Is Hentai a sin?

Is watching Hentai a sin?

As lustful sins are normalized nowadays, it is not surprising that some people think that watching pornography is just natural. They rationalize it by saying that it is okay because others do the same. It is quite alarming. Pornography in any form is wrong. Whether it contains actual actors or anime, it is just wrong. Yes, you read it right. Even Hentai.

In this blog post, we will deep dive into anime pornography and its negative effect on one’s soul.

What is Hentai?

Hentai is a genre of Japanese anime or manga containing sexualized characters and sexually explicit images and plots. The term is derived from the Japanese word for “perversion”.

It has become some of the most popular pornography all over the world.

There are individuals who prefer this form of pornography.

Catechism

According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church,

CCC 2351 Lust is disordered desire for or inordinate enjoyment of sexual pleasure. Sexual pleasure is morally disordered when sought for itself, isolated from its procreative and unitive purposes.

In relation to this, one of the sins that are easily covered in the definition of lust- sexual pleasure sought for itself, is pornography.

CCC 2354 “Pornography consists in removing real or simulated sexual acts from the intimacy of the partners, in order to display them deliberately to third parties. It offends against chastity because it perverts the conjugal act, the intimate giving of spouses to each other. It does grave injury to the dignity of its participants (actors, vendors, the public), since each one becomes an object of base pleasure and illicit profit for others. It immerses all who are involved in the illusion of a fantasy world. It is a grave offense. Civil authorities should prevent the production and distribution of pornographic materials.”

Why is watching Hentai bad?

Maybe you are also wondering about this specific statement from the definition above.

“It does grave injury to the dignity of its participants (actors, vendors, the public)…”

Since it is just an anime, there are no actual “Actors”. There is no live action at all. So why is it bad?

First is the purpose of watching it. Although hentai is in a form of anime, it has the same purpose as pornography with actual actors.

And that is to objectify the characters for the masturbatory pleasure of viewers.

People watch it because it gives them sexual arousal. And this leads to masturbation.

Another reason is its addictive effect.

Hentai like its counterpart is addictive as well.

According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine, it is a behavioral addiction- a behavior that a person becomes dependent on and craves despite negative consequences to the person.

And just like other addictions, this needs treatment.

Watching Hentai is a Sin

Now, let’s answer the question.

Is watching Hentai a sin?

Yes. Watching Hentai is a sin. Just like pornography with actual actors, this promotes the objectification of the characters for masturbatory pleasure. This could also result in behavioral addiction negatively affecting the viewer’s well-being.

Mortal or Venial Sin

Now that we know that watching hentai is a sin, let’s proceed to tackle its category.

Is it a mortal or venial sin?

For a quick recap, the Catholic Church has two categories of sin depending on gravity.

It could be mortal or venial.

These are the conditions for a sin to be mortal.

  • It must involve grave matter
  • Committed with full knowledge
  • Committed with deliberate consent

Let’s use watching pornography, specifically hentai, as an example.

If one had watched hentai despite awareness that it is a sin, then there is a mortal sin.

To explain more.

First, watching hentai is a lustful sin, therefore, it is a grave matter.

Next, that person committed it in full knowledge. Meaning there was a consciousness that it is a sin.

Lastly, committed it with full consent. Despite one knowing that it was sinful, it was still intentionally committed.

Note that all conditions must exist. If a sin lacks one of these conditions, it will fall as venial.

Confession

As mentioned, lust is a grave sin and thus must be brought to confession.

Confessing that one watched pornography can be embarrassing and awkward. But if you really are serious about your soul. You can definitely do it.

To confess, you just have to tell the priest your sin. In this case, watching hentai.

You can also proceed by mentioning the times you fell for this sin.

If you are not sure, be honest.

If you have been doing it for a long time, you can say, many times.

The priest will then give you counsel, ask you for penance and finally absolve you.

But, note that true repentance is when you change for the better.

If you are struggling with scrupulosity, you check this Confession Guide.

Resources

As discussed, watching anime pornography can be addictive. Thus, just like other addictions, a quick fix is not possible. There is no overnight treatment available for this. It requires time to totally remove it from the system.

That said if you have an addiction to pornography in any form or maybe still recovering from it, here are some of the best resources available you can consider.

You can also check this collection of books talking about chastity.

In addition, there are Parishes that have Office for Family Life. You can ask them to help you get a counselor.

You can also open your struggles to your Spiritual Director if you have one. I highly recommend this for accountability.

Conclusion

Pornography in any form is wrong. It is against the virtue that we are all called to live by, chastity.

Addiction to it is the worst. It could ruin the way people live. And those who surround them.

But this should not be despaired of.

There is still hope!

Defeating it through Sacraments, prayer, and resources is possible.

At the right time, you will be healed.

May we all persevere in His love and live a pure life.

Loving Mother, pray for us.

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