Saturday, July 7, 2007

Competing with Life

I always enjoy Nudist Day's Great Naked Debate, where they pose a question to "some of the top seven bloggers" and always get varied insightful answers. (Why 7? Seems a bit arbitrary to me... And why am I not one of them? Probably because they know I'm too busy.)

This time, they asked "What can be done to attract younger people to the nudist lifestyle?" My answer would be to hire them or educate them.

The nudist lifestyle is an inverse of the non-nudist lifestyle. When people participate in the non-nudist lifestyle, then they are unable to participate in the nudist lifestyle. Take a look:
  • Ages -0.75 to 16: Most likely to only travel to nudist area with parent, since they have no car.
  • Ages 5 to 18: Has homework and is under parental control. Attends a textile school. Can only be at nudist area if parent takes them, on a weekend.
  • Ages 18 to 22: Can drive themselves and are free to do so, but are swamped with textile college, or do something in a group labeled "fun". (This group may include nudist activities, but is also full of activities in which clothing is required.).
  • Ages 22 to 30's: Full-time work in textile industry. Weekends are spent doing chores around the house, or something "fun".
  • Ages 30's to Retirement: Still full-time work, but benefits allow more free time.
  • Ages Retirement+: No school, no work -- can spend all the time doing "fun" or being a full-time nudist.

So the fact that we see mostly older people at the nudist areas, I believe, is quite expected. The younger folks are far too busy with "life" to be able to spend time at nudist areas.

If you want to have younger people in a nudist area, then you have to compete with something that "life" provides, such as a shopping area, a job, or education. Currently, nudist areas mostly only provide "fun", which is a small slice of a young persons life. If you want more college-age people at your nudist area, open up a college! (Then let me know what grad opportunities it provides, or if I have tenure.) If you want more females/families/couples, open up a shopping center. The best way to balance out your membership is to give them a life.


More ideas

I mentioned previously that the resort owners need to compete with life in order to attract the types of people and the numbers that they hope for. I listed some pretty far-fetched ideas, even though two of them have been done before. Shopping centers exist in many of the really big resorts. Offering a job has been done at least by The White Cockatoo (work options w/ pics) that I know of. As-for nudist educational institutions, I don't think that's been done yet... Like I said, I'm more than willing to have tenure! :-)

Update 2/13/2010: Since the original post, The White Cockatoo has become an adults-only sex club. It's a shame -- it seemed like a really nice place!

As for more practical ideas, VVRC has a great one -- their annual Nude Car Show. This is a unique annual event that brings in huge crowds. What does it cost them? Not much; all they need to do is get the word out, and have the regulars volunteer (or get paid) to help coordinate the event. (I plan to go this year and check it out.)

Create your own unique event. Ideas that come to mind could be some sort of annual play (although it's difficult to do roles without clothing). Sun Ray Hills has a RC plane hobbiest who keeps a landing strip in their field, why not promote a mini air show? Maybe some golf cart races, if you have enough space or some form of track? How about tournaments in random sports and games? You never know, you might gain popularity for having the best Battleship or Scrabble tournament. However, I don't think you'll beat out the World Rock Paper Scissors Society anytime soon, so avoid that one. Maybe mix it up a bit and have a "dress poker" tournament. (Players start naked, and perhaps is best played on a hot day where clothing is punishment. "Strip poker" just isn't as exciting at a nudist resort.)

Universities compete for peoples interest by bringing in speakers and offering lectures on various topics. If I had a nudist resort, I'd certainly try sending Mr. Cunningham an email asking him to come speak. His book, "Nudity & Christianity", has been making waves through the recent news. If he came to speak, he'd attract an audience that enjoys nudity, or is Christian, or is just plain curious to hear him speak. It would likely be a good turnout.

If your on a budget, you can always hire me instead. :-) I'm pretty good at public speaking, but haven't tried it nude yet. (It would be interesting!) However, despite whatever exciting headline I can think up, I doubt there would be much of a turnout. It seems that only the famous people draw the crowds.

Update 2/13/2010: I did eventually do naked public speaking, and it went great! See my Eastover post.

So why not draw in the big-shots? Host an annual conference. There's a few out there, but none seem to be the primary big conference on nudity. Let me know, and I'll present a paper or two...or four. One of the successful conferences I attend is one that hops around to a different university each year, and I could see a nudity-related one doing the same thing among resorts. Anyone want to start it with me? Anyone else think it's a good idea? Well, it's at least food for thought...

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

What About the Children?!

Indeed, what about the children? [All references are non-bias research studies, so the conclusions drawn are statistical facts. All have links for your reading convenience.]

The APA (?) has published a report [1] on the sexualization of girls, part of which lists substantial evidence that sexualization and objectification is happening (by both males and females) and getting worse in US culture and other Westernized cultures. These are proven to "undermine confidence in and comfort with one's own body, leading to a host of negative emotional consequences, such as shame, anxiety, and self-disgust." [1] The three most common mental health problems in girls/women (eating disorders, low self-esteem, and depression) can also be brought on by sexualization. [1] Self-objectification has been repeatedly shown to cause problems concentrating, focusing attention, and thus impairing mental activities such as math and logic. [1] Lastly, self-objectification has been linked to sexual problems in adulthood. [1] These links can be strengthened by the research that shows a link between lack of education and higher rates of teen pregnancy. [2] Of course, teen pregnancy leads to all sorts of problems for the teen, their offspring, and society as a whole. [2]

So how can you lead your child away from this path? To start with, be a sexually liberal parent, because children that come from sexually liberal families are more likely to be sexually liberal themselves. [3] Research shows that children who are exposed to non-sexual nudity develop a positive attitude towards sexuality, which will likely benefit his or her own sexual comfort. [4] And having more body acceptance and sexual comfort is linked to a decrease in teenage pregnancy. [5]

It's interesting to note that textilers (?), both children and adults, often dislike their genitals. Nudists, on the other hand, like all body parts somewhat evenly, including the genitals. [6, 7] This supports the evidence that family nudism has a higher correlation to body self-concept than does sex, race, or location. [7] Also, nudist children have much higher body acceptance and self-image than do non-nudist children. [7] Non-nudist US children somewhat strongly believe that clothing is required, even in hot climates, but are unable to explain why. [8]

It seems that nudism is of benefit to children, but you shouldn't believe my bias opinion. Instead, here's a description (from [9]) from Lawrence Casler, a non-nudist professor and researcher:
"I was able to interview several of these children, in addition to a number of older children who visited Sunshine Village [Nudist Resort] with their parents but were not involved in the children’s camp. For the younger children, nudism chiefly meant nude swimming, having fun without getting one’s clothes dirty, being with friends, etc.

"For the older children, nudism seemed also to have a more serious meaning. These adolescent boys and girls seemed unusually alert and aware of the impact nudism had on their lives. With only one exception, they stated that they would like to be nudists even if their parents were not. In addition to the usual ‘fun’ reasons, many of the teenagers referred to the benefits in mental health and emotional stability.

"Many of them recognized that nudism was giving them a more ‘realistic’ outlook towards sex than their non-nudist friends possessed. When with these friends, or out on dates, they could only feel sorry for people whose attitude towards the human body was not as healthy as their own. Unlike the responses of some adult camp members, these seemed completely genuine and spontaneous. Furthermore, the impression was inescapable that these children, taken as a group, were extraordinarily well-adjusted, happy, and thoughtful."

If that's not enough, here's 205 additional arguments in support of naturism. (25 of which are from the Bible, if that's your thing. It's a recommended read nonetheless.) All I ask is that you consider naturism or at least more liberal attitudes towards nudity and sexuality in your home. Nothing beats personal experience, so here is your invite to find a family friendly nudist resort and give it a try.

What about your children?

Additional comments can be found here.


[1] Eileen L. Zurbriggen, et. al., "Report of the APA Task Force on the Sexualization of Girls", 2007. Link to the full PDF or HTML summary.

[2] Joseph P. Allen, et. al., "Preventing Teen Pregnancy and Academic Failure: Experimental Evaluation of a Developmentally Based Approach", Child Development, Vol. 68, No. 4 (Aug., 1997), pp. 729-742. link to the abstract.

[3] Paul Okami, et. al., "Sexual experiences in early childhood: 18-year longitudinal data from the UCLA family lifestyles project.", The Journal of Sex Research, 9/22/1997. Full text.

[4] Robin J. Lewis and Louis H. Janda, "The relationship between adult sexual adjustment and childhood experiences regarding exposure to nudity, sleeping in the parental bed, and parental attitudes toward sexuality", Archives of Sexual Behavior, 8/1/1988. Abstract.

[5] Elise F. Jones, et. al., Teenage Pregnancy in Industrialized Countries, Yale University Press, 1986. Very brief summary.

[6] Marilyn Story, "Comparisons of Body Self-Concept Between Social Nudists and Nonnudists", The Journal of Psychology, Volume 118, First Half, September 1984, pp. 99-112. Full text.

[7] Marilyn Story, "Factors associated with more positive body self-concepts in preschool children", The Journal of Social Psychology, 108, 1979, pp 49-56. Summary.

[8] R. J. Goldman, J. D. Goldman, "Children’s perceptions of clothes and nakedness: a cross-national study", Genetic Psychology Monographs. 104, 1981, pp 163-185. Summary.

[9] Lawrence Casler, “Some Sociopsychological Observations in a Nudist Camp: A Preliminary Study”, Journal of Social Psychology, 64, 1964, 307–323. Quoted via newsletter.


Appendix A: Comments on finding sources.

I've been working on an academic-style post entitled "What about the children?!" to hopefully boost readership. (Or at least get a decent number of links to the post via news story comments, where others have asked that same question.) The goal is to make a short post that uses logic and solid, non-bias linked references in order to prove that children are not harmed by non-sexual nudity and may even benefit from it. Part of the challenge is a concise delivery of the information, and the other part is the sources. I'm sure that all of you have heard of the "205 arguments for nudity" publication. I think it's great, as I'm sure all of you do too. More to the point, it is extremely convincing. However, I noticed that some of the arguments don't have references. No biggie, as long as I can make good use of some of the other numerous sources listed at the bottom of the publication. (It sounded like a good idea at the time...) It may be convincing, but it's not necessarily true.

Have you ever looked through those sources? They're mostly opinion, which doesn't help in my goal one bit. In fact, good research in this area is somewhat difficult to come by. Even if I find a reference that looks good, it's very challenging to dig up the actual publication! I hate places that charge for papers. (Isn't academia all about the free exchange of information?) For some papers, I'll just have to rely on what I can get: abstracts, summaries, and what others have quoted. Fear not though, as I've dug up some good stuff already and am slowly putting it together. Thanks for being patient with me; patience is a virtue!


Appendix B: Afterthoughts.

The goal was to make a short, non-bias, research-backed response to everyone who asks "What about the children?!" Did I succeed? It wasn't easy -- there just isn't a whole lot of research! Hopefully, the statistical facts can put some sense into the textilers that unknowingly support the sexualization of our culture. Remember people: nudity doesn't equal sex, and an exposed nipple isn't the end of the world.

I used the American tactic: Cause fear, then suggest your intention! Does it work? Do you think you can do better? I'd love to hear suggestions for improvement, because I will likely be editing the post a few times. Let's consider it a rough draft for now.

One issue currently is that it's difficult to differentiate between "sex" and "sexuality". People in the US have trouble separating the two, but I'm not sure what I can do to clarify the terms. "Sexuality" is good for children, and "sex" (and sexual abuse) is bad for children. (There is plenty of research linking sexual abuse with later sexual problems and violence.)

Lastly, a link that I found and wanted to put in the post...but didn't. Apparently there is a book that links tight fitting bra's with breast cancer. I assume the same is true with male undies or tight jeans, which may be a reason for the high rate of infertility. Anyway, that's yet another reason why clothing is bad.


Appendix C: A better version.

A better summary of research has been done by Mark Storey. See Nude & Natural 23.4 (Summer 2004), "Children, Social Nudity and Academic Research".