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MASTURBATION

Direct stimulation of the sex organs outside of sexual intercourse. The self-stimulation can be physical, by means of some external object, or psychic, by means of thoughts and the imagination. It is a grave misuse of the procreative faculty and when done with full consent and deliberation is a serious sin. The sinfulness consists in setting in motion the generative powers while preventing them from achieving their natural, divinely intended purpose. (Etym. Latin manu, with the hand + stuprare, to defile oneself.)

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

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