One of the most
controversial and least studied aspects of Nudism
is that of Children. From a textile point of view,
the existence of nude children and adults together
outside the family unit (and even within it..)
breaks alot of traditional social taboos.
Tolerating consenting adults together nude is
something textile society is capable of brushing
aside with the comment "what they do on their own
has got nothing to do with me". But introduce
Children into this picture, and many textiles
suddenly develop hostile attitudes, and begin to
demand that they be able to enforce controls in
order to supposedly "protect the innocent". Issues
such as Pedophilia and Corruption are forever
rearing their ugly heads because in textile
society the "clothes" represent a supposed barrier
to such thoughts and activities. When faced with a
situation where those barriers are removed it's no
wonder many textiles can no longer see the
difference between social family nudist venue and
a pedophilia ring.
But of course
there is a difference. It's just that it's
extremely difficult to explain it to someone who
is not a nudist. It's similar to the "Nudity vs
Sex" argument. To nudists, unclad humans of any
age are normal. Clothes are normal too. A nude
child is no different to a clothed child. The same
respect for our fellow humans still exists. There
is no evidence to suggest that pedophilia is any
more or less a problem amongst nudists than
textiles, although it's likely that it's virtually
So DOES nudity
affect Children? Although some studies have been
carried out on the issue, nowhere near enough
serious scientific analysis has been done to
provide a definite argument for or against child
- Children gain
more respect for themselves and others.
- Greater self
esteem as a result of (a).
- Children less
likely to confuse sex with nudity as they grow
likelihood of deliberate sex experimentation as
a result of (b).
- PLUS All the
usual arguments FOR nudism...
integrating nudist children into textile
society, particularly at school.
Bullying as result of (i).
corruption of normal sexual function.
- Risk of
- Risk of
increased sex play at a much younger age.
- PLUS All the
usual arguments AGAINST nudism...
Nudism has a very
long history, so it would be foolish to pretend
that it all started 10 years ago and that no
examples of "grown up" nudist children exist with
which a study can be made to try and address these
arguments. The proof of any philosophy is in the
results, and so the best results can be tabulated
by study of adults who as children, were part of
the established nudist community. Fortunately for
us, some good studies on this were carried out in
the '70s and '80s and more continue today. A good
source of this information can be found in the
book "Growing up without shame", by Dennis Craig
Smith, who has tabulated several psychological
studies carried out along with Dr William Sparks.
Aswell as carrying out their own comprehensive
study of adults who were nudists as children, they
also make reference to the many various studies
such as Marilyn & Norman Story (which studied 3-5
year old children); Miller (1973) which compared a
similar group of nudist and a "control" group of
non nudist college students; Hass (studying
teenage sexuality with a group of 624 youths);
Kinsey (a wide ranging study of children in many
countries); and Hunt, with 2026 subjects under
most people are ignorant of these studies and the
data which was collected. Instead they choose to
argue with "gut feelings" instead of facts - and
our feelings are affected by our upbringing and
environment - and are therefore very unreliable in
matters such as these. What's worse is that many
people seem hell bent on enforcing what they
believe is right, onto others - both parent and
The Dr Sparkes
case study firstly takes 24 adults who were born
and raised in a nudist environment, and asks them
all sorts of questions about life, love, their
beliefs and sexuality questions. Not surprisingly,
the answers are not all that different to answers
given by non-nudists in most areas except one -
self esteem. The nudist children clearly retain a
superior attitude of themselves and their bodies,
and are in a better position to be able to control
their own sex lives.
Certainly in my
own experience there is no evidence to suggest
that child nudity invites thoughts of pedophilia
and corruption in any of the nudists I know. Such
concepts are so foreign to nudists that merely to
suggest them would draw comments of disgust and
suggestions that it is textile society which is
the cause of such ills. The reality is that nobody
really cares whether a child has clothes on or not
unless the child is obviously distressed. This
could mean overdressed (on hot days or while
swimming) or underdressed when colder. Clothes
have a purpose to protect and provide insulation,
and nothing more.