Over the last few months BN has been involved in a ground breaking research project in partnership with Dr Keon West of Goldsmiths University. The first stage of the project has provided compelling evidence that people experience increases in body-image and self-esteem when they take part in Naturist activities. The results have been submitted to a psychological journal and we’re hoping they will be published shortly. We’re also embarking on stage two – proving that the positive results are truly because of Naturism, rather than some other feature of our wonderful community. Earlier this year, Keon was approached by Dr Helen Bowes-Catton, Lecturer in Psychology at The Open University, a member of Blackthorns Sun Club who had read about the work in BN. She organised a meeting, developed an interest in the research that was going on and offered her services.
It’s therefore great that we have now been granted a 90 minute slot at the British Psychological Society Social Section Annual Conference in Cardiff in September presenting a symposium entitled ‘Nothing’s better? Exploring the social psychological effects of Naturism!’ There are four papers to be presented in total - Naturism and Naturists: The facts, Take it off and let it go: Three quantitative investigations of the effects of Naturism, The naked truth: A large-scale qualitative investigation of experiences of naturism, and a case study of experiences of Naturism. The conference lasts for three days, and is packed with interesting presentations and symposia. Hundreds of people usually attend. Most of them are academics (psychologists) looking for the most interesting cutting-edge psychological research. Some work for the government or for policy-related think-tanks involved in policy and public health. It’s great to be part of it – and have our oft-maligned world taken seriously in the scientific community. Look out for a report in the Winter issue of BN Magazine.