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Bullet Archdiocese of Washington

Archdiocese of Washington’s Catechesis On Human Sexuality
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Content by Grade Level
Heterosexual Orientation
Homosexual Orientation
Homosexual Activity
Sexual Arousal

Guideline's Definitions

Womb - Before a baby is born, he has a special home called the womb inside his mother where he grows until he is big enough to be born (Grade One).

Marriage is a vocation from God. God gives a husband and a wife the grace to help each other get to heaven and to help Him to bring children into the world (Grade Five).

Procreation refers to the privilege of cooperating with God in giving a life to a new human person (Grade Five).

Conception - At the moment of conception, a unique and unrepeatable human being comes into existence and immediately begins to develop (Grade Five).

Heterosexual - The attraction of a man or a woman to the opposite sex is called a heterosexual orientation. This is the plan of God for a man and a woman (Grade Six).

Homosexual - Some persons have a sexual attraction for others of the same sex. This is called a homosexual orientation. A man with this orientation is sometimes called gay; a woman is sometimes termed a lesbian (Grade Six).

Puberty is the process by which a young woman’s body prepares for the possibility of motherhood (Single Sex Setting - Grade Six). Boys - young man’s body ... fatherhood

Chastity is the virtue which ensures that our thoughts, words and actions correspond to God’s plan for sexuality (Grade Seven).

Intercourse - God has given sexual intercourse two similar purposes: to unite a husband and wife in love, and to make it possible for them to help God bring children into the world. God wants sexual intercourse kept for marriage (Grade Seven).

Abortion - Induced abortion is the directly intended killing of an innocent human being and is a grave sin against the fifth commandment. Abortion is never the right choice to make when a woman is faced with a difficult or unintended pregnancy (Grade Seven).

Modesty means dressing, speaking and acting in a way that helps other people avoid attitudes and actions that do not respect god’s plan for sexuality (Grade Seven).

Modesty means dressing, speaking and acting in such a way that one does not draw attention to one’s sex appeal or arouse sexual desire in another person (Single Sex Setting - Grade Eight).

Dating - The purpose of dating is to provide opportunities to form friendships with members of the opposite sex. Going steady can make it more difficult to be chaste and diminishes a young teenager’s opportunities to develop other friendships (Grade Eight).

Homosexual activity between persons of the same sex is not part of God’s plan (Grade Seven). Some adolescents and adults may experience a sexual attraction to persons of the same sex. Being attracted to someone in this way is referred to as a homosexual orientation. When this happens the virtue of chastity helps one to avoid sexual acts which would be against God’s plan (Grade Eight).

Friendship is based on shared values and a sincere concern about the well-being of another person (Grade Eight).

Love - Falling in love is a feeling that can just happen to a person, but love itself is a commitment to do what is right and good for another person, regardless of how one feels.
The loving and mature person can withstand pain when it is necessary and can forgo pleasure when it is harmful. The grace of God enables us to do the good that we would be unable to do on our own effort. (Grade Eight).

Lust is an unloving attitude towards another person which reduces him or her to an object of sexual desire (Single Sex Setting - Grade Eight).

Sexual Attraction - The attraction to the other sex which is felt so strongly at puberty is normal and healthy. Strong sexual desire is controllable with self-discipline and the grace of God (Single Sex Setting - Grade Eight).

Sexual Arousal - Affection is appropriate for dating, but passion belongs in marriage. Affection is the casual and sincere expression of caring for another person, such as kind words and hand holding. Passion refers to the sexual arousal which prepares a person for sexual intercourse. To deliberately cause sexual arousal in oneself or in another person outside of marriage is destructive of our power to love and is morally wrong. This includes dressing or speaking immodestly, looking at pornographic or sexually arousing literature, magazines, movies or videos, listening to sexually suggestive music, sexual fantasizing, and passionate kissing or petting outside of marriage (Single Sex Setting - 8th)

Pornography portrays the human body and human sexuality in a way that degrades the
dignity of the person, most often the woman (Single Sex Setting - Grade Eight).

Masturbation is an immature and self centered response to one’s sexual feelings and is always morally wrong (Single Sex Setting - Grade Eight).

STDs/AIDS - The negative consequences of sins against chastity include guilt, regret, depression, disappointment in ourselves and others, decreased self esteem, the risk of acquiring various sexually transmitted diseases, including AIDS, and weakening of our relationship with God (Single Sex Setting - Grade Eight).


Mary Lee O’Connell, CRNP 8/04