“Masturbation is a grave offense against love, because it makes the excitement of sexual pleasure an end in itself and uncouples it from the holistic unfolding of love between and man and a woman." (Youcat 409). It can also be known as self-abuse. Sexual pleasure is only to be sought in the marital act. Only in the marital act is the “total meaning of mutual self-giving and human procreation in the context of true love… achieved.” (CCC 2352)

Our focus needs to be that our sexuality is a beautiful gift which is created to display the goodness of the Lord.


Discussing with your child the changes of their body and urges and feelings they may experience as they approach puberty is key. This is something with which men and women both may struggle. Many in society believe masturbation is necessary and good for human development, when it is quite the opposite. Having these conversations early will greatly reduce this behavior from becoming habitual.

Also consider what your child is watching on television, viewing on the Internet, or reading that may be graphic in description. Talk to them about how certain topics or scenes may lead to those urges and feelings and that it is okay to avoid them. Remind them that they can talk to you to help them stay accountable.


If you discover that your child is struggling with masturbation, walk with them so they don’t feel alone. Many times, teens know what they are doing is wrong but do not know how to stop. Let them know that you are willing to help them get to confession when they need it. Listen to them and help them send the support and help they need. Pornography is often coupled with masturbation; check the resources below in overcoming both of these issues.


Want to learn more?

Learn more about Pornography

Learn more about Sexual Education

Learn more about Healthy Development