Democracies often pride themselves on their liberties, but they often have overreaching restrictions on nudism and naturism. There is a litany of laws and codes that restrict or outright ban any forms of public nudity, often equating them with public indecency, sexual exhibition, disturbance to the peace, among others.
In France “Publicly visible sexual exhibition in public zones” is punishable by 1 year of imprisonment and a €15,000 fine. In the UK, nudity that is likely to cause harassment, alarm, or distress is illegal. In the United States, laws surrounding nudity can differ greatly between states. In Oregon, nudity is protected as free speech as long as there is not intent to arouse, while Arkansas bans nudism beyond the immediate family unit, including on private property.
These laws are often seen as relics of the Victorian sensibilities Many feel that they have been or will be replaced with a more liberal approach to nudity, as society itself becomes more socially liberal. Unfortunately that is not always the case. In Spain, which has traditionally been tolerant of Nudism many municipalities have recently restricted nudism on public beaches. In 2012 the arguably liberal hotbed of San Francisco banned public nudity.
Reasons For Recognizing The Right To Publicly Nudity
I’ve written a myTake about the positive self-image implications of social nudity before. You can read it here: How Nudism Can Improve Your Body Image. Individuals that participate in social nudity report higher self-image than those that don’t. Individuals also report having a more realistic view of the human body.
While nudists are often depicted as sexual miscreants by those unfamiliar with it, there is evidence of nudism bringing pleasure that is far from immoral. Being naked is liberating! While not pleasure might not derive from every instance of social nudity (social nudity isn’t all that fun when there is an outbreak of mosquitoes, for example), the fact that it brings pleasure to some people at least some of the time is enough to contribute to the defense of public nudity.
Lack of Detrimental Effects
Multiple Studies have shown that exposure to non-exhibitionist public nudity lacks any detrimental psychological and behavioral effects that people often attribute to it, and in fact these studies have found that exposure to public nudity, while not participating in it, can improve your body-image.
It is often feared that exposure to nudity has a detrimental psychological impact on children, but this fear is not supported by any empirical research. Studies have shown no relationship between childhood exposure to nudity and the development of any psychiatric symptoms later in life. In fact, some positive effects have been found, including reduced rates of teen pregancy, STDs, use of recreational drugs, antisocial behavior, and higher levels of self-acceptance.
Source: Girls Ask Guys
Original publication 21 November, 2018
Posted on NatCorn 14th April 2021
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