made law attempts to impose the natural
moral law on people, it makes sense that it is based on
justice, one of the four primary moral virtues. As with all
virtues, justice guides us to the greatest virtue, which is love.
Moral relativists say Don't impose your morality on
others, yet this is exactly what takes place through social
pressures and laws. The moral relativists have it entirely
wrong. Society has a duty to ensure that, through social
pressure and laws, immoral behaviors are justly punished. For
example, a teenager stepped out of a hotel room and
exclaimed a vulgar word to her friend while I was walking
past. I turned to her and put my forefinger to my lips to let her
know I did not approve. She quickly apologized and I went on
my way. I had judged her act to be immoral or wrong, and her
punishment was my disapproval. We all judge in this way at
times and we are all obligated to do so.
Human laws are necessary to impose stiffer penalties for
more serious violations of morality. The laws of a country
reflect the moral views of its citizens. Laws are needed to
impose morality on us because without them it would be
chaos. Further, citizens have a duty to work to change laws to
reflect their beliefs about seriously immoral behaviors. For
example, if it were legal to murder newborns, as at least one
Nobel Prize winner has proposed, people would have a duty
to work to change the law to make it illegal.
Prayer from the Chaplet of Divine Mercy
For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on
the whole world.

Lesson 16
Sexual Morality (Continued)

Say a prayer before the lesson.

Lets conclude our discussion about morality by clarifying three
final points.
1) Judging a person as opposed to judging a person's attitudes or
This is a subject about which you are bound to hear a lot of
confusing statements. Let us set the record straight. One can never
judge another person, but behaviors, ideas and attitudes with moral
implications must be, and are, judged routinely. This distinction is
critical. To judge a person as a bad person is to suggest that that
person is inferior to those who are not bad. This attitude is at the
heart of untold cruelty throughout history.
A physician who performs an abortion has done a very evil act,
but we can never say that he is evil. None of us should want the
responsibility of having to judge another. Leave that to God. Even our
human judges, whose job involves judging whether an act is illegal
and pronouncing just sentences, cannot condemn a person as evil.
One cannot know whether one would be a better person than someone
else, should one have been placed in the other persons circumstances
(natural traits and life experiences). We cannot know if another

Sexual Morality (Continued)


person is doing better than he ought to be doing given his

circumstances. Only God can judge that and we should be glad to
leave the job to Him.
On the other hand, it is essential that we judge others behaviors
and attitudes, and we do so every day in many ways. The mother
corrects the child when he sticks his tongue out at a friend. We say it
is wrong when a man hits his wife, or when a drunk driver runs from
the scene of an accident. Love the sinner but hate the sin is the
simple, time-honored statement that we must live by. Fr. Philip Smith,
our local priest, makes an interesting point about this. He says that
sometimes conservatives are so hateful of sin that they forget about
loving (and not judging) the sinner. On the other hand, sometimes
liberals try so hard to love the sinner (and not be judgmental) that
they forget about hating or judging the sin.
To say that one cannot judge the morality of another's sexual
activity is to say that sexual acts do not have moral value. On the
contrary, sexual behaviors may be freely judged because they do have
great moral value. Sexual morality does exist. It is not whatever one
thinks it is, rather, it is behavior based on the loving commands of
God and reflected in the natural law. We should point this out to those
who engage in homosexual behavior, or those who view pornography,
but do not recognize the immorality of their behavior. As we
discourage lying and acts of bigotry, we should also discourage
immoral, unloving sexual behavior.
One really odd result of moral relativism is that if one follows the
idea that one cannot judge the evil that people do, then one must also
refuse to judge the good that people do. Unless we are willing to
judge the negative we cannot judge the positive. If you cant say that
the suicide attacks against the World Trade Center on 9/11/01 were
evil, then you cant say that the firemen who rushed up the stairs of
the burning buildings, while everyone else was running down the
stairs, were heroes. You cant be unwilling to judge evil behavior but
willing to judge heroism. One can either judge others behavior or
not. The answer is that you can.
I asked a moral relativist to describe what he would say to a
mother if he witnessed her son break up a fight on the playground. He
realized that his argument was headed for trouble and so he took a
long moment to think through his answer. In the end he still misspoke


Sexual Wisdom for Catholic Adolescents

by saying that he would praise her sons action. To be consistent,

what he should have said was that he would praise her for what he
thinks her sons actions were because, if he understood the situation
clearly, it appeared to him that her son probably acted nobly. Of
course, no one talks this way. The point is that it is impossible to live
a life that is based on the idea that there is no standard outside ones
own perspective, and so one can never judge anothers actions or
ideas. Unfortunately, Alan Bloom was right: the ill-considered ideas
of moral relativism are rampant in our culture even among the socalled intelligent and learned.
2) Distinguishing between morality and religion
Another distinction we should make is between morality and
religion, two terms that are often carelessly exchanged, as if they
mean the same thing. Since moral behavior is that which is the most
loving, it does not have to be considered only in a religious context.
Religion adds a supernatural dimension. But while some might reject
the religious element of morality, they can fully appreciate the appeal
to reason. Nonreligious people may be just as moral as religious
people, and, in fact, frequently are.
While a Catholic perspective is not required to discuss morality, it
brings an infinitely rich and powerful component to the table.
Addictions offer an example of how religion enhances discussion of
morality. Addictions are immoral behaviors, because they make a god
out of whatever the person is addicted to (and so violate the first
commandment). Addicts dont use drugs to be more loving to others.
In fact, addicts are famous for the disastrous troubles they create in
others lives.
There are many so-called Twelve-Step programs for treating
addictions. The original and most well-known is Alcoholics
Anonymous, which was created in the 1930s to help alcoholics stay
sober. The following are the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics
Anonymous, the foundation of the program:
1. We admitted we were powerless over alcoholthat our lives
had become unmanageable.
2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could
restore us to sanity.

Sexual Morality (Continued)


3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care
of God as we understood Him.
4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
5. Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the
exact nature of our wrongs.
6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of
7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing
to make amends to them all.
9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except
when to do so would injure them or others.
10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were
wrong promptly admitted it.
11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our
conscious contact with God, as we understood Him, praying only
for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps,
we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these
principles in all our affairs.
Notice that six of the twelve steps refer to a higher power,
defined as one's concept of God or an equivalent. The religious
component of these programs clearly has contributed to their
remarkable success.
As an aside, we Catholics might also particularly consider steps
47 and 10. I showed these steps to one of my young children and
asked her what they reminded her of. Thats just the sacrament of
Confession, Dad, she said. Check. Five of the twelve steps are
essentially the Sacrament of Reconciliation, which indicates how
much Catholics should treasure that sacrament. In fact, if you read the
twelve steps carefully you will find that they are really just a bare
bones religion most akin to Catholicism, complete with a regular trip
to see the sponsor or confessor. You may already be aware that
many people in our country are hostile to religion, Catholicism in
particular, so it is interesting to see the widespread popularity within
our culture of programs which are a rudimentary form of our faith
without some objectionable parts that are too religious for the


Sexual Wisdom for Catholic Adolescents

modern taste. Twelve-step programs are, if you will, an acceptable

form of religion for our society. In any event, this religion-lite
approach demonstrates the power of religion in helping people turn
away from false gods and immorality.
There are many other Twelve-Step programs for other addictions, including Sex Addicts Anonymous, Homosexuals Anonymous,
Narcotics Anonymous, Overeaters Anonymous, Gamblers Anonymous
and many others. These programs all use essentially identical twelve
steps as in the original Alcoholics Anonymous group, though modified
to the specific addiction. Because these programs are anonymous,
their success rate is unknown, but they have clearly helped millions of
people throughout the world.
3) Imposing Morality on Others
Finally, there is the question of whether one should attempt to
influence or impose one's ideas on another. While our laws impose
moral standards on behavior, most people take the reasonable stance
that it is wrong to impose religious beliefs on others. However, it is
one of the ironies of our modern culture that many people, including
many educated people, argue that we should not impose morality on
others through our laws (You cant legislate morality) when that is
indeed a primary focus of any legal system. As we said, justice is one
of the four moral, or cardinal, virtues. The word Cardinal comes
from the Latin word for hinge, which is to say that the four cardinal
virtues are the ones upon which all other moral virtues are based.
As David Reardon writes in Aborted Women: Silent No More:
Politicians who support pro-abortion laws saying, 'Personally
I don't believe abortion is right, but I refuse to impose my moral
views on others,' are at best cowards who are unwilling to stand
by their own moral convictions, or at worst, nothing more than
hypocrites. When these same politicians vote to build defense
systems, they are imposing their values on pacifists. When they
vote to tax the rich for the sake of the poor, they are imposing
their morality on those wealthy persons who don't care about the
poor. Writing moral choices into the law is what their jobs are all

Sexual Morality (Continued)


Although we are obligated to encourage others to be more moral,

no one has the right to impose his or her religious beliefs on others.
Our United States Constitution specifically protects religious
freedom. One may attempt to influence others to accept a belief, but
may not force them to do so. Religious enthusiasts have every right to
knock on one's door, but one is under no obligation to open it. The
confusion about this relates to the principle of separation of church
and state. This doctrine originally meant to declare that no particular
religion would be forced upon people; but somehow in modern times,
due to misunderstanding of the law, it has come to mean that one's
religion should not affect how government functions. The fact is that
politicians should certainly apply the moral teachings of their faith to
their office.
Morality and religion are not one and the same. But the confusion
about them often prohibits efforts to help people to be moral, and do
the right thing, for fear of imposing religion on them. A man wrote
with bitterness to a newspaper: That's what religion is all about
folksforcing others to live life your way. Such comments reflect a
fear of religion which is common in the United States today, and
which is one of the greatest barriers to healthy discussion about
sexual morality.
We have spent extra time on the subject of sexual morality for a
couple of reasons. If the student understands the basic issues of this
section, he will be way ahead of the pack when it comes to discussing
important, common issues about right and wrong. As we have noted,
some of the most illogical comments one will ever hear or read relate
to this subject. Second, if the student submits to the moral relativists
viewpoint that there is no certain truth and that nothing can be known
for sure, then it robs the student of one of the greatest joys in life: to
explore the truth about the world God has given us. Many people are
robbed of this joy (as I was for many years). They are left frustrated
in the middle of any investigation because of their belief that there is
no answer to be found, and that the final outcome will simply be the
extremely unsatisfying Your truth is your truth and my truth is


Sexual Wisdom for Catholic Adolescents

The Four Levels of Happiness

We have learned that moral behavior is that which follows Gods
law and natural law. It is good behavior. It is also behavior which
generally makes us happy, because we are generally happy when we
do what we know to be the right thing. Opening the door for the little
old lady makes us feel good. However, one could argue that to have
premarital sex with a very attractive person also achieves happiness.
What is it, then, that really makes us happy?
The Four Levels of Happiness:
We mentioned two types of pleasure, or happiness, earlier and
will now expand on that topic. Fr. Robert Spitzer, the president of
Gonzaga University, has written a book called Healing the Culture
which reconsiders the ancient notion that there are really four levels
of happiness. I recommend that you study these more on your own
(see, but we will present the levels
briefly. As discussed earlier, the Roman Catholic Church desires as
much as anything else for you to be happy. The catch, as we said, is
that there are different levels of happiness and the Church wants you
to attain, and maintain as much as possible, the highest level of
happiness. Lets clarify this by investigating the four levels of
It is important to note that all four levels are valid. Each offers
true happiness, but each level offers a form of happiness superior to
those below it.
Level 1: Feeling good
This is the lowest level of happiness. It is the happiness that
comes from eating candy, buying a new movie, or hearing the
latest hit song. There is nothing wrong with this kind of happiness
as long as it doesnt conflict with the higher levels. For example,
kissing an attractive stranger might feel good but it conflicts with
the higher levels of happiness.
Level 2: Feeling good about yourself
This is the happiness that comes from achieving. One feels
good through achieving success one has worked for, whether in

The Four Levels of Happiness


sports, art, studies, employment, or other activities. This is also

the happiness that one experiences when one has power over
others or when one proves to be superior to others, such as
winning a hot dog eating contest. This kind of happiness is also
called self-esteem. We often hear sports commentators say such
things as It doesnt get any better than this when an athlete or
team wins. These commentators are apparently unaware of the
four levels or they would know that, in fact, there are two levels
of happiness higher than winning a game.
Level 3: Being good, kind and loving
This is the happiness you feel when you open the door for the
little old lady. Doing the right thing, following the call of your
heart, can bring a person extraordinary pleasurebeyond that of
eating a candy bar or winning an arm wrestling contest. Notice
that you can eat a candy bar while opening the door, so it is
possible to reach more than one level of happiness at one time.
But it is also important to realize that the third level of happiness
is not as high as you can get. There are times when we are loving
and we still become frustrated or angry. For example, we may be
entirely loving to someone and yet he may become ill or die, or he
may dislike us despite our efforts. Christ himself loved perfectly,
yet He was scourged and crucified. We too must suffer no matter
how good we are. Level 3 does not offer the highest level of
happiness. Even being married to the most wonderful spouse
cannot bring one to the highest level.
Before we discuss Level 4 consider something most interesting
about it. Level 4 isnt just another level. It is the level. In the
innermost sanctuary of each mans heart is the desire for the ultimate.
All people aspire to the Ultimate, whether it is Ultimate Truth,
Ultimate Happiness, or Ultimate Love. Human nature is geared
toward the ultimate. None of us can escape this fact. We all want the
best, but we cant achieve it unless we know it exists and reach for it.
Level 4 is the ultimate. It truly doesnt get any better than Level 4.


Sexual Wisdom for Catholic Adolescents

Level 4: Surrendering ourselves to God

This is the ultimate happiness. When we spoke of opening
doors for little old ladies in Lesson 4 we were really combining
Levels 3 and 4. It does feel good to open the door, but it feels
even betterit takes us to a higher level yetwhen we do it for
the right reason. We can only achieve Level 4 when the reason we
act in a loving manner is as an act of submission or obedience to
God. As our local priest puts it: humans can only be happy when
they have meaning in their lives, and the most profound sense of
meaning comes from a desire to please God in all of our thoughts,
words and actions.
One catch that you have probably figured out by now is that the
transcendent happiness we are talking about in Level 4 doesnt always
go with physical pleasure. In fact, often it does not. Levels 2, 3, and 4
may all require suffering, especially Level 4 (although by striving for
it you will, ultimately, feel happy for eternity). Sometimes opening
the door for the little old lady causes physical pain, requires patience
or may mean overcoming fears. Sometimes you may feel pretty
frumpy waiting for a slow-walking little old lady to get through the
door you have opened. Doing the right thing, following the will of
God, may require many kinds of suffering, even the extreme case of
martyrdom. Everyone knows that it can be hard to live morally. This
has always been the case. The struggle to do so, however, takes us
toward the fourth level. The more obedient we are to God, enduring
trials and doing good, the more He purifies us and brings us closer to
Him. The longer one lives, the more one experiences lifes ups and
downs, the more obvious it is that Level 4 happiness, no matter what
it costs, is worth it.
Level 4 Requires Submission to God and So a Belief in Objective
Obviously, we cannot reach Level 4 unless we are willing to
submit to something outside ourselves. But the popular flawed
philosophy is that there is nothing outside ourselves to believe in or
submit to. In the last lesson we discussed that many people accept the
idea that they dont even know for certain that there are five fingers
on a hand. If they cannot know that, then they certainly cannot have

The Four Levels of Happiness


confidence that God exists. One cannot know God if one believes that
everything is based on ones own perspective.
All people yearn for the ultimate happiness. Yet to attain this
happiness we must accept that there is an ultimate truth. If we do not
believe in a truth that is outside of our own perspective, then we
cannot believe in God. If we dont believe in God, we cannot submit
to Him. If we cannot submit to Him, then we cannot attain Level 4,
the ultimate happiness, no matter how much our hearts yearn for it.
Such people cannot shake off a deep-seated misery. They are in
conflict with their own nature.
Those who refuse to submit to Gods will know deep in their
hearts that they can never achieve the ultimate level of happiness.
With this loss, and being so out of tune with the natural call of their
heart, these people are more likely to live in misery, and in their
misery they are likely to lash out and hurt others and themselves.
Often they will resort to escapes through sex, alcohol, drugs or other
avenues. Often they will suffer unnecessary spiritual, psychological
and even physical disease, which is rooted in their acceptance of the
strange idea that they cant know anything. This strange belief in
moral relativism, is also at the heart of the deadly Im OK, Youre OK,
Were All OK Syndrome. If you cannot know anything, then you
cannot possibly know what is exceptional or first rate or whether
anything is worth striving for. The best you can say is that you and
most other people seem to be OK, whatever that means.
The better way is to live as you were meant to live. Accept that
there is a universal truth and submit your will to Gods. Pledge every
day to just say no to hurting yourself and others through premarital
sex, masturbation, dressing immodestly, looking at pornography and
other forms of sexual misbehavior and to remain in tune with your
human nature and with Gods plan for you. Each day lived this way is
a day with Level 4 happiness within your reach.


Sexual Wisdom for Catholic Adolescents

Prayer of St. Teresa of Avila (1515-1582 AD)

Let nothing disturb you; nothing frighten you.
All things are passing. God never changes.
Patience obtains all things.
Nothing is wanting to him who possesses God.
God alone suffices.

Lesson 17
More Issues for Teens

Say a prayer before the lesson.

Entertainment Guidelines
Luke 14:25-32:
Now great multitudes accompanied him (Jesus); and he turned
and said to them, If any one comes to me and does not hate his
own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and
sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.
Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me, cannot
be my disciple. For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does
not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to
complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation, and is not
able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, This man
began to build, and was not able to finish. Or what king, going to
encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and take
counsel whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who
comes against him with twenty thousand? And if not, while the
other is yet a great way off, he sends an embassy and asks terms
of peace.


Sexual Wisdom for Catholic Adolescents

Jesus is telling us that we must be spiritually prepared if we are to

follow him and live with him in eternity. Consider the materials you
are using to build your tower. Take stock of what kind of an army you
gather for your daily encounters with temptations. How do your
entertainment choices strengthen or weaken your resolve to follow
Christ? What goes into your conscious and subconscious mind, if you
come across degrading forms of entertainment: music, movies, TV,
video games, or magazines?
You may say: Dr. Wetzel, it doesnt affect me when the lyrics to
a song are vulgar or when the TV show is permeated with
objectionable jokes, or when the magazine has pornography, because
I am so clever that I can ignore that. I can put it out of my head.
There is an adage: Dripping water wears the rock. Try to listen
to the dripping water when you hear songs with degrading lyrics, or
songs with a man or woman moaning about how he or she needs a
lover, or when you see vulgarity in movies or immodest dancing.
At first it may be hard to hear, but keep trying and you will.
My wife and I had a rather amazing experience related to
entertainment when we decided to hold our own Jane Austin film
festival. Over a couple of weeks we watched four Jane Austin films:
Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, Emma, and Persuasion.
Each of these films is about wealthy people in 19th century England
and in each the actors are particularly refined and gracious, with
impeccable manners. After watching these movies, I realized my own
lack of manners during my daily routine. It struck me that the reason I
was suddenly so sensitive was because I had just watched four movies
back-to-back about particularly well-mannered people. The movies
made me aware of my own shortcomings.
We should wonder how the dripping water affects the person who
watches four movies in a row that include vulgar language, physical
intimacy between unmarried adults or teenagers, or disrespectful
attitudes of men and women toward each other. If some movies make
one more sensitive to basic courtesies, surely the opposite kind of
movies can make one less sensitive.
So what should you do if you mistakenly go to a movie or watch a
TV show that is offensive? Leave, or at least cover your eyes or ears.
If you are with friends, encourage them to go to better movies, find

More Issues for Teens


better shows to watch, seek other means of entertainment, or find

better friends.

Dating guidelines
It is best for teenagers to go out only on group dates. The goal of
this kind of dating is to have fun, gain experience about life, learn
about new interests, develop as a person, and to learn about the
opposite sex so as to be able make a good decision later on about
whom to marry. If a teenager does go out on a one-on-one date there
should be no expectation of romance. When teens get romantically
involved (kissing, prolonged hugging, holding hands) at this early
stage it often leads to unnecessary confusion and emotional turmoil
and puts them at risk for getting involved in premarital sex.
My mother told me never to date women I wouldnt marry. I
initially thought that this was the worst advice Mom ever gave me
because I didnt understand her meaning. Eventually I realized that
she was right. What she meant was: Dont get romantically involved
with anyone until you are ready for marriage and dont act romantic
with anyone you wouldnt marry. This type of more serious dating,
which used to be called courting, is for finding a suitable marriage
partner, and so is unsuitable for teenagers.
Why are so many people nervous about dating? (For example,
you will likely hear stories from your friends about nervous blunders
that occur when couples say goodnight at the girls front door.) Part
of the nervousness is due to an expectation of romance when it should
not be part of the program. We are naturally nervous when we act in a
manner that is wrong for the circumstance. Romance is for those who
are dating to marry.
Another reason for nervousness is that people often force
themselves to kiss someone when they think it is expected but it
doesnt feel natural. They go against their better judgment to try to
meet an expectation (Should I kiss on the first date?). Only kiss
someone if it feels very comfortable for you and you believe it will be
very comfortable for the other person. If youre not sure, wait. When
you are older and the time is right you will know it, because there will
be no nervousness to diminish the moment.


Sexual Wisdom for Catholic Adolescents

Media Censorship
Over the past few decades tremendous media bias against
traditional ideas has developed. University studies, and the media
itself, have documented this on numerous occasions. Studies show
that almost all adults are aware of this bias. Many high school
students are assigned to read Ray Bradburys Fahrenheit 451. Those
who have done so may consider the following in light if the world
Bradbury predicted. Liberals are making ever-greater use of
propaganda techniques to promote their agendas and to restrict what
conservatives can say or think.
Consider the most fundamental aspect of the three most
controversial subjects in sexualityabortion, contraception, and
homosexualityand how the media censors the traditional viewpoint
on each in the most extreme way.
1) Abortion:
We have already discussed how our society disregards the
misery couples go through when they are trying to decide if the
woman should have an abortion. With a million and a half
abortions done every year you would think that somewhere there
would be public acknowledgement of this misery, but in fact there
is none. All of the grief and despair and frustration and heartache
that people go through related to abortion is hidden.
The blackout on abortion reaches into every avenue of art.
One might wonder why mainstream artists who are so intent on
plumbing the depths of the human heart never create songs,
movies, TV shows, or other works that address the anguish
millions of women and men have over whether or not to abort
their baby. Whether one is pro-life or pro-choice, it is evident that
the millions of people who have gone through the abortion
experience are in distress. Why dont any mainstream artists sing
about it? Why are none of these so-called freethinkers, those
who are supposedly willing to challenge established ideas, so
utterly unable to sing about this, write about it, or produce shows
about it? It is amazing to consider the grip that liberals have over
so many aspects of our cultures information outlets and artists.

More Issues for Teens


Beyond this, the most fundamental aspect of this procedure,

the killing a developing human, is also totally concealed. Despite
the 40,000 abortions done every day in this country one never
sees a picture of an aborted human embryo in any newspaper,
magazine, TV show, or movie produced by the major media. The
public is shown every other kind of violence and vulgarity. Every
other kind of surgery can be found at all hours on TV. They offer
a steady stream of anything and everything related to death,
violence and medical science on the daily evening news. Yet they
refuse to show an aborted human embryo, the result of one of the
most commonly performed surgical procedures.
Even more interesting is the standard claim that the baby is
just tissue. If that were true, then why not end the controversy
about abortion by simply ending the cover up? Why not just show
the public the aborted tissue and then everyone could see how
unreasonable pro-lifers are? The reason the liberal media doesnt
do this is because it isnt just tissue. It is human life. The media
do everything possible to conceal this truth from the public.
2) Contraception:
As we have discussed, contraceptives, by their nature, foster
unhealthy, unholy attitudes. They encourage promiscuity and
compromises on respect, responsibility, commitment, selfrestraintin short, on loveand so they are against Gods will.
To everyone with whom I speak, liberal or conservative, these
facts are self-evident. When patients ask me why I stopped
prescribing contraceptives and I start to explain, they frequently
cut me off, not to disagree, but to agree. It is not a difficult
concept. One need not be a rocket theologian. Yet I have
reviewed hundreds of medical journal articles and newspaper and
magazine articles on contraceptives and have never seen these
simple truths mentioned in any of them. Complete censorship.
Complete blackout.
3) Homosexuality
The homosexual act is, by every argument, biologically
unnatural, medically unhealthy, and reasonably considered against
the dignity of the human person. It is, therefore, logical to


Sexual Wisdom for Catholic Adolescents

consider it a sexual deviation or perversion. But again, this
primary aspect is totally censored by the media. An examination
of the Los Angeles Times online archives over ten years (19902000) disclosed about 1000 articles on the subject of
homosexuality. Not one addressed the most fundamental concern:
anal sex. The closest the Times came in a decade of articles was to
mention the obvious connection between the homosexual
lifestyle with HIV disease. Again, complete censorship of the
most obvious truth about homosexuality: that the homosexual
act is disordered.

The Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55)

My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in
God my Savior. For He hath regarded the humility of His
For behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me
blessed. For He that is mighty hath done great things to me,
and holy is His Name. And His Mercy is from generation unto
generations upon them that fear Him.
He hath shewed might in His arm, He hath scattered the
proud in the conceit of their heart. He hath put down the
mighty from their seat, and hath exalted the humble. He hath
filled the hungry with good things, and the rich He hath sent
empty away.
He hath received Israel, His servant, being mindful of His
mercy. As He spoke to our Fathers, Abraham and His seed

Lesson 18
The Good Dog and The Bad Dog

Say a prayer before the lesson.

At a large gathering of Confirmation students, the speaker told the
story of an old Indian man who was very much at peace. He was
widely admired and his opinion was widely sought after. When asked
about the secret of life and how he had achieved such inner peace he
thought for a long moment. Finally he said that what he had found
over the years was that he had two dogs inside of himone good and
one badand that these two dogs are always fighting each other. The
questioner asked: With such a constant internal conflict, how are you
able to be at peace? The wise old man said that the secret to life, the
secret to maintaining inner peace, was to learn how to feed the good
dog and starve the bad dog. In Catholic terms this is the battle each of
us has with original sin. Our challenge is to feed our souls with as
many graces as possible, and starve our soul of evil influences.
How do you feed the good dog? How do you feed your soul? The
speaker recommended a two part strategy:
1) Pray at least five minutes each day
2) Go to Mass every Sunday.
Now, I submit that this may be an adequate answer for small
children but it is radically inadequate for teenagers. This is the kind of


Sexual Wisdom for Catholic Adolescents

deficient message I heard when I was a teenager. This is what it takes

to be an OK Catholicto reach a level of OKedness. If you follow
these two simple steps, you will become a very solid lukewarm
Catholic (and thereby risk spending eternity in the fires of Hell). This
is the kind of teaching that led me and most of my friends to lose our
faith when we were young. I dont want to be accused of overwhelming you with my answer as to how to feed your good dog and
starve your bad dog. But realize that if this is all you are willing to put
into your faith it may die, like mine once did.
One is reminded of the analogy that likens the Catholic Church to
a banquet. The Church is a spiritual banquet to which each Catholic is
invited. It is a feast that includes the most delectable appetizers, main
dishes, side dishes, fruits, drinks, and desserts imaginable: the Bible,
the sacraments, the saints, the Catechism, classic Catholic books, the
Catholic calendar (holy days), prayers and devotions, etc. And there is
this speaker, with this grand feast in front of hundreds of students, and
he offers to serve them nothing more than bread and water. That is as
sad as can be.
Rather than letting the spiritual feast that the Church has to offer
pass you by, Taste and see the goodness of the Lord! (Psalm 34:8)
The following are suggestions of how to take advantage of Christs
banquet and reach Level 4 happiness. Your spiritual life should be
constant evolve. Take an interest in exploring new methods of prayer,
spiritual exercises, and spiritual habits. Start by trying one or two of
the recommendations and gradually broaden and revise your practice
of the faith. If you do, you will find yourself on a lifelong journey that
will draw you ever closer to Christ.
How to Feed your Good Dog (if you want to live your life in the
manner of a spiritual banquet):
Consider the teaching that ones spiritual life may be compared to
the wheels of a car. The two front wheels are prayer and study. The
rear wheels are fellowship and works. If one loses one of the back
wheels the car drags its hindquarters, but if it loses one of the front
wheels it goes right off the road. Prayer and study are the front wheels
of our spiritual life. Catholics are frequently told to pray more, but we
are rarely told to study more, and we need to do both. Too many

The Good Dog and the Bad Dog


Catholics reach adulthood without having studied their faith beyond a

3rd grade understanding, and they end up in ditches.
We will discuss each of the four wheels in turn, beginning with
the most important, prayer.
Prayer: Your life should be a constant search for better ways to pray.
Establish regular times during the day when you talk to God.
Common times are first thing in the morning, before each
meal and at bedtime, when one traditionally performs an
examination of conscience.
Start each day with at least one prayer. The Morning Offering
can set the tone for the day.
Learn the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Apostles Creed and
say them regularly.
Throughout the day when you need a little spiritual boost
simply make the sign of the cross or say the short Jesus
Prayer or another short prayer. The Jesus Prayer is at least
1000 years old and goes as follows: Lord Jesus Christ, Son
of the living God, have mercy on me, a sinner. The first part
is derived from the response of St. Peter to the Lords
question: Who do you say that I am? (Matthew 16:16) and
the second part is from the words of the tax collector in the
parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector (Luke 18:13).
Some monks over the centuries have said it hundreds or
thousands of times each day as part of their daily routine.
Go to Mass every Sunday. Mass is the greatest prayer.
Go to Mass on at least some weekdays.
What about the other Sacrament that Mother Church offers us
to gain precious graces on a regular basis? Go to Confession
on a regular basisat least once a month. Go once a week if
you need to work on a predominant fault. Before going,
review the seven deadly sins. Focus on pride since it is the
greatest sin and underlies all the rest. Or you can review the
Ten Commandments or another reliable list that will help prod
your memory (there are many Confession guides available).
When considering the Ten Commandments think about the
many ways in which one can break the first commandment.


Sexual Wisdom for Catholic Adolescents

Consider the many false gods we have and how they relate to
pride. The wise Catholic theologian Msgr. William Smith
notes that the older he gets, the more he realizes the biggest
problem we all face is the first commandment. As children we
think more along the lines of Thou shalt not kill, steal or lie.
As we get older we come to appreciate the difficult task of
avoiding false gods: sex, food, alcohol, drugs, money, power,
sports, games, entertainment, etc.
Pray to Our Lady, the Blessed Virgin Mary. As with Jesus,
she is always there for you and she is a sure channel to her
Son. Bear in mind the great love and obedience Jesus himself
showed to Mary at the wedding in Cana. Jesus indicated that
perhaps his time had not yet come and yet she said to the
others: Do whatever He tells you, and He performed his
first miracle. The relationship between Jesus and His Blessed
Mother is a profound mystery, but because of the special
place He has in his Sacred Heart for her we, too, should hold
her dear. Pray the Memorare, the Magnificat, a rosary, a
decade of the rosary, or some other devotional prayer to Mary
on a regular basis.
Read religious/sacred material regularly, especially the Bible
or Bible meditations.
Investigate novenas and litanies. These are powerful prayers
that are a true treasureanother great part of the banquet that
is the Church. There are too many to describe here but you
can find out all about them on the Internet or in books about
Practice mortification (self-denial) on a regular daily basis, at
least in small ways. Mortification is the creation of small or
large sufferings that you bring upon yourself to detach
yourself from this world, thereby making it easier to draw
closer to the Lord when he asks you to do something difficult.
It helps us in letting go of the unnecessary so as to
concentrate on the necessary. Mortification along with prayer
and almsgiving (charitable donation of money, time, or gifts
to those in need) are the three traditional disciplines which
allow us to re-center ourselves. Sadly, most people have never

The Good Dog and the Bad Dog


even heard the word mortification in our progressive

society, which disregards anything not geared toward comfort,
convenience and instant gratification.
Mortification can come in many forms. For example, one
can deny oneself a physical pleasure (restrict oneself from
food, drink, a TV program, or from buying something) or
make some task less comfortable or less convenient.
Mortification is part of the earliest Christian tradition and you
should plan on performing at least one act of mortification
every day. It can be eating a food you know is good for you
but that you dont like, drinking water when you would rather
drink something else, wearing something that is
uncomfortable, getting out of bed earlier than you are used to
or choosing not to use the alarms snooze button. It can be
doing a chore you have been putting off. Every act of
mortification must be tied to prayer for us to gain graces from
it. Beware that mortification for its own sake can lead to
problems such as false pride.
Display sacramentals (the crucifix, statues, religious art, etc.)
that remind you to pray.

Read, study and refer to the Catechism of the Catholic
Read Catholic Church documents such as apostolic
constitutions, encyclicals and apostolic exhortations. They are
a gold mine of information about the Church. All high
school graduates should have a familiarity with at least three
of these Church documents.
The following are a few recent Church documents that
may help to get you started: The Splendor of the Truth
(Veritatis Splendor), The Redeemer of Man (Redemptor
Hominis), Faith and Reason (Fides et Ratio), Of Human Life
( Humanae Vitae), Chastity in Marriage (Casti Connubii ),
The Role of the Christian Family in the Modern World
(Familiaris Consortio), On the Blessed Virgin Mary in the
Life of the Pilgrim Church (Redemptoris Mater), Some False


Sexual Wisdom for Catholic Adolescents

Opinions which Threaten to Undermine Catholic Doctrine

(Humani Generis), The Gospel of Life (Evangelium Vitae),
Letter to Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Pastoral Care
of Homosexual Persons (from the Congregation for the
Doctrine of the Faith), The Truth and Meaning of Human
Sexuality (from the Pontifical Council for the Family), NonDiscrimination Against Homosexual Persons (from the
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith), Declaration on
Certain Questions Concerning Sexual Ethics (from the
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith), Instruction on
Respect for Human Life in Its Origin and on the Dignity of
Procreation: Replies to Certain Questions of the Day (from
the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith). These are all
available online at the Vatican website ( or
through the Daughters of St. Paul/Pauline Press.
Study devotions to Mary. Learn about Our Lady of
Guadalupe, Our Lady of Lourdes, the various scapulars, etc.
Read about the saints. These people made it! They learned
how to feed the right dog. Find out how they did it. Be
warned, however, that there are many candy coated versions
of the saints lives which are not too helpful. These versions
suggest that the saints were born saints and led perfectly holy
lives. The truth is that every saint was born with original sin,
like everyone else. Each saint sinned and struggled to remain
pure. Information about them that reveals their inner struggle
is the most useful. Catholics celebrate a different saints feast
each day of the year. Learn to keep track of, pray to, and study
the saint of the day.
Read about and study the 33 Doctors of the Church . . . the
greatest minds that the Church has produced!
Read good Catholic literature, for example:
St. Frances De Sales Introduction to the Devout Life
Jean-Baptiste Chautards The Soul of the Apostolate
Study the virtues, the traits we admire most. Familiarize
yourself with the four cardinal virtues and study how they
relate to the other virtues.

The Good Dog and the Bad Dog


Watch Catholic TV programs (especially EWTN) if you have

them available.
Use a good Catholic encyclopedia (New Advent is a good
online Catholic encyclopedia) to answer questions and to
research topics.
Keep connected with Catholic organizations online or
otherwise, to keep you informed about good Catholic
resources. The best resources can usually be identified by
their attitude toward the pope. The more they radiate joyful
submission to him the more likely that they are reliable.
Go to talks about your faith given by trustworthy sources.
Read Catholic news and literature (books, magazines,
newspapers) that are faithful to the teachings of the Church.

Works or Almsgiving:
Along with daily prayer and daily mortifications you should plan
on doing some planned or unplanned good deed every day.
Almsgiving means not only giving until it hurts but also taking
responsibility for others welfare.
The works of mercy are as follows. Consider how you can apply
each of them in your daily life.
Corporal (related to the body) works of mercy:
1) Feeding the hungry
2) Giving drink to the thirsty
3) Clothing the naked
4) Sheltering the homeless
5) Visiting the sick and imprisoned
6) Ransoming the captive
7) Burying the dead
Spiritual works of mercy:
1) Instructing the ignorant
2) Correcting sinners
3) Advising the doubtful
4) Bearing wrongs patiently
5) Showing patience to sinners and those in error


Sexual Wisdom for Catholic Adolescents

6) Forgiving others
7) Comforting the afflicted and praying for the living and dead

Even smiling, or just being polite or pleasant when you dont feel
like it are important works of charity.
Connect with fellow Catholics and people who are good
influences on you help you achieve Level 4 happiness. This can
be through parish-based groups, pro-life or other activist groups,
social justice groups, religious education groups, evangelization
ministries, online groups, etc.
Remember, this is an incomplete list of how Catholics can feed
their good dog. There are many more ways. That is why the Church is
a banquet. During the last 2000 years the Church has found
innumerable ways to bring grace into our lives. We should be most
thankful for our wonderful Mother Church!
How to Starve your Bad Dog:
Because of original sin, the human condition is one in which we
are all frequently invited to feed our bad dog. Fortunately, during the
majority of our waking hours (when we are busy with work or study
or with the everyday chores of life) we have little inclination or
temptation to sin. But there are moments of each day when we are
vulnerable to temptation. It is at those times when we are confronted
with deciding whether we will live as we should. At these times we
can consciously focus our minds on goodness, cleaving to Christ, or
we can feed our bad dog. These moments of temptation happen every
day of our lives, sometimes in familiar circumstances and sometimes
as new challenges. They determine whether we are a true soldier of
Christ and want to experience the best that life has to offer, or
whether we will reject Him. These moments can happen any time, but
most commonly occur during times of stress (when we are bored,
lonely, tired, irritable, or anxious). We must be ever vigilant to
temptation. There is no rest from this vigilance until we breathe our
last breath.

The Good Dog and the Bad Dog


When these moments of challenge occur, we are often tempted to

yield in the manner of our predominant fault. Some common
predominant faults are:

Thinking lustful thoughts

Eating when one isnt hungry
Buying things one doesnt need, just because one is bored, sad
or angry.
Excessive gambling or other similar unproductive activities
on the Internet or elsewhere
Drinking too much alcohol

Here are some suggestions on how to keep from feeding the bad
dog with sexual impurity.
Dont break the Ten Commandments. Consider how each one
uniquely challenges you. For example, Thou shalt not kill
includes thou shalt not drive wildly, and thou shalt not have
an abortion or in any way encourage another to have one.
Avoid people who lead you toward darkness, including
potential dates with whom you may be drawn to sin. Keep in
mind the expression: If you lay down with dogs, you may get
up with fleas. As some of our favorite nuns used to say,
choose friends who are better than yourself.
Avoid spiritually unhealthy entertainment. Avoid movies that
present deceitful messages about sexuality, including those
that imply that premarital sex expresses love, or that diminish
the notion of the nuclear family (the heart of every culture).
As John Paul II wrote: Since the Creator of all things has
established the marriage partnership as the beginning and
basis of human society, the family is the first and vital cell
of society.
The great Chinese philosopher, Confucius (5th Century
BC) had the same idea. He wrote: When the heart is set right,
then the personal life is cultivated; when the personal life is
cultivated, then the family life is regulated; when the family
life is regulated, then the national life is orderly; and when the
national life is orderly, then there is peace in this world. From


Sexual Wisdom for Catholic Adolescents

the emperor down to the common man, all must regard the
cultivation of the personal life as the root or foundation.
Most modern movies portray individual freedom as a
higher priority than family life. Liberal film producers
promote an unrestrained lifestyle and make movies that
attempt to popularize anything that reduces personal
constraints or family obligations. Divorce, people living
together in all various arrangements no matter how strange,
premarital sex, and immodesty, are generally treated as
normal parts of life.
Dont read magazines that emphasize immodest fashions,
have lowbrow humor, or discuss immoral activities
Dont watch television shows, listen to radio shows, read
books, or go to websites that glamorize vulgarity or violence
or have degrading material.
Log off the Internet and walk away from the computer if you
are tempted to look at material that you know is evil,
disrespectful or degrading.
Avoid music that is ill-mannered, demeaning, or

In this, always let St. Pauls words from Philippians (4:8) be your
Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable,
whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is
gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of
praise, think about these things.
These many suggestions as to how to feed your good dog and
starve your bad dog may seem overwhelming. The Catholic Church,
the banquet, is often seen as too demanding, too overbearing, too
rigid, too overwhelming. Please bear in mind that the bottom line on
any list comes down to only one directive. Of everything the Catholic
Church might represent to you it should all come down to this: the
Church wants each and every person to strive to improve himself or
herself every day. The Church wants us to make an effort, each day to

The Good Dog and the Bad Dog


live betterto be more kind, more caring, more lovingto follow

our prior suggestion: to be more normal, natural, healthy and holy.
The Church is well aware that none of us will ever be able to perfectly
love God or our neighbor. What it asks is that we never stop trying to
reach that pinnaclethat we never stop trying to be closer to Christ,
to develop a healthy obsession with Him.
If you just want to be OK, if you are willing to succumb to the Im
OK, Youre OK, Were All OK Syndrome, if you are willing only to
live a half-hearted life, and to enjoy only a small portion of what life
has to offer, then only feed your good dog a little bit and he will keep
getting beaten up by the bad dog. Limit yourself to Sunday Mass and
five minutes of prayer each day and do what you can to stay out of
ditches. But if you want to accept the human condition, which is to
strive to be great as only humans canif you believe that you can
always improve, especially in matters of holiness, love, virtue and
character (the areas that matter most) then strive always to refine the
methods you use to feed your good dog and starve your bad dog.
Remember that the reason we want to be more than OK, the reason
we want to have our good dog really take it to our bad dog, is because
we want to experience in our lives as much as possible the most
sublime kind of pleasure, the pleasure that comes from fulfilling our
most basic call to be children of God.
Following this call is often difficult. This is why the Roman
Catholic Church is widely ridiculed. Many people do not want to
follow the challenging path that God has created for us in this life.
Many people are caught up in the fantasies that heaven can happen on
earth and that life should be easy. If you follow the call the Church
lays out for you, you will find that others revile you and persecute
you and utter all kinds of evil falsely against you for the Bible has
told us this will be true (Matthew 5:11).
But always be proud (in the good sense of the word) of your faith.
The Catholic Church is the foremost institution in the world
throughout history that has reached out to the poor, the sick, the
hungry, the homeless, the uneducated, the imprisoned, the dying, the
sorrowful. More than any other institution by far our Church has
followed the challenge of our Lord that whatever you do to the least
of my brothers, that you do unto me (Matthew 25:34-40). There have
been thousands of Catholic ministries, from schools to hospitals, from


Sexual Wisdom for Catholic Adolescents

homes for the elderly and the mentally disabled to hospices, from
orphanages to leper colonies, from disaster relief to social services
and shelters for widows, battered women, pregnant teenagers and on
and on, in every part of the world for nearly two thousand years. This
is a church to be proud of. No other institution of any kind has
anything close to our Catholic heritage.
A last thought for young Catholics to keep in mind with pride as
they follow this call: throughout history there have been hundreds or
thousands of people at any one time who have been willing to be
imprisoned or die for their faith. We hear most about this today
regarding priests and bishops in China but it is a story that never ends.
Again, no other institution in history can say this. Remember always
to pray for these holy people, and to the martyrs throughout history,
and reflect with pride and wonderment about what a blessing it is to
be part of the same Church that produces in every generation, among
the young and the old, so many amazing soldiers for Jesus Christ.


Dr. Wetzels Top 10 Ideas for a Chaste Family Life

For Wives and Husbands:
9 Consciously strive for holiness and chastity in your own lives.
9 Demonstrate to your children a passion for a healthy, holy
marriage. Grow ever more intimate: spiritually, emotionally,
and physically. Do not accept having an OK marriage. Strive
always for a great marriage.
9 If you desire to achieve or avoid pregnancy, use only natural
methods of family planning.
For Husbands:
9 Get all forms of pornography out of your home and life.
9 Train yourself not to gawk at other women. (But it is okay, in
private, to stare at the wife.)
9 Never climax unless it is in a genital-genital marital embrace.
For Wives:
9 Dress modestly.
9 Do not overdress or go to extremes to look good. Do what you
can within reason with what God has given you.
9 Do not perform sexual acts that are demeaning or that make
you feel uncomfortable.
For Everyone:
9 Pray regularly and study the faith.
Sacred Heart of Jesus, Thy kingdom come!

End of Course

Test Questions for

Sexual Wisdom for Catholic

True or False Questions:
1. The Language of the Body refers to tattoos written on various
body parts.
2. Couples who have sex before marriage are more likely to get
3. The Roman Catholic Church wants each person to have a healthy
obsession with Jesus Christ. All of its teachings about sexuality come
back to this basic aim.
4. A person may have many sexually transmitted diseases, and be able
to infect others, without knowing it.

If you marry Mr. or Mrs. Right you will always be happy.

6. Men really do need sex and so girlfriends should have sex with their
boyfriends as early in the relationship as possible.
7. Pornography is based on lies and distortions and so creates a warped
view of the gift of sexuality.
8. Catholic Church teaching is not so much a list of thou shalt nots as
it is an invitation to experience the best that life has to offer, walking
in the path laid down by our Lord, Jesus Christ.


Sexual Wisdom for Catholic Adolescents

9. Uganda is the only African country to actively promote abstinence

before marriage as a response to the HIV epidemic, and it is the only
African country to have greatly reduced the spread of the HIV virus
in its population.
10. Contraceptives






11. Married couples who use natural family planning are far less likely
to get divorced than those who use contraceptives.
12. The Theology of the Body is a teaching which opposes Catholic
13. When it comes to sexual morality the most important point is that
your morality is yours and mine is mine.
14. Pro-choice political views that push women to rush into an abortion
without delay and that discourage giving women basic information
about abortions or showing the woman what she is aborting are
excellent ideas based on sound psychology.
15. You should kiss your date even when you feel nervous and tense, if
you think it is the right thing to do.
16. In some circumstances, condoms offer no protection from STDs.
17. Because most teenagers are so clever they can watch vulgar or
degrading entertainment without it having any harmful effect on
18. Homosexuality is primarily a genetic illness. It is caused by a defect
in the chromosomes.
19. It is okay to judge a person but we should never judge a persons
20. According to this course, the Im OK, Youre OK, Were All OK
Syndrome is deadly to your spiritual life.

Test Questions


21. Despite widespread media reports to the contrary, the sexual abuse
scandal among Catholic priests was mostly one of homosexuality,
not pedophilia.
22. The idea that men need sex is at the heart of addictive attitudes about
23. There are no negative medical, psychological or spiritual
consequences to virginity (not having sexual before marriage).
24. Natural family planning is a morally acceptable way for a couple, for
serious reasons, to limit the size of their family, but NFP can be
25. The treatment of infertility usually involves serious risks and
uncertainties. One way for prospective parents to decide which
treatments to use is to consider who takes the greatest risks with each
type of treatment, and making sure that it is the parents, not the
26. Natural Law teaches that if you study plant life very carefully you
will come to a deep understanding of morality.
27. The Twelve Steps of the many Twelve-Step programs, such as
Alcoholic Anonymous, Sex Addicts Anonymous, Homosexuals
Anonymous and Sexaholics Anonymous, are based primarily on the
Catholic sacrament of Confession.
28. The seven levels of sexual functioning described in this course are
derived from ancient writings from the Orient.
29. The term gay when referring to homosexuals has many deep,
mysterious implications and should always be used in place of the
term homosexual.
30. The average homosexual is much more promiscuous than the
average heterosexual.
31. Liberal media bias is clearly evident in the manner in which
newspapers and TV news shows treat homosexuality, abortion and


Sexual Wisdom for Catholic Adolescents

32. The third Level of Happiness is to feel good, for example, eating a
candy bar.
33. Contraceptives and sterilization procedures never fail.
34. Alcohol is rarely associated with rape.
35. Implantation is when an unfertilized egg cell implants into the
uterine wall.
36. Legalizing abortion led to a dramatic decline in the number of deaths
of women from abortion.
37. Husbands who have developed healthy attitudes about sexuality get
to share a home with the most beautiful woman on earth.
38. Premarital sex (having sex before marriage) is hypocritical because
the two people dont really mean what they say to each other through
their bodies.
39. Through a Catholic marriage, parents and children receive
sacramental graces.
40. There is a limit to Gods mercy. Even if you are truly repentant there
are only so many times He will forgive you.
41. News media reports that declare Post Abortion Syndrome to be rare
are examples of accurate, fair and unbiased reporting.
42. St. Thomas Aquinas taught that love is willing the good of another
or wanting the best for someone else.
43. When women wear immodest outfits it has no effect on mens
attitudes toward them.
44. Where there is true love there is never a possibility of an unwanted
45. When unmarried teenagers have sex it can be a sign of intelligence,
wisdom and holiness.
46. Premarital sex is acceptable if the couple really loves each other.

Test Questions


47. Premarital sex helps a couple to evaluate their compatibility before

they commit to marriage.
48. HIV disease is a horrible, often deadly infection, but political
pressure by activists has prevented our government from effectively
containing the HIV epidemic. Thousands have died as a result.
49. Sex, alcohol, food, money, gambling, work, and power are examples
of false gods.
50. Before 1930, people were too stupid to understand the tremendous
benefits of contraception.
51. Teenagers cannot love each other and themselves enough to save sex
until marriage.
52. Females intuitively have a better understanding of the risks of
premarital sex because they are the ones who have to bear the greater
burden of suffering when those risks become manifest.
53. The Sexual Revolution began in the 1840s.
54. Catholic families should not adopt orphans unless they are wealthy,
infertile live in areas with outstanding school systems.
55. STDs are usually easy to diagnose and treat.


The Sexual Revolution promised to give people greater freedom

and joy in their sex lives but has unleashed a monster of disease,
death, mental disorders, illegitimacy, degradation through
pornographic entertainment, social anarchy, hostility between the
sexes, escalating divorce rates, spiritual darkness, etc.
Most people are rightly ambivalent about the transformation our
nation has just experienced. We needed a Sexual Revolution but got
the wrong one. We got the one based on lies, freedom and pleasure,
but needed the one based on truth, purity and love.
The misguided approaches of the past have been, in large
measure, replaced with worse ones. If this course has impressed you
with anything, it should be that we live in a culture with remarkably
mistaken attitudes about the tremendous gift of human sexuality. All
people can choose to have a sex life that is one positive, holy and
healthy experience after another, though achieving that is often a long
and difficult road.
Please see the following certificate.

Certificate of Completion
This is to certify that
___________________ has successfully
completed Sexual Wisdom for Catholic

Adolescents, a comprehensive Human

Sexuality course on the _____ day
of ___________ in the year ________.
With satisfactory completion of this
course this person is now duly certified as
a member of the special ranks of the
Church militant, who is enlisted to fight
for sexual morality on all fronts. It is a
battle that may be the most pressing of
our age and which is always fought first
on the battleground of our own hearts.
St. Philomena, pray for us!

Appendix A
A Brief Guide for What Fathers (if possible)
Should Discuss with 10-11 Year-Old Boys

- A normal event
- May occur at odd times.
- We should not touch ourselves unnecessarily in private areas.
Nocturnal emissions: a natural, normal event
Dont make jokes or use words that make fun of women or peoples
private parts.
If others do so, change the subject or walk away. Do not discuss
private things with groups of boys. Most boys do not know how to
speak appropriately about things that God deems holy and private.
Three Rules for Young Men to Help Train Them to Have Custody or
Modesty of the Eyes:
1. Dont look at a woman who is looking at you so long that it
makes her feel uncomfortable.
2. Dont look at a woman who is not looking at you so long that
it would make her feel uncomfortable if she were looking at
you. In other words, dont stare at a woman even if she is not
aware that you are staring at her.
3. Dont look at a picture or video of woman so long that it
would make her feel uncomfortable if she were really present
and were looking back at you. In other words, dont stare at
women in pictures or videos beyond a few seconds.


Sexual Wisdom for Catholic Adolescents

Pope John Paul II always emphasized the dignity of each person.

Boys and men must train themselves to look at the whole person. Our
skewed culture encourages men to look at women as mere objects or
creatures, and to emphasize a womans appearance over all else. The
more a man does this the more he tends to think disrespectfully and
unnaturally and the deeper the hole he digs for himself.

Pray for help in these areas from Jesus and your spiritual
mother, Mary.
Remember that others may tease you or be angry with you
when you try to be good. Our Lord has said that this will be
so. When we suffer in His name, when we suffer for the sake
of goodness, we gain grace.

Appendix B
A Brief Guide for What Fathers (if possible)
Should Discuss with 12-13 Year-Old Boys

Puberty: a time of tremendous hormone changes. It affects the whole

Hair everywhere: armpits, private area, beard.
Body odor
Voice change
Eat and sleep more during growth spurts.
Moody/irritable/just dont feel happy/may be more difficult to
focus on studies: especially when 13-14 years old.
Modest Dress: I include this here to balance the comments on
modesty for girls. Parents should use their judgment as to whether and
when this is worth discussing. There are no universally accepted
standards for modesty. We list some here for consideration.
No underwear showing
No sleeveless shirts
No displaying the bare chest
Shorts should be long enough to reach at least the middle of
the thigh


Sexual Wisdom for Catholic Adolescents

Review the Ten Commandments:

1. I am the Lord your God: you shall not have strange Gods
before Me.
2. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.
3. Remember to keep holy the Lords Day.
4. Honor your father and your mother.
5. You shall not kill.
6. You shall not commit adultery
7. You shall not steal.
8. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
9. You shall not covet your neighbor's wife.
10. You shall not covet your neighbor's goods.
Notice that the first three tell us specifically how to honor
God and the fourth tells us to honor our parents. Three of the
commandments cover the basics: dont lie, steal or kill. Of the
remaining, two deal with the sexual appetite. In other words,
sexual purity has been a very big issue with God from the
In the modern era males have some unique challenges toward this
end. First, beauty products along with cosmetic surgery have made it
possible for women to look more beautiful than ever before. On the
other hand, with all the extra choices women have today regarding
their appearance, those with poor taste are often far less attractive
than they would be otherwise. Second, women wear more provocative
clothes than ever before. Third, photography has put gawking into a
whole different light: only since the advent of photography have men
been able to stare at women without immediate social reproach. (A
photograph does not care how long a person looks at it.) Also, since
photographs can now be easily transmitted through print and Internet
capabilities, images of beautiful women are far more widespread.
Therefore, to be sexually pure in the modern environment is a greater
challenge than ever so we must be ever vigilant, while not being
overly critical of our mistakes.

Appendix B


The struggle for purity has been called Everymans Battle. It is

very common for men, especially, to struggle with it. No one is
perfect and for many men sexual sin becomes a predominant fault. In
this we might well remember the word of St. Padre Pio: Learn to
hate your faults, but hate them calmly.
When it comes to sexual temptation, a person has three options.
The first two are the options the world offers. The third is the right
1. Give in to sexual temptation. This is hedonism.
2. Reject all sensual pleasures. This is prudery.
3. See all sensual pleasures as from the eyes of God. Realize that
all sensual pleasures must submit to a higher orderto the
natural order wherein Christs will, love, and morality come
There are rules to follow about sexual feelings or desires that you
experience. The idea of rules relating to sexuality reminds me of a
quote from C.S. Lewis in Mere Christianity:
Morality raises in a good many peoples minds: something
that interferes, something that stops you having a good time. In
reality, moral rules are directions for running the human machine.
Every moral rule is there to prevent a breakdown, or a strain, or a
friction, in the running of that machine. That is why theses rules
are first seen to be constantly interfering with our natural
inclinations. When you are being taught how to use any machine,
the instructor keeps on saying, No, don't do it like that, because,
of course, there are all sorts of things that look all right and seem
to you the natural way of treating the machine, but do not really

Review the three rules regarding the custody of the eyes from the
10-year-old talk.

Every young man must be aware that sometime during his teen
years he is going to see a woman whose beauty is beyond what he


Sexual Wisdom for Catholic Adolescents

thought possible. This is the way men are built. All men eventually
develop strong sexual urges from which they must restrain
themselves. This can be hard, very hard. Fortunately, when we suffer
to avoid sin, that very sense of suffering tells us that we are doing the
will of Godwe are walking in the steps that He laid down for us
and so in a sense we can rejoice in that suffering. It is the person who
gives in to temptations, who does not suffer for God, who ultimately
will experience the profound unhappiness and inner discord that
accompanies sin.

Boys at this age are at risk for forming sinful attitudes about
immodest women. Prior to this, what they see may seem silly
or gross, but at this age they can feel the strong lust of an
adult. It is important that they develop good mental habits
about sexuality to prevent future serious problems.
Chastity of the eyes, bouncing the eyes: This is what one
must train oneself to do when one sees a pretty but
immodestly attired woman. The advantage goes to the one
who can learn to bounce the eyes away from the woman and
keep them away.

It seems such a small sin to gawk at a picture of a beautiful

woman, but such stares lead to a greedy yearning for more and more,
and there are legions of men who can attest to the frustration and
despair that unrestrained greed leads to. This is one of the areas in life
in which small sins quite readily lead to larger ones.

Appendix C
A Brief Guide for What Mothers (if
possible) Should Discuss with Teenage
Girls Before the First Menstrual Period
(usually 12-13 years old)

Puberty: a time of tremendous hormone changes. It affects the whole

Hair everywhere: armpits, private area.
Body odor
Eat and sleep more during growth spurts.
Moody/irritable/just do not feel happy/may be more difficult
to focus on studies: especially when 13-14 years old.
Modest Dress: There are no universally accepted standards for
modesty. We list some here for consideration. These generally
apply to girls after the age of nine.
Skirts should not be higher than the knee when standing
Skirts should not have slits that come above the knee.
No sleeveless outfits.
The neckline should not be much below the collarbone.
Avoid tight-fitting clothes, especially those which accentuate
the breasts or caboose.


Sexual Wisdom for Catholic Adolescents

No see-through clothing
No bare midriff
No visible undergarments
Shorts should be long enough to reach at least the middle of
the thigh

Menstrual period: a normal, natural event that usually occurs about

once a month and last from 2-7 days.

Periods are often accompanied by crampy lower abdominal

pain (cramps) that usually last 2-3 days.
o The most effective over-the-counter medications are antiinflammatories such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others), and
naproxen (Aleve). These are more effective if taken at the first
sign of cramps and should always be taken with food. Tylenol
helps some women.
o Some women find relief by applying a heating pad or hot
water bottle against the lower abdomen, or by taking a warm
Bleeding may be irregular, especially for the first few years.
Some women become irritable before the start of their period.
Discuss types of feminine protection and how to use: pads and
o Discuss the need to keep some feminine pads handy for
unexpected bleeding.
o Need to be sure to change tampons often and remove the last
one promptly. If forgotten, and left inside the woman, they
can cause an infection which may be serious and which will
usually first manifest itself as a very odorous vaginal

Appendix D
A Very Brief Note About Discussing
Homosexuality with 14-Year-Olds

Homosexuality is probably the strangest subject in the area of

sexuality. Since the issue is constantly at the forefront in our culture,
it is impossible to keep children from hearing about it. No matter how
sheltered the student is, we recommend discussing the basics of the
issue by the age of 14. The discussion need not be long.

Some people, due to problems in their life, can develop very

unnatural ideas about sexuality including an attraction for
people of the same sex. This condition is called
homosexuality and it affects men much more commonly than
Tell the student that you will discuss the issue fully when they
are older but that they should know that people like this exist,
that they are confused due to mental problems, and that we
should pray for them.
Tell the student that a lot of people use the word gay when
they are referring to homosexuals, and that some people use
derogatory words about homosexuals that are hurtful and

Answers to Test Questions:

1: F, 2: T, 3: T, 4: T, 5: F
6: F, 7: T, 8: T, 9: T, 10: F
11: T, 12: F, 13: F, 14: F, 15: F
16: T, 17: F, 18: F, 19: F, 20: T
21: T, 22: T, 23: T, 24: T, 25: T
26: F, 27: T, 28: F, 29: F, 30: T
31: T, 32: F, 33: F, 34: F, 35: F
36: F, 37: T, 38: T, 39: T, 40: F
41: F, 42: T, 43: F, 44: T, 45: F
46: F, 47: F, 48: T, 49: T, 50: F
51: F, 52: T, 53: F, 54: F, 55: F


Definitions marked * are quoted from Merriam Websters Collegiate

Dictionary, 10th edition, 1994.
abortion. The intentional killing of a human embryo or fetus. This
may be done through surgical or chemical means. Spontaneous
abortion is the medical term for miscarriage, in which case the
developing embryo or fetus dies spontaneously within the womb,
without artificial, external influence. Spontaneous abortions often
occur in association with birth defects, abnormalities of the
uterus, and maternal illnesses.
abortifacient. A device or hormone, often considered a
contraceptive, but which has as its primary mechanism of action
killing of a developing embryo, not creating a barrier to
addiction. A habitual behavior primarily used to reduce, avoid, or
escape stress, which entails likely subsequent, serious harm to the
addict and/or others.
adultery. When a married person has sex with someone who is not
his or her spouse.
AIDS. The Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome. The last stage of
HIV infection in which the patent develops unusual infections and
arousal. A state of excitement or stimulation.
barrier methods of contraception. Methods of contraception which
prevent sperm from coming into contact with an egg, for example,
condom, diaphragm, and cervical cap.
bestiality. A sexual abnormality in which one performs sexual acts
with animals.


Sexual Wisdom for Catholic Adolescents

bisexual. A person whose gender orientation is roughly equal toward

males and females.
birth control pill. The Pill. A potent steroid hormone which
artificially regulates a womans menstrual cycles and which is
commonly prescribed for use as a contraceptive. Its primary mode
of action is to reduce the likelihood of conception but it can also
act to abort a developing embryo.
celibate. One who makes a commitment to never having sex, such as
a priest or nun.
cervix. The lowest part of the uterus (womb). A common location for
cancer to develop.
circumcision. A minor surgical procedure wherein a redundant flap
of skin that covers the tip of the penis is cut off.
codependency. *A psychological condition or a relationship in
which a person is controlled or manipulated by another who is
affected with a pathological condition (as an addiction to alcohol
or heroin).
conception. The union of sperm and egg which occurs in the
fallopian tube approximately one week after ovulation. This union
forms the one-celled zygote.
consent. Agree or permit.
contraceptives. Medications or devices used to prevent the union of
egg and sperm.
dysfunctional. Unhealthy, abnormal, or otherwise impaired.
ectopic or tubal pregnancy. The condition which occurs when an
embryo becomes lodged in the fallopian tube as it travels toward
the uterus. Such embryos eventually die and may threaten the life
of the mother by causing internal bleeding.
embryo. What the developing human person is called from
conception through the second month of life.
encyclical. A Catholic Church document written by the pope which is
meant for widespread circulation. It is highly authoritative, second
only to apostolic constitutions as authoritative writings of the
exhibitionism. A sexual abnormality in which one habitually seeks
sexual gratification from publically displaying ones own private
body parts.
extramarital sex. Sexual intercourse between a married person and



someone other than his or her spouse.

fallopian tube. *Either of the pair of tubes conducting the egg from
the ovary to the uterus.
fertile. Capable of reproducing.
Fertility Awareness. A method by which a couple achieves greater
awareness of the womans natural, biological rhythms and uses
this knowledge to attempt to achieve or avoid pregnancy.
fertility rate. Birth rate. The number of births per one thousand
women per year.
fertility regulation. Any attempt to increase or decrease a sexually
active couples chances of reproducing.
fertilization. See conception.
fetish. A sexual abnormality in which one habitually seeks sexual
gratification from the use of inanimate objects.
fetus. What the developing human person inside the uterus is called
during the period from the end of the second month of life until
frustration. Disappointment or dissatisfaction arising from
unfulfilled desires.
gay. A synonym for homosexual which supposedly connotes other
characteristics, the specifics of which no one can agree.
genitals. The sex organs. The penis and the vagina.
heterosexual. A person whose predominant gender orientation is
toward the opposite sex.
HIV. The Human Immunodeficiency Virus, the virus that causes HIV
disease and AIDS.
holistic (approach to sex). To view sexuality in the greater sense as
it relates to each person as a whole or each couple as a unit; in
contrast to arbitrarily distinguishing between genital and
nongenital sexual interactions, isolating a persons sexuality from
himself or herself, or isolating a couples sexuality from the
totality of their relationship.
homophobia. *Irrational fear of, aversion to, or discrimination
against homosexuality or homosexuals.
homosexual. A person whose predominant gender orientation is
toward the same sex.
Illegitimate child. A baby born to a couple who are not married.
Implantation. The attachment of a developing embryo to the uterine


Sexual Wisdom for Catholic Adolescents

wall. The placenta develops at this site of attachment.

infertility. The inability to get pregnant
I.U.D. Intrauterine device. A form of birth control. Most I.U.D.s work
primarily by inhibiting implantation of the developing embryo
onto the wall of the uterus and thereby causing an abortion.
lust. Disordered sexual desire.
masturbation. Sexual self-stimulation of the genitals.
matrimony. The joining of a man and woman through marriage.
menstruation. The monthly evacuation of the inner lining of the
uterus following the demise of the unfertilized ovum (egg). Often
associated with uncomfortable, lower abdominal cramps.
mental. Relating to the mind. Mental problems include depression
and anxiety problems.
method failure rates. As applied to efforts to avoid pregnancy, the
optimal estimated failure rate that may be achieved by a method
of fertility regulation under ideal conditions. It is an unrealistic
expectation when considering any population of imperfect
miscarriage. The event of a baby dying inside the womb from natural
modesty. The moral virtue which moderates how one dresses, moves
and speaks so as to avoid undue attention to ones sexual nature.
An excess of modesty is prudishness, a lack of it is immodesty.
morality. Of, or relating to, the goodness of behavior.
Natural Family Planning. See Fertility Awareness.
nidation. See implantation.
nonsurgical. Not involving surgery. The desired therapeutic effect is
brought about without resorting to surgery, for example, through
medications alone.
nuclear family. The institution which consists of a father, mother and
their children.
nuptial. Of or relating to marriage or the marriage ceremony.
objective. *reality independent of the mind.
oral contraceptive. See birth control pill.
ovum. *The female gamete; an egg prior to fertilization (conception).
ovulation. The release of the ovum (egg) from the ovary.
PAP smear. A screening test for cancer of the cervix that is



performed during a gynecological exam. A sample of cervical

cells is obtained using a swab or small spatula or brush, and is
then sent to the laboratory for evaluation.
pedophilia. A sexual abnormality in which an adult performs sexual
acts with children.
pelvic inflammatory disease. An infection of the fallopian tubes in
the female. It is always considered to be sexually transmitted and
is most commonly caused by chlamydia or gonorrhea.
PID. See pelvic inflammatory disease.
The Pill. See birth control pill.
Planned Parenthood Federation of America. A private national
organization which actively promotes access to abortion,
contraception, and comprehensive sex education. Planned
Parenthood has over 100 clinics which perform 134,000 abortions
annually making it the foremost provider of abortion services in
the United States. (See: Planned Parenthood Federation of
America 1993-1994 Annual Report [New York: Planned
Parenthood Federation of America, 1994]). It receives large sums
of money from the United States government and from many
national foundations and corporations.
pornography. *The depiction of erotic behavior (as in pictures or
writing) intended to cause sexual excitement. Or, to paraphrase
Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart: I dont know how to define it, but I know it when I see it.
Post Abortion Syndrome. A constellation of symptoms that many
women experience after an abortion including depression,
nightmares, flashbacks, guilt, and anniversary reactions.
pregnancy. The state of carrying a developing embryo or fetus.
premarital abstinence. The refraining from premarital sex.
premarital sex. Sexual intercourse between two single people before
they are married.
procreate. To bring forth offspring, to have children.
prostitute. A woman who engages in sexual acts for money.
prostitution. The crime of engaging in sexual acts for money.
psychosexual. Mental processes related to sex.
psychosexual dysfunction. Unhealthy attitudes about sex.
redemptive. Saving.
religion. A faith, an institutionalized set of teachings, or ritualized


Sexual Wisdom for Catholic Adolescents

activities with which an individual affiliates because it or they

most accurately reflect the individuals understanding about the
nature of God and humankind, and the relationship of the two to
each other.
replacement level. Average number of children that women in a
population must have during their lifetimes to replace the number
of people who die so as to keep the population level stable.
screening tests for STDs. Tests used to identify patients who have a
sexually transmitted disease despite not having symptoms of one.
secondary virginity. The state of one who has previously engaged in
premarital sex and resolves not to do so again.
self esteem. Ones value of oneself. Self-confidence, self-respect,
self-stimulation. See masturbation.
semen. A mixture of sperm and secretions from the prostate which
travels from the mans penis into the womans vagina during
sexually transmitted disease. An infection or wart that is passed
from one person to another through sexual acts.
sexual masochism. A sexual abnormality in which one performs
sexual activities which are intended to cause physical pain to
Sexual Revolution. The current period of dramatic change in the
attitudes and behaviors related to sex and family life which began
in earnest in the 1960s.
sexual sadism. A sexual abnormality in which one performs sexual
activities which are intended to cause physical pain to others
situational ethics. An ethical system which states that no act is
objectively or certainly immoral, that the morality of all behaviors
must be considered in the light of the circumstances involved.
sperm. *A male gamete. As the egg is to the female, the sperm is to
the male. Both contain half of the genetic material needed to
create new life. Sperm are contained in semen.
spiritual nature. An indomitable inner force that leads people to
aspire to greatness, whether or not they ascribe to a particular
religious belief system. It imparts an instinctual sense of purpose
in life, of the existence of a transcendental realm, and thereby
summons all persons to selflessness and to do good and avoid



STD. A sexually transmitted disease.
sterilization. A surgical procedure performed on a male or female for
the purpose of making that person incapable of reproducing.
subjective. *characteristic of or belonging to reality as perceived
rather than as independent of mind."
symptom. *Subjective evidence of disease or physical disturbance.
theology. The study of God and religion.
transsexual. *A person with a psychological urge to belong to the
opposite sex that may be carried to the point of undergoing
surgery to modify the sex organs to mimic the opposite sex.
transvestite. *A person, usually a male, who adopts the dress and
often the behavior typical of the opposite sex especially for
purposes of emotional or sexual gratification.
ultrasound. Medical instrument which uses sound waves to image
parts of the body or the developing baby inside the mothers
VD. A venereal or sexually transmitted disease.
virgin. *A person who has not had sexual intercourse.
virtue. Good habits. Those character traits that are most admired and
that lead to the most genuine freedom, love and self-fulfillment.
The greatest virtue, the one toward which all others are directed,
is charity or love.
voyeurism. A sexual abnormality in which one habitually seeks
sexual gratification from looking at sordid pictures, videos, or
movies or at live people in states of undress or involved in sexual
vulgar. Indecent, low-brow, crude, obscene, poor taste.
whore. A prostitute.
zygote. The single-celled human organism formed by the union of
sperm and egg. Through cell division the zygote becomes a
human embryo and then a fetus.


grieving process and, 10415
"Harder Truth" video about, 99
hiding consequences of, 168169
mother's instinct and, 105
pressure to have, 102
rates of, 100
safety of, 101102
state laws regarding, 101102
techniques, 100101
abstinence, 55, 56
addictions, 179
codependency and, 134136
defined, 116
as false gods, 173
degrees of, 116
help for, 116
and social problems, 23
Twelve Step Programs and, 156
unhappiness and, 163
adoption, 108109
homosexual, 108
AIDS and HIV in, 56, 57
alcohol, 23, 27, 36, 37, 38, 116
codependency and, 134, 136
domestic violence and, 118
Needs Misconception and, 114
pornography and, 62
STDs and, 48
rape and, 118, 119

Alcoholics Anonymous, 156158

discipline of, 174
as a work of mercy, 177
anal intercourse (sex), 46, 54, 124
127, 128, 144, 170
Anima Christi, The, 36
Apostles' Creed, 173
arousal. See sexual response cycle
Augustine, Saint, 39, 96
Austen, Jane, 166

beatitude (blessedness), 36
bestiality, 131
Bible, see individual books
7, 36, 68, 91, 96, 172, 174, 181
selected quotes, 57
Billings' Method, 82
birth, 5
birth control. See contraceptives
bisexuality, 121
Bloom, Alan, 156
The Closing of the American
Mind, 148
Bonnaci, Mary Beth, 28
"Broken Record" technique, 28

cancer of the cervix, 5
Catechism of the Catholic Church,
79, 13, 68, 80, 172, 175
Catholic Church, 29, 32, 35, 91, 96,
authentic interpreter, 7


Sexual Wisdom for Catholic Adolescents

contraceptives and, 6769, 8286

historical view of, 180
as leaders in discussion of
sexuality, 6
natural family planning, 91
ridiculed, 181
summary of teachings on
sexuality, 1214
celibacy, 13, 32, 111, 133
censorship, 169170
cervical mucous method, 80
cervix, 5, 100
chastity, 14, 32, 42, 63, 75, 85, 96
how to practice, 6364
Chautard, Jean-Baptiste, The Soul
of the Apostolate, 142, 176
child abuse, 131
pornography and, 62, 65, 117
relationship to domestic violence,
child pornography, 62, 65
chlamydia, 49, 50
choosing a spouse, 3334
Christ. see Jesus Christ
Christianity, 14, 69, 80,175
mentality, 10, 11, 115, 136
chromosomes, 4, 71, 126, 127
circumcision, 56
climax(ing), 3 4344, 45, 46, 47,
109, 113, 143
Code of Canon Law, 68
codependency, 134136
conception, 4
condom, 51, 52, 55, 56, 57, 70, 72,
73, 90, 95, 125, 138, 144
Confucius, 179
consensual sex, 119
mentality", 73, 101
contraceptives, 22,40, 69, 76, 77,
83-84, 85, 86, 88, 89, 91, 115, 125,
143, 144. See also Sterilization
attitudes and, 135
business of, 76, 93
and censorship, 169
failure rates of, 72

five aspects of love and, 7375

legitimate use of, 77
main types of, 7072
problems with teen use of, 77
"sacred cow" status of, 92
world overpopulation and, 78
1 Corinthians
1:13, 147
6:15-20, 7
courtship, 20, 167
Culture of Death, 9697
custody of the eyes, 63

date rape, 119
dating guidelines, 167
Declaration on Certain Questions
Concerning Sexual Ethics (from
the Congregation for the Doctrine
of the Faith), 176
diaphragm, 72
domestic violence, 117, 118
drug abuse, 18, 23, 25, 26, 29, 36,
53, 116, 163, 172
HIV, STDs and, 47, 48, 52, 54,
55, 57
prostitution, pornography and, 17,
19, 62
rape and, 118, 119

encyclicals, 11. See also Popes
effects of, 166
guidelines, 165167, 180
Ephesians 5: 21-31, 6
EWTN (Catholic Television and
Radio), 177
exhibitionist, 122, 130

Fahrenheit 451, 168
fallopian tubes, 4
fellowship (Catholic), 178

feminism, 101, 106, 118, 119, 137
fertility awareness. See Natural
Family Planning (NFP)
fertilization, 4
fetish, 130
forgiveness, Gods, 33, 42
Freud, Sigmund, 86

Galatians 6:7-9, 60
"gay", 123134
1:25-28, 5
2:15-25, 5
Ghandi, Mahatma, 86
Glory Be, The, 145
Golden Rule, 29
gonorrhea, 49, 50
morality and, 146
superficial vs. essential, 35
grief process in miscarriage vs.
abortion, 104

Hail Mary, The, 119
four levels of, 160163
types of, 35
"Harder Truth" abortion video, 99
Hepatitis B & C and homosexual
activity, 31, 49, 50
herpes, 49, 50
heterosexuality, 120
HIV and AIDS, 5357
homophobia, 129130
homosexuality, 27, 122, 123129
cause of, 126
in other cultures, 127
intolerance of traditional view of,
and sin, 127129
STDs and, 31
treatment, 133

mislabeling as gay, 123126
promiscuity of, 124
rejection of abstinence, 125
hormones and contraception, 70
hymen, 3

Ideas for a Chaste Family Life, 183
illegitimacy, 23, 24, 92, 137, 138
immorality, 7, 146, 150153, 155
157, 158
implantation, 4, 7172, 76
incest, 99, 120
adoption as solution, 108109
moral dilemmas of, 106108
and STDs, 50
Instruction on the Respect for
Human Life in Its Origin and on
the Dignity of Procreation: Replies
to Certain Questions of the Day,
Internet and pornography, 59, 64
intrauterine device (IUD), 70, 72
Introduction to the Devout Life, 176

Jesus Christ, 6, 7, 9, 10, 13, 16, 25,
37, 38, 39, 45, 59, 88, 96, 108, 133,
136, 145,149, 161, 165166, 172,
174,178, 181, 182
as center of Christian life, 8
and the Church, 10
fornication, 29
the healer, 42
healthy obsession with, 67, 68, 91
peace of, 36, 140
as spouse, 32
Jesus of Nazareth, 38
Jesus Prayer, the, 79, 173
John 8: 3-11, 25
judging, 156


Sexual Wisdom for Catholic Adolescents

lesbianism, 123
Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic
Church on the Pastoral Care of
Homosexual Persons, 129, 176
Lewis, C.S., 150
litany, 176
agape, 11, 12, 13
eros, 1112
five aspects of, 17, 7375, 8588
natural law and, 152
necessity of, 1718
15:11-32, 37
1:46-55, 170
18:13, 173
lukewarmness, 9697
lust, 14, 40, 59

Magnificat, The, 170
manual manipulation, 45
marital intimacy, 23, 9
marital sex
advantages of waiting, 3132
frequency of, 46
levels of, 142148
sexual attitudes and, 4647
marriage vow, 45, 111, 113, 119
martyr, 95, 163, 182
Mary, Mother of God, 14, 176
devotions to, 176
Mass, 116, 171, 173, 181
masturbation, 45
18:22, 25
19:12, 8
22:35-40, 6
McGuigan, Barbara, 55
media, 39
on abortion grief, 105
to avoid, 179180
censorship, 168170

priest scandal and, 132, 133

promotion of homosexuality, 127
promotion of views on
contraception, 69
as temptation, 6364
"Megan's Law", 131
Memorare, The, 66, 174
menstruation, 29
miscarriage, 104
mistress, 19
modesty, 28, 58, 60, 115, 135, 143
molestation, 117, 144
moral relativism, 147149, 150,
defined, 147
liberalism and, 149
and natural law, 152
religions and, 148
morality, 39, 80, 128, 146147, 150,
152, 153, 155
defined, 146
distinguishing between religion
and, 156
imposing morality on others, 158
Morning Offering, The, 173
mortification, 174175
Mother Teresa of Calcutta, 99,
prayer of, 109
Muggeridge, Malcolm, 60

natural family planning (NFP), 67,
Catechism of the Catholic Church
on, 79
divorce rate and, 91
falsehoods about, 89
five aspects of love and, 8788
reasons for lack of acceptance,
three types of, 8182
natural law, 83
compared to divine and civil law,
Pope Pius XII on, 152

"Needs Misconception", 110115
conflict with Christian mentality,
needs vs. desires, 110112
New Advent, Catholic encyclopedia,
Non-Discrimination Against
Homosexual Persons (from the
Congregation for the Doctrine of
the Faith), 176
novena, 174

OK Syndrome, 9497
one night stand, 19
oral sex, 43, 44, 4546, 60, 143
orgasm, 3, 43, 46, 45, 46, 61
orgy, 19
original sin, 37, 142, 171, 176
Our Father, 15, 173
ovaries, 4
ovulation, 4, 22, 106
Ovulation Method, 82, 98

Pap smear, 5, 50
papal apostolic exhortations
The Role of the Christian Family
in the Modern World (Familiaris
Consortio), 910
papal encyclicals
Chastity in Marriage (Casti
Connubii), 175
Faith and Reason (Fides et Ratio),
God is Love (Deus Caritas Est),
Gospel of Life, The (Evangelium
Vitae), 176
On Human Life (Humanae Vitae),
8286, 175
Mother of the Redeemer
(Redemptoris Mater), 175
Redeemer of Man, The
(Redemptor Hominis), 1718,

Some False Opinions which
Threaten to Undermine Catholic
Doctrine (Humani Generis), 176
Splendor of the Truth (Veritatis
Splendor), 152, 175
penis, 2, 3, 5, 6, 49, 51
petting, 45, 143
placenta, 4, 5, 54, 72
Planned Parenthood, 69, 95
polygamy, 120
Pope Benedict XVI, 9, 11
on abortion, 99
and Needs Misconception, 115
on priest scandal, 132
on sin, 3839
Pope John Paul II, 6, 10, 17, 20, 46,
47, 67, 128, 145, 179
on "Culture of Death", 96, 97
"Language of the Body", 19, 141
On Love and Responsibility, 44
on moral relativism, 152
on priest scandal, 132
Theology of the Body, 12, 32, 36,
40, 59, 76, 141
pornography, 5865
defined, 58
Post Abortion Syndrome (PAS),
Prayer from the Angelus, 42
Prayer from the Chaplet of Divine
Mercy, 153
Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi, 26
Prayer of St. Teresa of Avila, 164
Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel,
changing definition of, 71-72
STDs and, 4850
premarital sex, 2025, 2736
how to say no to, 28
media glamorization of, 24
falsehoods about, 2931
physical risks of, 2122
psychological risks of, 2223
as sin, 20


Sexual Wisdom for Catholic Adolescents

social risks of, 2324

spiritual risks of, 21
teen reasons for, 2728
Priest scandal, 131133
Project Rachael, 105
promiscuity, 138
and alcohol, 48
contraceptives and, 77, 169
definition, 43
feminist promotion of, 137
homosexual, 124, 125, 139
legalizing abortion and, 103
and pornography, 61
sexual revolution and, 43, 92, 119,
STDs and, 49
abortion and, 102
contraceptive use and, 69
defining pregnancy, 7172
homosexual, 126, 127
media censorship, 168170
prostate gland, 3
prostitution, 7, 18, 75, 90, 110, 114,
115, 116
risk of violence and, 118

rape, 99, 115, 118119
"date rape", 119
marital, 89, 112
pornography and, 62
victim's role in, 119120
Reardon, David, Aborted Women:
Silent No More, 158
religious freedom, 159
religious vocation, 32
RU486, 101
rhythm method, 81

Sacrament of Confession, 16, 21, 33,
116, 157, 173
Sacrament of Matrimony
(Marriage), 13

Sacrament of the Eucharist, 21

Safer Sin, 55
"safe sex", 55, 95
"Sandwich" technique, 28
self-discipline (denial), benefits, 32,
41, 8586, 87, 174
seminal vesicles, 3
Seven Deadly Sins, 69, 173
as a false god, 38, 174
five main reasons to have, 112
sexual abuse, 110, 116120
sexual deviations, 130131, See also
sexual harassment, 117
sexual intercourse, 2, 3, 4, 13, 17,
19, 32, 43, 44, 45, 47, 54, 83, 84,
85, 87, 112
codependence and, 135
HIV and, 57
incidence of fertility in, 81
marital debt and, 111
risk of pregnancy and, 73
and sperm collection after, 107
sexual masochist, 130
sexual orientation, 121123
sexual purity, 28, 94, 96
homosexuality and, 128
before marriage, 32
role of confession in, 14
sexual response cycle, 3, 4, 43
sexual revolution, 6, 43, 124, 126,
effects of, 137139
outcome of, 91
sexual sadist, 130
sexuality, 2, 3
avoiding problems with, 40
confusion between sexuality and
romance, 20
distorted views of, 64
historical view, 95
holistic approach to, 80
levels of sexuality, 44, 142
normal, 23

summary of Catholic Church
teachings on, 1315
sexually transmitted diseases
(STDs), 4752
pregnancy and, 47, 48, 80
Shakers, 1
Sign of the Cross, 92, 173
Silver Rule, 28
sin, 2, 8, 14, 21, 37, 3839, 42, 45,
51, 115, 116, 178, 179
and abortion, 99
and child abuse, 117
and forgiveness, 25, 33
and homosexual acts, 123, 125,
128, 139
and immorality, 146, 150, 155
and incest, 119
and pornography, 61, 62 , 63, 65
pride as, 173
and oral sex, 44
original sin, 14, 37, 142, 171, 176,
and priest scandal, 132
premarital sex, 20, 21, 28, 32
Seven Deadly, 69
and sexual deviants, 130, 136
steps toward, 3638
tolerance and, 135
Sirach 26:1-4, 13-18, 134
Smith, Rev. Philip, 19, 155
Smith, Msgr., William, 172173
sperm, 3, 4, 5, 70, 71, 72, 106,
sperm donor, 107, 108
Spitzer, Fr., Robert, Healing the
Culture, 160
St. Paul, 147, 180
sterilization, 71, 73, 7475, 83, 88
tubal ligation, 73
vasectomy, 73
symptothermal method of NFP, 82
syphilis, 49, 50

Ten Commandments, 151, 173, 179
testicles, 3, 49

The Truth and Meaning of Human
Sexuality (from the Pontifical
Council for the Family), 176
Theology of the Body Moment, 32,
36, 40, 59, 76, 141
Thomas Aquinas', definition of
love, 17
transsexual, 131132
transvestite, 131
truth, universal (objective), 147
149, 150
Twelve Step Programs, 156158
Twelve Steps of Alcoholics
Anonymous, 156157

Uganda, 5657
uterus, 4, 5, 47, 70, 71, 72, 100, 106

vagina, 3, 5, 47 49, 51, 100
Vatican II documents
Joy and Hope (Gaudium et spes),
Vatican web resources, church
documents available, 66
venereal diseases. See sexually
transmitted diseases (STDs)
venereal warts, 49, 50
vice, overcoming, 63
virginity, 9, 30
virtue, 16, 39, 46, 75, 94, 95, 96,
135, 176, 181
cardinal four, 70, 156
chastity, 6364
defined, 60
justice, 153
of modesty, 60
practice of, 63
voyeur, 124, 143

Washington Post, 86
Weigel, George on teachings of


Sexual Wisdom for Catholic Adolescents

Pope John Paul II, 6

West, Christopher, The Good News
about Sex and Marriage, 145
wet dreams, 47, 111
withdrawal, 72
works of mercy, 177-178

zygote, 4