Naturism is Growing In Acceptance

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Home ยป 205 Arguments and Observations In Support of Naturism

Naturism is growing in acceptance

107. Most world societies are much more open about nudity than the United States.144 For example, many cultures, especially in Europe, are more open to nudity on beaches and in other recreational settings. A 1995 poll conducted by a French fashion magazine found that only 7% of the population was shocked by the sight of naked breasts on the beach, and that 40% of women had tried going topfree.145 A 1983 poll found that 27% of French women went topfree on the beach on a regular basis, while another 6% went nude. A 1982 Harris poll found that 86% of French citizens favor nudity on public beaches.146 In Munich and Zurich, topfree and nude sunbathing are permitted in many parks. A Zurich municipal ordinance in 1989 officially accepted nudity in municipal pools after a public opinion poll found only 18% opposition.147 Two separate polls conducted in the mid- 1980s found that 68% of Germans did not object to nude bathing.148 A 1983 public opinion survey in Greece found that 65% of the population favored legislative establishment of four official nudist facilities.149 A 1984 poll found that 82% of a cross section of Lisbon residents approved of nude beaches reserved for that purpose.150 In Denmark, judicious nudity is legal on the seashore except on a few specifically clothed beaches!151 Sweden's coastline is nearly as tolerant as Denmark's.152 Beach nudity has also become the norm in inflation-stricken Romania, where the average monthly wage is about $65 and a swimsuit costs from $4 to $20.153 Saunas are ubiquitous in Finland, with a sauna for every 3.5 inhabitants, and are always used nude, commonly in mixed company.154

108. Participation in nudist organizations is high in other parts of the world.
In Holland, 1 in 422 members of the population is a dues-paying nudist. In Switzerland, the number is 1 in 519; in France, 1 in 630; in Belgium, 1 in 890; in New Zealand, 1 in 1250; in the U.K., 1 in 2784; in Englishspeaking Canada, 1 in 5200; and in the U.S., 1 in 6856.155 According to a French survey, one in ten members of the nation's population have tried nudism at least once, and an equal number are ready to give it a try.156

109. Naturist vacations are a significant part of the tourist trade in many countries.
As of 1983, about 2 million people vacationed at French Naturist clubs and resorts each year.157 Before its devastating fragmentation and civil war, more than one hundred thousand tourists visited Yugoslavian nudist camps and resorts every summer.158 According to the president of the Naturism and Camping Department of Yugoslav Tourism, Naturist vacations in 1984 accounted for 25% of the foreign tourism income.159 And while American travel brochures make almost no mention at all of nude or topfree beaches in other countries--essentially lying to vacationers--foreign travel agencies offer opulent, uncensored brochures, and openly advertise and promote Naturist resorts.160

110. Nudity is much more common in foreign media.
For example, one of Brazil's most popular T.V. shows, "Pantanal," has featured frequent nudity; a survey conducted by the local newspaper found that 83% of viewers were "comfortable" with the nude scenes. A University of Sao Paulo survey in June 1990 counted 1,145 displays of nudity in one week of television.161

111. Public nudity, including clothing-optional recreation, enjoys growing acceptance in North America.
A 1983 Gallup poll revealed that 72% of Americans don't think designated clothing-optional beaches should be against the law, and 39% agreed that such areas should be set aside by the government. One third said they might try going to one. Fourteen percent said they'd already tried coed nude recreation.162 A 1985 Roper Poll agreed, reporting that 18% of all Americans--including 27% of those age 18-28, and 24% of college-educated Americans--had already gone swimming in the nude with a group that included members of the other sex; other studies suggest these numbers are on the increase.163 A Psychology Today study found that 28% of couples under the age of 35 swim in the nude together, 24% of couples age 35-49, and 9% of couples 50 or older, and that such activities tended to correspond to a higher level of satisfaction in the marriage.164 A 1990 Martini and Rossi poll reported that 35% of Americans would "bare it all" on a nude beach.165 A 1986 poll conducted by People Weekly asked people how guilty they would feel if they engaged in any of 51 activities, rating their probable guilt on a scale of 1 to 10, where 10 represented the greatest feeling of guilt. Nude sunbathing came in second to last with a rating of 2.76, behind not voting (3.07), swearing (3.34), smoking (3.38), and overeating (4.43).166
In 1991, visitation at Wreck Beach, British Columbia on a nice day was estimated at 15,000, and 90,000 beach users were recorded in one month on a single access trail.167 A survey conducted by West Area Park Staff revealed that half of those visitors go nude. When that option was threatened in 1991, more than 10,000 people sent letters or signed petitions to protect the beach's clothing-optional status.168
Given the opportunity and license to do so, women do take advantage of the option of going topfree. During the 1984 Olympics in L.A., Police decided not to arrest European women who went topfree on local beaches. American wo men, noting the double standard, took their tops off too, and feigned inability to understand English when told to cover up. Police called it "taking advantage of the relaxed rule," 169 though it should more accurately be considered "taking advantage of a more civilized custom."

112. Membership in nudist organizations is growing rapidly.
Membership in the American Association for Nude Recreation, for example, topped 40,000 in 1992, up 15,000 in just five years!170 By 1995, the number had climbed past 46,000. According to a study commissioned by the Trade Association for Nude Recreation, participation in nudism is currently growing by about 20% per year.171

113. The tourism industry is discovering that it is in their economic best interests to accept clothing optional
When it became a favorite vacation spot for Europeans in the mid-1980s, Miami Beach began permitting G-string swimsuits on its beaches, and ceased enforcing its ordinance against topfree swimming and sunning.172 Dade County is the only county in Florida that experienced an increase of tourism in 1991, a year of deep recession.
All other counties, and Disney World, had significant losses in tourism. 173 Nikki Grossman, director of the Ft. Lauderdale Convention and Visitors' Bureau, acknowledges that "requests for nude or top-free beaches rank among the top five priorities of international conventioneers," 174 and Fodor's Travel Guide has observed that "nudism" is "tourism's fastest growing sector." 175 Nudism, in the United States, brings in about $120 million per year in direct revenues alone.176


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