We explain what chastity is, its meaning in marriage and what the vow of chastity is. Also, what was the chastity belt.

With Christianity, chastity was associated with the purity of the body, as the opposite of lust.

What is chastity?

Chastity is, according to different religions and moral codes, the rejection of sexual relations considered indecent or impudentsuch as premarital relations, prostitution and adultery. It is traditionally considered a virtue related to temperance, that is, with resistance to temptation. People who govern their actions by chastity are known as people castes.

The term “chastity” has its origin in the Latin word castitastranslatable as “purity”, which in turn derives from the adjective castus (“pure”, or in a strict sense “cut off” or “separated” from vices).

This term was used in Ancient Rome to refer to those who were governed by traditions and what was morally acceptable, not exclusively in terms of sex. From Christian times, the term took on a stricter meaning related to sexuality and came to refer to the purity of the body, that is, the opposite of lust.

In general, in monotheistic religions such as Christianity, Judaism or Islam, sexual rectitude is extremely important, and breaches of chastity are usually severely punished. In some cases, the exact meaning of chastity can vary and refer to both appropriate sexual conduct and total abstinence from sexual practice, that is, celibacy. In all cases, chastity is linked to purity, virginity, resistance to erotic temptations and rejection of bodily pleasures.

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See also: Asceticism

Vow of chastity

People who take a vow of chastity generally commit themselves before God or some other moral principle to lead a life of celibacy. This means that they reject any type of sexual or erotic life, as a way of getting away from temptations and worldly pleasures, embracing instead the values ​​of spirituality, transcendence, and mystical enlightenment.

vows of chastity are common in nuns, monks, priests, and other religious figures who commit their entire life to the pursuit of the sacred. In some religions chastity is not necessary to exercise the priestly office, while in others it is an essential requirement.

the chastity belt

chastity belts They are a Renaissance invention that consisted of an iron panty or some other strong metal, with openings to allow bodily functions but with prongs or spikes sticking out around these openings. Its function was to prevent the sexual act and thus protect female chastity.

Traditionally it is supposed that they were used in the Middle Ages to guarantee the fidelity of wives or the virginity of maidens, but there is very little evidence in this regard and it is much more likely that they were used by nurses, nuns and women in general during periods of quartering. , war or daily risk of rape, as prolonged contact with the metal would have caused disease and permanent skin damage. At present they exist exclusively as sex or erotic toys.

chastity in marriage

In the case of consummated marriage, chastity refers to fidelity with the couple. Namely, a chaste marriage is one in which neither spouse has sexual relations with another person, but are entirely exclusive to each other. In this sense, chastity would come to be synonymous with marital fidelity.

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Continue with: Religious norms


  • “Etymology of Chastity” in the Online Spanish Etymological Dictionary.
  • “Chastity” in the Online Catholic Encyclopedia.
  • “Chastity (human behavior)” in The Encyclopaedia Britannica.