In the last couple of days I have seen two rational, reasonable and apparently well researched articles supporting the contention that nudity is actually good for you, does no harm to children etc.
The first was written by Lee Jenkins on the Backbencher blog.** In it Jenkins very briefly summarises the arguments against the main objections to public nudity:
* It’s harmful to children
* It’s unsanitary
* It will encourage rape and sexual assault
* I shouldn’t have to see it
* It’s just wrong
All of which are just plain wrong. Here is just one snippet:
[A]n 18-year longitudinal study [by Dr Paul Okami] showed that, if anything, [childhood exposure to nudity] was associated with slight beneficial effects ...
"Boys exposed to parental nudity were less likely to have engaged in theft in adolescence or to have used various psychedelic drugs and marijuana ... Girls were also less likely to have used drugs such as PCP, inhalants, or various psychedelics in adolescence."
Public attitudes to sex and nudity are far more relaxed in Europe ... Much like alcohol, the difference is cultural. Indeed, it’s rather telling that British and American attitudes to nudity are fairly similar, and both the US and UK have a teen birth rate far in excess of their European counterparts.
The second report, by Hank Pellissier at Immortal Life,** is more concerned with promoting the benefits of nudism, rather than refuting the objections. Under headings like "Weakened Bodies", "Barefoot Medicine", "Superior Socialisation", "Soothe Away Your Crazies" and "Soak Up the Rays" he provides links to research and articles suggesting that nudity would improve our lot. Especially there appears to be evidence that the young would develop better (mentally and physically) from nudity, we would be better adjusted mentally and we would all benefit from time soaking up sunshine to counteract what is an increasing deficiency in Vitamin D.
As Jenkins observes, if you are genuinely troubled by the site of human form, it’s probably worth asking yourself why, rather than insisting others cover up. According to Pellissier's article twenty million Europeans already go to nude beaches and spas. What's stopping the rest of us?
** As far as I can see both these blogs are independent and not associated with any nudist or naturist organisation nor has any overt commercial axe to grind.