Uploaded by tmjsnbrd95 on Oct 27, 2011
This essay discusses the facts about nudism.
Nudism is not generally considered a part of American culture, though nude beaches have long been accepted in Europe. Now, however, there is a growing movement in the U.S. towards nudism. Nude vacations, nude clubs, nude resorts—all are popular, and more are on the way.
This paper discusses the facts about nudism and its practice. (It’s been difficult to find much about nudism; this could be because the field is still growing, or because it is considered embarrassing or shameful; it’s impossible to tell.)
II A Long History
Nudism has been practiced for centuries, but only now is finding its way to the “mainstream” of society. The American Association for Nude Recreation (AANR) is the largest organization in the United States promoting nudism. It was founded in 1929 as the “American League for Physical Culture”; then it became the American Sunbathing Association (ASA); and finally the American Association for Nude Recreation (AANR) in 1995. Among other things, the Association “publishes material promoting nudism, assists affiliated clubs with advertising and recruitment of new members, and sends lobbyists to Washington to aid legal battles related to nude recreation.” (Woodall, PG). AANR says that membership has increased by 76 percent in the last ten years, and that it now has 50,000 individual members.
The composition of the group is very diverse, and doubtless reflects the fact that nudists cannot be categorized, except perhaps as smart and successful. AANR conducted a survey in 1997, which revealed that 92 percent of the Association’s members are over 35, and 47 percent earn more than $50,000 per year. In addition, 83 percent have some college, and 22 percent have advanced degrees. These figures are significantly higher than those for the general population. (Woodall, PG). (Woodall points out that there’s no way to know if nudism makes people smarter, or if it’s simply the fact that older, more well-to-do people come to the Association. There’s no way to tell, but it’s interesting nonetheless.)
Another nudist organization, the Naturist Association (serious nudists refer to themselves as “naturists”) says that the percentage of American adults who have tried sunbathing naked in the presence of other people increased by five percent from 1991 to 1992. “On a good day as many as 5,000 can gather at beaches like Sandy Hook in New Jersey—ten...