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  • malcolm.boura

    Children Deserve Better, 2016

    British Naturism is the national organisation for Naturists in the UK, with over 9000 active members, and representing the interests of almost 4 million Naturists nationwide. We share a philosophical belief in a natural naked lifestyle, in harmony with nature, with their counterparts all over the world.

    We believe that children should be brought up and kept safe in an environment of openness and body honesty. They should know about how their bodies work, what happens to them at puberty and what a normal consensual sexual relationship is, before they experience it as adults. This should be done ideally by bringing up children in a Naturist environment where body honesty is key, but otherwise through good, explicit, factually correct and non-judgemental sex and relationships education through the prime educators: parents, teachers and organisations like the BBC.

    Bringing children up in such an environment, with wholesome, honest and open body attitudes leads to better sexual health outcomes for young people, fewer body image disorders, and more sensible attitudes to life. Prudery, not openness or nudity, harms children. We want children to be innocent, but not ignorant. We believe that body openness and honesty protects children from the possible harmful effects of inappropriate material. They should find out about sex and how their bodies work from good education and openness instead of glamour and pornography. Children are naturally curious and if their curiosity is not answered openly then they will seek answers anywhere they can. Blocking will not prevent them as they can usually circumvent it with a facility that adults may not believe possible. There is objective evidence that those beliefs are well founded, unlike some other beliefs.

    British Naturism’s Children Deserve Better, 2016 report sets out our views using evidence from sound academic sources rather than prejudice or sound bites – as such it makes essential reading for anyone concerned with the welfare of children and/or internet censorship. It addresses the issues and analyses the reasons why it has proved so difficult for the UK to adopt the policies that are known to work. The report is both critical of the failures of the past to follow best practice and optimistic for the future. It explains how, with very little expenditure or effort, the well-being of children could be greatly improved. It is just necessary to follow the evidence instead of myth. We are confident that significant advances could be made quite quickly but there is considerable social inertia to overcome - it would be a generational project. We must address the body-attitudes which result in the UK being amongst the poorest performers in the western world. It can be done and the time to start is now.

    It is long overdue that “Think of the children” really did mean “think” instead of it being a slogan to stifle debate and hinder progress. It is long overdue that policy was firmly evidence based; rigorous, objective evidence instead of myth and misconceptions. It is long overdue that “Putting children first” really did mean that the welfare of children took precedence over adult myths, dislikes, and embarrassment.


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    It is simply my experience that naturist parents look after their children very well. The children appear to me to be very well adjusted. I speak as a dad, grandad and School Teacher. It is inspiring to see parents who take their children out to great places, play with them and enjoy their company. Rest assured, your young will turn out well. 

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    In my local gym there is a trend for fathers to bring their young daughters into the male changing room (I presume they do so as the mother is probably at work and the father unemployed) and, of course, expose them to all the dangly bits that are hanging about. Whilst most of us will cover up as soon as we realize that there is a young female in our midst, inevitably she will see the occasional male member if someone doesn't realize that she is there. It's not as though they announce their presence by calling 'Girl coming through!' or ringing a bell, but in my opinion, most of the young girls take the sights in their stride. Some fathers do try to protect their children by having them wear a hoodie or towel over their heads but nine times out of ten curiosity gets the better of the girls and they take a sneaky peek anyway!

    Many years ago, when in the Cub Scouts, I went to a summer camp and after a swimming session we were all drying off in the male changing area when two girls of similar age to us wandered in whilst one of our number stood stark naked talking to his friend. The two Brownies sported relatively short hair cuts so it wasn't immediately apparent to everyone that they were in the wrong changing room. They didn't scream or run away but just stood there gawping open mouthed at what was on show for about thirty seconds until we realized that we had girls in our midst and we did the screaming and running for cover! 

    What I am trying to say is that nudity doesn't faze young children as much as the establishment thinks, to a child a naked body is just somebody not wearing clothes, not in any way a sexual thing. To the fathers who bring their daughters to the gym I say well done, you are actually giving them a free human biology lesson and they will be more comfortable about nudity as they grow older.


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    14 minutes ago, john.gwalter said:

    Back to the question that I keep asking: "What is the problem with children knowing what people look like?"

    I don't think there should be one, but...

    Parents' own values in raising their children are still important. If a parent believes that their child shouldn't see naked adults, or naked children of the opposite sex, then do we really have the right to override that belief with our own? The state will educate them on sexual matters, with appropriate material, at the right time, but they'll still only see photos, drawings and maybe videos, rather than real life naked men and women. Encountering a random naked individual 'in the wild' raises all of the usual questions about free range nudity: "Are you doing this for exhibitionist kicks? In front of children?" Context is everything, when it comes to most people's perceptions of nudity. Most don't have a problem with it in the right context, such as art, or on a television show that they're happy to watch, safe in the knowledge that it's their choice to do so.

    The fear of children witnessing adult or opposite sex nudity may not be rational, especially given the proven links between prudery and teen pregnancy (make it mysterious and taboo, and it's all the more exciting and 'grown up' for kids to try it.) But it's a genuinely held one, and I'm not convinced that we have the right to disrespect it.

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    I totally agree with your comments David. My posting the question was not intended to be a challenge to fellow naturists but as a question to be asked of the people who use "What about the children" as a basis for their anti-naturist stance.

    I apologise for my rather loose posting to you and anybody else who may have taken it amiss.

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