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SEXUAL MORALITY (C 2331-2400, 2514-2533, USC Chaps. 30 & 33)

Note to small groups: This lesson is eight pages long and is divided into three parts. It may take you two ses- sions to cover all the material.

and how men and women interact with each other and approach life.

Online course-takers: This lesson has six sets of quest- ions spread throughout. Respond to each set.



Sixth Commandment (C 2331-2400, USC Ch 30) “You shall not commit adultery.”

Ninth Commandment (C 2514-2533, USC Ch 33) “You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife.”

This lesson is divided into three parts:

  • Part One: Introduction to Human Sexuality

  • Part Two: Chastity

  • Part Three: Family Planning


Experiencing and enjoying male and female rela- tionships and friendships are key ways for us to be- come the person that God created us to be. In the book of Genesis, God tells us that “it is not good for us to be alone.” This does not mean that all of us should be married. After all, Jesus was not married, but he did experience and enjoy both male and fe- male relationships.

The challenge for men and women (in the family, in Church and in the work place) is to see each other as partners and companions in the journey of life. When God created men and women, he did not cre- ate one gender to dominate the other. Rather, God created men and women to complement each other. To the extent that men and women succeed in being partners and companions in the journey of life, they will reflect to the world a true image of God.

The sixth and ninth commandments deal with the gift of our sexuality and how we are to use it in ac- cordance with God’s plan.

The Catechism states: “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” (C 2332).

From the above statement, we can say that our sexu- ality touches every aspect of our being— physical, emotional, mental, social and spiritual. Our sexual- ity is the energy in us that makes us attractive and attracts us to other men and women. Sexually alive people are those in touch with their bodies and with their feelings, are able to relate to other men and women in healthy ways, and have a yearning to con- nect with the transcendent or spiritual dimension of life.

Three Characteristics of Human Sexuality

Gender dimension. “Male and female he created them,” so writes the author of the Book of Genesis. The gender dimension of our sexuality has to do with our “maleness” and “femaleness” as persons,

Affective dimension. This dimension of our sexual- ity refers to our capacity as human persons to be lov- ing, compassionate, vulnerable, trusting and respon- sive in our interpersonal relationships with persons of the same and opposite sex. To the extent that the affective dimension of our sexuality is developed, we have the capacity for emotionally intimate rela- tionships.

Genital dimension. This refers to the capacity of men and women to have genital or sexual inter- course. True genital expression can have a physical, pleasurable, relational, procreative and spiritual di- mension to it. The “playboy culture” recognizes or emphasizes only the physical and fun dimension of sex.

Having looked at the above three characteristics of human sexuality, we can say that persons committed to a life of celibacy can enjoy a lot of intimacy in their lives if they have developed their capacity for close and loving relationships. On the other hand, others may experience a lot of genital intimacy but very little emotional intimacy because they have failed to develop the affective dimension of their sexuality.

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