Wednesday, January 23, 2013

America: We Hate Nudity and Love Violence

Ever notice this trend? Many parents have little or no problem exposing their children to violence via video games, TV, moves... whatever. The same parents also flip out if their kids see a nipple. 

What the fuck is up with that?

[For the record, I don't care if my kids view violence or nudity... Shelly and I take it as an opportunity to explain context, the difference between fantasy and reality, etc.]

Anyway, why exactly DO we "protect" kids from nudity? To the best of my knowledge, there are no controlled experimental studies that suggest exposing kids to nudity has any negative effects. In fact, I would suggest teaching children to feel shameful of nudity is definitely harmful. Think how much better our society would be if more of us could shed the shame and guilt we feel about our bodies?

Shelly and I go to great lengths to expose our kids to things they need to know as adults, which includes fielding any questions that arise. Sometimes we're nude in front of our children. It's not a big issue.

As far as I can tell, our anti-nudity obsession is a direct result of Puritanical religious beliefs that have been generalized to the entire population. 

Bastards. 

Wouldn't it make more sense to teach kids to celebrate their bodies? Teach them that the human body is a beautiful thing, no matter the shape or size? Wouldn't this be a more healthy approach? Couldn't we use nudity as a teaching tool... sort of like what we should be doing with violence?

Ah, America and our mixed-up priorities.

What do you think? Are we too protective? For those parents that actively shield their kids from nudity, what is your rationale? Leave a comment!

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4 comments:

  1. Remember we have to guard our children against sex, because it might lead to dancing! I've always appreciated other cultures that are relaxed about nudity and sex.

    American's have this weird puritanical streak that the culture just can seem to shed. This is juxtaposed with a secret and not so secret fascination with nudity and sex that they don't want to admit.

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  2. Here's my European point of view. I don't understand how shy American's are about nudity but at the same time how quickly they have sex with strangers. I don't think nudity is sexual on its own. I am fine with being nude in front of my kids (both girls) as is their dad. We don't hang out watching TV in the nude, but I'll get changed in front of them, or get out the shower in front of them. I think it is important they see normal adult bodies, especially a normal adult woman's body. I want them to feel OK in their own skin, and the best way I can think to do this is showing them I am OK in my skin.

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  3. A person can be completely comfortable with their body but also be modest. I hate the constant use of the word shame. I'm not ashamed of my body but I am incredibly modest. I was raised by a mother who had NO issue being naked in front of my sister and I so I don't find that to be revelant at all. Now that I'm a mother I have chosen to behave modestly and my children have organically grown to be modest as well. We are all healthy and well adjusted. I just don't feel there is a NEED for nudity outside of my bedroom/bathroom. I'm thankful that I live in a country that doesn't feel the need to show breasts to sell shampoo!!

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