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 non existent.
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
The positive arguments are;
- Children gain more respect for themselves
- Greater self esteem as a result of (a).
- Children less likely to confuse sex with
nudity as they grow older.
- Less likelihood of deliberate sex
experimentation as a result of (b).
- PLUS All the usual arguments FOR nudism...
Nudism has a very long history, so it would be
foolish to pretend that it all started 13 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 study.
Unfortunately 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 child alike.
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.
Go to Top of
Free Naturist Photo Tour Page