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Bullet Tackling Tough Topics

“Why can’t I dress the way I want?”
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Modesty Defined (The Archdiocese of Washington’s Catechesis on Human Sexuality)

– “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 (7th grade).”
– “not drawing attention to one’s sex appeal or arousing sexual desire in another person (8th grade).”

Media’s Message – have students examine magazines, music, TV shows, and movies

God’s Message – asked to practice the virtue of modesty not because there is something unclean or bad about their bodies. The writings of Pope John Paul II make it very clear that God has given each of us the gift of sexuality. When we use this gift in marriage, as God intends, to love one person faithfully for the rest of our lives and to welcome the new lives that may come from this love, there is nothing unclean or wrong about sex.

Parents as Role Models for ALL chaste behavior
Boys and girls need to be taught appropriate behavior
Scant, tight clothing can place a child at risk.
Responsible for teaching “safe” behavior

Younger Children – part of protection teaching
Discuss the message dress gives – review magazine photos and TV shows
Reputation – now everyone thinks differently about Brittany Spears
No type of dress justifies any inappropriate language or touch
Encourage children to tell parent/teacher about any inappropriate language or touch.

Older Students – parents need to be more specific
God made boys different from girls. Boys are affected by what they see while girls are
affected by touch. This is a protection from God but once touching begins, it is more
difficult to stop. Explain momentum. You have to slow down so you can stop.

What to do? – “Bounce your eyes” (Every Young Man’s Battle) when you see something immodest. Don’t lock your eyes and let your mind store the image in your memory bank. Pray, pick “good” friends and learn more from the resources below.

Every Young Man’s Battle by Stephen Arterburn & Fred Stoeker, Strategies for victory in the real world of sexual temptation, ISBN 1-57856-537-5,
A Return to Modesty -- Discovering The Lost Virtue by Wendy Shalit. A must for daughters. Touchstone Publishers, ISBN 0-684-86317-0, paperback, $13.00.
Secret Keeper – The Delicate Power of Modesty by Dannah Gresh, ISBN: 0-8024-3974-8, Moody Press, 2002. Also publishes books on modesty for parents and boys. or, resources, book, title search
Real Love Productions – Mary Beth Bonacci’s view of real life in Articles, Chastity, scroll down the list at

Mary Lee O’Connell, CRNP - 8/04