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Getting naked

July 16, 2009

The New York Times ran this piece about children’s nudity, featuring interviews from families with different attitudes towards their young children’s desires to be naked. Some of my favorite memories from growing up as a kid are from the time each night before we took baths, when my brother, sister and I would race around the house naked as the tub filled up. As the article points out, there are significant cultural implications surrounding parents’ opinions on this topic, but overall, the author seems to conclude that nudity can be healthy and fun for kids, as long as it happens in a safe place and families discuss boundaries and private parts too.

One of the final parts of the article was about the reaction of a gay man when he visited a house for work where there were two young naked children. “Being gay, you’re already thought of as a pervert by some people,” he said. “If you look the wrong way at them or something like that, people are going to think you’re having some kind of lascivious thought. So it’s kind of not appropriate even in your own house.”

Finally, I have one strong reaction to the people who find it immodest or inappropriate for their young daughters to spend time naked in their homes. Not allowing a young girl to be nude because of the potentially sexual associations is essentially hypersexualizing her. If she feels no shame at her body and she’s in a safe and healthy environment, please let her be!

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