I am Kelly, a very concerned friend of mine who felt I am becoming an atheist, advised me to be very careful with ideologies because I am not comfortable with the church’s teaching against indecent dressing rather than good conduct. My point is that so much emphasis on the dressing preoccupies our men into becoming more and more interested in that which is covered, hence increasing the rate of rape cases in our society today. Unlike in the olden days when a short jigida was the dressing code, yet men were not carried away with any kind of arousal. I need a clarification please!


  1. I wouldn’t like to say anything concerning the alleged Church’s emphasis on modesty vis-à-vis the increase in rape. The reason is that I have noticed such emphasis in the first place. Most Churches have calender which the pastor must follow. So if there is a particular pastor who talks about immodesty on a daily basis, it is the fault of the pastor. Therefore, it becomes a logical fallacy of overgeneralization to say that the Church emphasizes modesty. The Church teaches virtue and modesty is a virtue.
    I wish only to say something about rape and modesty, independently viewed not necessarily correlative.

    *Rape:* There is no excuse for rape. Even if a guy meets a very beautiful drunk lady lying naked along the road, it is no excuse to abuse her sexually. I should rather think that a responsible guy ought to make provisions to cover her nakedness instead of seeing her drunkenness and the consequent immodesty as “temptation”. The same example could also apply to a lady raping a guy or abusing him sexually on the account of accidental conditions. There is no excuse for such abuse. I am a Catholic and a priest for that matter. So I quote the official position of the Catholic Church on rape:
    *Catechism of the Catholic Church n. 2356:* “Rape is the forcible violation of the sexual intimacy of another person. It does injury to justice and charity. Rape deeply wounds the respect, freedom, and physical and moral integrity to which every person has a right. It causes grave damage that can mark the victim for life. It is always an intrinsically evil act. Graver still is the rape of children committed by parents (incest) or those responsible for the education of the children entrusted to them.”

    *Modesty:* Unfortunately, whenever modesty is mentioned, many minds go to dressing and fashions especially on the part of ladies. But modesty is not just about how we dress. The concept of shame is very important to the understanding of the virtue of modesty. The feeling of shame arises on two occasions: 1. as a sentiment of inferiority occasioned by something really evil or dishonourable. For instance, if one is caught stealing meat from the pot or a man wearing patched trousers in the presence of beautiful ladies. 2. A feeling of shame also arises when one’s private sphere is violated by an intruder. For instance, one may be praying and someone enters the room unannounced. The tendency is for him to try to hide that he was praying not because prayer is dishonourable but because it is an intimate and private sphere between him and God. *Modesty as a virtue is a sense of shame which instinctively protects the intimate and private sphere of an individual.* A principal area of intimacy and privacy is the expression of sexuality. *Thus, in the area of sexuality, the virtue of modesty functions as a protective shield which helps one to guard himself or herself from a rapid diffusion of libidineous energy that could impair the proper functions of the intellect or a sense of shame which instinctively reacts to protect that which is not meant for the public.* For instance, if I see a naked person, the virtue of modesty functions instinctively to stop my eyes from interfering with the private sphere of the person in question. It is true that the person is also bound by the same virtue of modesty to protect his/her private sphere but the demand of modesty is not unidirectional. I again quote the catechism of the Catholic Church: *”2523 There is a modesty of the feelings as well as of the body. It protests, for example, against the voyeuristic explorations of the human body in certain advertisements, or against the solicitations of certain media that go too far in the exhibition of intimate things. Modesty inspires a way of life which makes it possible to resist the allurements of fashion and the pressures of prevailing ideologies.”* Therefore, while we talk about modesty in fashions, modesty is not just about fashion, we have modesty in looking, modesty in talking, modesty in feeling, etc. *So, if someone dresses immodestly, while I don’t approve of such, that person’s appearance demands modesty in looking and feeling from those who see the immodestly dressed person.* It is a two way process. *If so, then immodesty in dressing, though a vice, cannot and can never be an excuse for rape or any form of sex abuse.*
    From the above, *if we want to teach modesty, we teach it because it a virtue and we teach the comprehensive understanding of modesty to everyone (not just modesty in dressing with special emphasis on ladies as many do).* We quickly forget that just as a woman attracts a man, a man may also attract a woman. *I consider it a grave misconception to teach the virtue of modesty as a factor in the prevention of rape.* I conclude by going back to the teaching authority of the Church: *”2524 The forms taken by modesty vary from one culture to another. Everywhere, however, modesty exists as an intuition of the spiritual dignity proper to man. It is born with the awakening consciousness of being a subject. Teaching modesty to children and adolescents means awakening in them respect for the human person.”* Training in the virtue of modesty is for everyone not just for ladies.

    ▪Fr Ejiofor Asadu

    1. Thanks very much Fr. More of this. May God continue to inspire and bless us as we work in his vineyard

  2. The church has not deemphasized good conduct. Decent dressing is a good conduct. Permit my question please; now that there is a corona pandemic is everyone dwelling on HIV/AIDS?
    I guess that goes for indecent dressing. It’s become so rampant that its almost a norm if not for the church’s emphasis on decency. My mum will tell me that if I can’t wear a cloth comfortably in the presence of God, then it has a comma somewhere. I should change it.
    Now there are so many reasons to rape in the society and indecency is a learing reason however most females choose to fight against indecent dressing probably because they enjoy exposing their awesomely created bodies and fresh skin.
    I feel the reason for exposing parts of your body that is not meant to be exposed is for people to admire right? ( because there are definitely better clothes) so the men faithfully admire and when they can’t hold it anymore, they pounce.
    Sister, our men are not gods. They are in flesh and if its not easy to have self-control when the lady is decent, how much more indecency?
    Please don’t be an atheist. Its worse

  3. Adam and Eve use to be naked before they ate the fruit and knew evil.

    In the olden days, they know sin but not to the extent it is now.

    As the world advance in good things, evil is not left behind.
    So we have to take more preventive measures.

    Also, emphasis on the need to be decent is not the cause of increase in rape cases.
    Pornography, blue film and indecency is the cause, I guess.

  4. Please don’t become an atheist oo, LOl.

    Firstly, let me point out and correct this misconception, the Church does not de-emphasize good conduct.

    The Church’s teaching on decency in dressing is just a fraction of the good conduct the church is known for.

    If some men are interested in that which is covered, you can imagine what will happen when it is not covered.

    Men are mostly moved by what they see.

    If the rate of indecency is in geometric increase,
    What do you expect from the church, if not to lay emphasis on the need to be well dressed without neglecting other department in the school of good conduct.

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