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OBSCENITY

Whatever is sinfully calculated to arouse sexual pleasure in a person. The nature of the object that arouse the pleasure is immaterial. What is essential is the wrong intent of someone who presents, produces, or depicts something that experience shows will arouse sexual pleasure. The intention is wrong because its purpose is to unnecessarily provoke sexual pleasure outside the privileges of marriage. And the object of the intention is the person, of whatever age, whose sexual desires are inevitably excited by the obscene stimulus. (Etym. Latin obscaentias, offensiveness, filthiness.)

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

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