Copied below is a brief preliminary summary of a study done earlier this year by London Regents University into the effects of exposure to nudity in childhood. It has not yet been published, though it is hoped it will be soon, and so should be treated as not ‘official’ yet, but we have the author’s agreement to share it here, on that understanding. It is hoped to form the basis of a submission to the British Psychological Society annual conference later this year.
London Regents University
BPS Social Psychology Annual Conference 2017
- Title: “Would somebody think of the children”: Life outcomes of living in naturist households
Authors: Marina Rachitskiy, Lana N. Abusamra, Yasmin Debs, Yasmina Edlibi, Mariam Gueye, Anastasia Rodionova, Darius Tarbiat, Keon West
Although public opinion suggest that exposing children to nudity may be detrimental, empirical research suggest otherwise (e.g., Okami et al., 1998). However, empirical research is scarce and outdated. This study aimed to update the literature on the effect of growing up in naturist households on life outcomes.
On-line survey was administered to 211 adults (M=50.37, SD=17.00). The survey evaluated the extent of being exposed to non-sexual nudity in childhood, as well as current life outcomes: life satisfaction, body appreciation, general mental health, sexual adjustment and antisocial behaviour.
As anticipated, MANOVA indicated that those who were exposed to non-sexual nudity in their childhood indicated the same life outcomes as those who did not (Pillais’ Trace=.04, F(5, 204)=1.59, p=.164). However, ANOVA indicated that those who were aware of their parents engaging in non-sexual naturist activities (M=31.93, SD=9.52) reported significantly lower mental health problems than those who were not (M=31.94, SD=9.38; F(1, 206)=7.18, p<.01). Furthermore, greater parental openness in relation to nudity was associated with higher levels of life satisfaction (r=.19, p<.01) and sexual adjustment (r=.19, p<.01) in the participants.
The study confirms that growing up in naturist households has no negative effect on the children. In fact, it has a positive effect on satisfaction with life, sexual adjustment and mental health. These findings extend the body of literature on the impact of naturism and suggest that in addition to having a positive effect on the actor (e.g., West, 2017), it may have positive effects on those around them