Free Essay: How the Catholic Church and Hinduism View Sex
The Catholic church and the Hindu both have certain views about sex. This research paper will look at How the Catholic Church and Hinduism View Sex.
The position of the Catholic Church and concept of sexuality involves what the church considers sacred custom, holy scriptural provisions, sacred customs and natural law. Its sexual morality provision and models draw their authority from promulgation by the teachings of the church and Magisterium who sole task involves interpretation of the scripture by selected Bishops and the Pope who commune with the leader.
Sexual morality of the Catholic Church features general principles where members can closely evaluate whether specific behaviors and actions satisfy set standards. One central doctrine of the church in morality model is the general idea that sex is great pleasure besides procreation purposes, promotion and unity preservation between spouses is disordered and undesirable when individuals settle for it purposely and for itself.
The attitude of the church also concerns the principle than sexual and human life cannot be independent and separated from one another (Kochuthara 16). Based on the Catholics Church belief that God made man in his likeness and the outcome was excellent, the church teaches that sex and human body being inseparable must also be excellent.
Expression of love between couples constitutes sophisticated form of human activity. According to the teachings of the Catholic Church, sexual activities join spouses in mutual and in full offering oneself to each other and enhancing the relationship (Kochuthara 16). Sexual activity characterized with faithfulness, pure union and intimacy as well as transmission of human life in the process of procreation is dignified and worthy. The teachings of the church also focuses on the fact that sexual expression applies outside marriage and in an area where is there is frustration over procreative function, is considered immoral.
In relevance to frustration in the process of procreative function, sexual activity involves illusion to contraception illusion. The position of church is also based on the fact that sexual intercourse has a purpose and it should is rightfully applicable in a marriage (Kochuthara 17). Conjugal love should also target intensity of personal unity between spouses towards having a unified heart and soul so that bonding in the purpose of marriage is fulfilled, as a symbol of love that exists between God and humanity (Kochuthara 18).
The Catholic Church statement on the model of sexuality also concerns an overall orientation towards avoiding sex for self-seeking objectives and pleasure, in favor of procreation function and promotion of devotion towards God. This teaching also forms the church’s foundation towards masturbation and premarital sex. The church also conceives premarital sex as a practice that often runs against the decorum as well as self-respect of humans and their sexuality.
This position is aligned with the position of the Catholic Church that sex should only apply in enhancement of relationships between spouses to represent God and for the purpose of procreation. The teachings of the church also involve more emphasis on chastity as a virtue to moderate the urge for sexual activity.
Premarital sex exists outside the philosophy of the church that is appropriate and chaste; therefore, moral sexual activity involves two aspects of procreation and spousal union. On masturbation, the teachings of the Catholic Church disapproved the practice on the basis it comprises undesirable and unnatural act representing variation of lust (Rausch 150). Ejaculation outside intercourse according to the church constitutes an act that is targeted at pleasure and an objective that is contrary to the provisions of the church that moral sex assumes the purpose of spousal union and procreation.
In Hinduism, the concepts of sexuality are less formalized and less structured compared to the teachings of the Catholic Church especially when it comes to vagueness in Hindu scriptures on the same issue. The teachings of Hindu regard sexual activity as a duty in marriage setting that is also based on the principle that pleasure is one of the four aims of ideal life objectives.
Restraining from sexual is an important aspect in Hinduism because the religion considers restraint as quite fundamental to the well being of members and a responsibility to preserve, uphold and support regulatory order in the universe. Hinduism also features liberal attitude towards sexuality with a traditional regard of sexual variance as not advisable, but without expressing discouragement.
Sexual restraint, abstinence and celibacy are virtues are desirable Hinduism traits because they desire faster and guaranteed liberation (Machecek and Wilcox 109). Hinduism also features different stages of religious and human development, and the ‘’student’’ stage often requires that members adopt a virtuous and pure lifestyle model with spiritual growth, education and maturity to prepare for different duties including social and parental responsibilities, earthly actions and employment.
The ideal stage in which Hindus go for physical pleasure is at the ‘’householder’’ stage (in marriage), a requirement that portrays the recommendations of restraining in sexual activity and self-control. Hinduism also considers sex as a desirable, enjoyable and positive in married life. Sexual activity is also correct in marriage alone and adultery is not applicable even though the scriptures of Hinduism are not very clear on the issue (Machacek and Wilcox 109). Self-control also includes an important aspect in Hindu life in regard to sexuality.
The Hinduism teaching model underlines the religion’s attitude towards masturbation and premarital sexual. The religion also emphasizes on self-restraint as a virtuous characteristic among its members, a teaching that guides the attitude of the religion towards the practice.
Hinduism conventional idea is that in the ‘’ Brahmacharya’’ stage of life or the first 25years of life, individuals are in the process of preparing their life duties including careers and parenting through pursuit of education. Therefore, Hinduism regards sexual relationships pursuits before ‘’householder’’ stage in a person’s life (the stage of marriage) as a distraction from the ability to completely and adequately prepare for the responsibilities.
The religion also regards abstinence of any sexual activity before marriage as the most appropriate way to ensure the well being of members and to prepare them for responsibilities to preserve, uphold and support regulatory order on earth (Machalek and Wilcox 109). Hinduism in regards to masturbation is inclusive of sensual pleasure among the four pleasures in life among the objectives in life as it underlies the attitude of religion.
Hinduism also accords total sexual freedom among its members apart from those who take on celibacy vows. The written discourse on sex of the religion, ‘’Kamasutra’’ condemns masturbation. However, it explains what it offers as the best option to settle for in masturbation which is contrary to the condemnation. Nonetheless, Hinduism designates celibacy as a very fundamental worship practice with the stand that practicing masturbation would easily impede the purity of Hindu worshipers as well as sexual purity in celibacy (Graham and Hall 177).
These are provisions that reflect permission to practice masturbation and tolerance within marriage in Hinduism for worshipers except in the event where celibacy is adopted as a form of worship lifestyle.
Graham, Cynthia, and Hall, Kathryn. The Cultural Context of Sexual Pleasure and Problems: Psychotherapy with Diverse Clients. London: Routledge, 2012.
Kochuthara, Shaji. The Concept of Sexual Pleasure in the Catholic Moral Tradition. Rome: Gregorian Biblical Bookshop, 2007.
Machacek, David, and Wilcox, Melissa. Sexuality and the World’s Religions. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, 2003.
Rausch, Thomas. Catholicism in the Third Millennium. Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 2003.