"Ideally, parents will unostentatiously allow their children to
become acquainted, from infancy on, with the nude appearance of family
members, juvenile and adult, in the normal course of dressing,
undressing, and bathing."
-- Margaret Mead
So What is Nudism You Ask?
Nudism and Nudist believes are about
being the way we were born and the way human kind was for most of our
history: nude except when the weather dictated otherwise. It brings
everyone down to the same level. You never know if the person you are
talking to is a janitor, a doctor, or the CEO of a Fortune 100
company. Nudists are extremely accepting of everyone no matter the
gender, race, sex, size, etc. Whether you shop at Wal-Mart or Brooks
Brothers, no one knows and no one cares. It allows us to relax and
just enjoy good company.
From one nudist picture to the next, image galleries can provide a
good provide good perspective into a highly popular culture of nudism.
From teen nudist gallery, to adult nudist resorts, you can explore
life without limitations of clothes.
Perceptions of Nudity
The study of children's sexuality is
similar to a trip through the desert in California: long stretches of
nothing, interrupted by brief flurries of activity and interesting
sights. Alayne Yates (1979) cites the sparse and confusing history of
scholarly study of the general subject of children's sexuality, and
specifically the lack of any concise reference materials for parents
and educators. In the United States, as well as most other
English-speaking countries, research of this nature has historically
been seen as unnecessary (the mildest reaction), intrusive (a common
belief among educators: children's sexuality is seen as the purview of
the parents alone), or evil (especially among individuals and groups
subscribing to certain religious codes and dogma). The impediments to
research present a special problem for families and groups that do not
share the prevalent views regarding sexuality in general, and
nudity/modesty in particular. Smith and Sparks (1986) give numerous
examples of families who are nudists, either "social" or "at home,"
who routinely hide that aspect of their lives for fear that others
will find out and disapprove. They fear disapproval because they do
not have any well-developed base of scholarly research to support
their beliefs that the body is a normal and healthy entity, and that
non-sexual nudity is not harmful for children (and is actually
beneficial). [Nudists are generally classified as follows: "social
nudists" participate in nude recreation and lifestyles in the company
of others, such as at beaches, clubs, or other gatherings; "at home
nudists" might not participate in group activities, but do not
habitually wear clothes at home when circumstances do not require
them, such as when sleeping, relaxing in the yard, or simply when in
the home alone.]
Goldman and Goldman (1981) chose
children as their subjects, as opposed to the previous two studies.
Research involving children can be problematic, but can also be quite
revealing. The Goldmans interviewed 838 subjects from North America,
England, Australia, and Sweden. Subjects' ages ranged from five to 15
years old. Each child was individually interviewed and asked questions
designed to elicit responses indicating the child's understanding of
wearing clothing, nudity (as viewed by society as a whole), and
modesty. The responses were coded and scored according to the Kohlberg
scale of moral thinking, in order to assess each subject's level of
cognitive reasoning for the answers given. No references were made to
the family nudity status, although this again may have been an
The last study may be the most useful
resource for nudist families. Story (1979) interviewed 264 three- to
five-year-old children and their parents. These subjects were chosen
and matched based on family nudity status: "social nudist," "at-home-
only nudist," or non-nudist. Subjects were all North Americans, with
approximately equal numbers sampled from all geographic regions in the
United States. The parents were given individually administered
interviews to determine the children's ages, sexes, weights, and birth
order. The children were interviewed separately; they were asked to
tell whether they liked certain body parts, using as references line
drawings of nude children of the same sex and race as the child being
interviewed. The children were also asked to identify the most- and
least-liked body parts, with an explanation for each.
Attitude About Nudism
Aquilino and Ely (1985) studied the
attitudes of parents toward the normal sexual development of preschool
children. Eighty-one parents with children three to five years old
were surveyed regarding the sexual activity and curiosity of preschool
children. Subjects were parents whose children attended day-care
centers in North Carolina towns. An author-designed questionnaire was
used, containing questions relating to parental knowledge, responses
to children's sexuality, and comfort with children's sexuality.
Subjects also gave information about their age, sex, marital status,
religious affiliation, and education, as these factors were seen as
potential influences on response outcomes. After individually
completing the questionnaires, the subjects were encouraged to
participate in group and/or individual question-and-answer sessions.
The authors did not state whether any of the subjects were nudists,
and it is doubtful that they considered this a potential influence on
responses [as it was not included].