Truth & Meaning of Human Sexuality

Basic Points from Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality

   We recommend that you read the entire document, The Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality (Pontifical Council for the Family, 1995).  
Below are the main points which provide guidance for parents regarding their role
as primary educators of their children, especially in the area of chastity and sexual education.

"In giving life, parents cooperate with the creative power of God and receive the gift of a new responsibility — not only to feed their children and satisfy their material and cultural needs, but above all to pass on to them the lived truth of the faith and to educate them in love of God and neighbor. This is the parents' first duty in the heart of the 'domestic church'. The Church has always affirmed that parents have the duty and the right to be the first and the principal educators of their children." (Truth and Meaning, #5)

The document's advice for parents may be summarized by these main themes:

  1. Human love as self giving: developing the virtue of chastity
  2. Learning stages
  3. 4 Principles regarding Information about sexuality

Human love as self giving: developing the virtue of chastity

“Aware of this and of the real difficulties that exist for young people in many countries today, especially when social and moral deterioration is present, parents are urged to dare to ask for more and to propose more. They cannot be satisfied with avoiding the worst — that their children do not take drugs or commit crimes.” (Truth and Meaning, #49)

“Parents must find time to be with their children and take time to talk with them. As a gift and a commitment, children are their most important task... Children are more important than work, entertainment and social position.” (#51)

“In these conversations — more and more as the years pass — parents should learn how to listen carefully to their children, how to make the effort to understand them, and how to recognize the fragment of truth that may be present in some forms of rebellion. At the same time, parents will have to be able to help their children to channel their anxieties and aspirations correctly, and teach them to reflect on the reality of things and how to reason.” (# 51)

Learning stages

“The family 'is the best environment to accomplish the obligation of securing a gradual education in sexual life. The family has an affective dignity which is suited to making acceptable without trauma the most delicate realities and to integrating them harmoniously in a balanced and rich personality.'” (#64)

4 Principles regarding information about sexuality

  1. Each child is a unique and unrepeatable person and must receive individualized formation. (#65)
  2. The moral dimension must always be part of their explanations. Parents should stress that Christians are called to live the gift of sexuality according to the plan of God who is Love. (68)
  3. Formation in chastity and timely information regarding sexuality must be provided in the broadest context of education for love. (#70)
  4. Parents should provide this information with great delicacy, but clearly and at the appropriate time. (#75)