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Often Heard Objections, Assumptions and Canards About Social Nudity: This Is Our Response

We hear mostly support when talking to people in the Carpinteria community about our proposal. However, every once in a while, we hear an objection that requires a thoughtful response.  We’d like address them here.  These usually fall into several specific categories:

 

  1. “You will attract a ‘bad element’ to the beach”
  2. “Why should you get a special beach?”
  3. “You will make my property value go down.”
  4. “It is against the Bible.”
  5. “No children should be allowed.”

 

Canard 1: We Will Attract a “Bad Element”

On most nudist beaches, they are always considered a safe family-friendly environment that attracted several hundred people on summer weekends. Nudists kept the beach clean and quiet, and the loudest thing you heard were the volleyball players during a game.

 

When the occasional voyeur appeared on the beach or the cliff above, nudists make it immediately clear they aren’t welcome, and they are shamed off the beach.

 

Deputies often tell us “I never have a problem with the nudists. My problem was with others who were attracted to the beach.”  But the deputy misses the obvious: those problem people are STILL at the beach, whether or not the nudists are around. These creepy people exist everywhere: at our playgrounds, in shopping malls, in our churches and in our schools.  It is unfair to classify nude beaches as a pervert magnet because all you must do is look at the Megan’s Law database to see they are everywhere in every community!

 

But the fact is, with fewer people on the beach, criminals – especially drug dealers – are emboldened by the ability not to have witnesses. After a decade of increased crime and trash at Bates Beach, for example, it is obvious that removing the nudists did not solve the problem but made it worse because the northern half became essentially deserted.

 

Lewd conduct increased both on the beach and in the parking lot because the nudists weren’t there to drive them away. Statistics show the tunnel under the railroad tracks a half mile (and out of sight) of the beach has attracted people who wanted to participate in illegal activity regardless of whether the nudists are on the beach or not.

 

In 2009, drug dealing and prostitution got so bad at the beach, the Parks Department put a trailer in the parking lot to house two security guards. Gang graffiti has begun to appear on and above the beach. Word-of-mouth in the community is that this beach is now unsafe.

 

So the deputy was wrong.  The County’s continued inability to control crime on this beach is not the nudist’s fault.

 

But the nudists helped clean it up.

They created a Beach Ambassador program, which works like a Neighborhood Watch, to patrol the area and prevent the type of crimes that occur when nobody is looking. This program cleaned up a crime-ridden Haulover Beach in 1992.  It eliminated crime at Sandy Hook in New Jersey and Black’s Beach in San Diego.

 

In the past few years, many beaches in Santa Barbara County have become the destination drop-off points for panga boats filed with millions of dollars’ worth of marijuana and other drugs from the Mexican cartels.

 

With more people on the beach, there will be less chance for these kinds of isolated activities from occurring. More people also means more walking traffic to and from the parking lot, so there will be less opportunity for a car burglar to get the opportunity to break in, or for prostitution to take place there.

 

Nudists ARE the obvious solution. They can be law enforcement’s best friend if given the chance.

 

Canard 2. “Special Use”

“Why should you people get a special beach?”

Open the Yellow Pages and look up how many municipal golf courses there are in Santa Barbara County: there are eight.

How many public parks have tennis courts on them for public use?  Over a dozen.

How many bridal trails? How many bike paths? How many horse trails? Skateboard parks?

Our point is this: cities and counties traditionally sets aside land for use by special interest groups. It is done to encourage a wide variety of recreational choices and also to avoid user conflict.

We ask for is a sign, so people can choose to enjoy our special use, or not.

With polls showing wide approval for a nude beach set aside for that purpose, we believe nudists qualify for similar consideration!

 

Canard 3. The “Property Value” Canard

“You will make my property value go down.”  This is a variation of the NIMBY (not in my back yard) argument.

 

We have searched the Internet far and wide and have we never found any study on clothing-optional beaches and property values being published anywhere. We also asked some local real estate agents who are unaware of any such conclusions.

 

Nudists are good environmentalists. We keep the beach clean. Many beach groups participate in the annual national Coastal Cleanup Day. B our very presence we reduce drug crime and sexual activity there and in the parking lot above. How can that hurt local property values?

 

In fact, the continued high prices received for property sold at Hope Ranch here in Santa Barbara near More Mesa Beach and also at Haulover Beach in Florida and prove the opposite. And we aren’t the ones who caused the 2008 collapse of the housing market – we weren’t there!

 

The average property value at Rincon Point in 2018 is above $2.8 million, up from $1.5 million when the nudists weren’t there.

 

Source: www.muninetguide.com/states/california/municipality/Carpinteria.php

 

We compare this charge to the ones from 40 years ago, about black people moving into a neighborhood.  However, we will note that the latest census shows Carpinteria has a black population of less than 1% (Asians comprise 3% of the total).

 

Canard 4. The “Morality” Card

         

Photos above are from churches in Virginia, Tennessee, and Missouri.

 

Is nudity immoral or un-Christian?  We believe this is a question of personal belief and free speech protected by the Constitution.

 

In fact, there are several Christian based nudist groups in the United States! On Google, search for “nudist Christian church” and you will get several pages of entries.

 

Christian naturists are Christians found in most branches and denominations of Christianity who practice naturism or nudism. (There is even a Mormon nudist church in Utah!) They find no conflict between the teachings of the Bible and living their lives and worshiping God without any clothing, believing that covering the body leads to its sexualization. Thus, the common notion that nudity and sexuality go hand-in-hand is seen as a worldly point of view. The Christian definition of the human body should be separate, distinct, and non-materialistic. If clothing truly controlled lust and immoral sexual activity, then these would not be occurring to any great extent.

 

Many Christian naturists have very little disagreement with the core beliefs of long-established churches, and may even be a member. They feel the error of mandatory dress is cultural, rather than anything related to salvation. Nor is such an error unprecedented. For example, in the 20th century, churches largely abandoned any teaching which promoted racial separation and segregation.[2] Likewise, Christian naturists perceive a gap between scripture and Victorian era modesty (which to some extent is still observed today).California courts agree that nudity is not in itself sexual, despite the efforts of movies, advertisers, and some politicians to link the two. Anyone who has gone to a nude beach, resort, or club knows there is nothing sexual about the experience at all.

 

Organized Christian naturism is known to exist in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and Brazil.  Public rules of conduct are similar to those of family-oriented naturist resorts. Any inappropriate sexual activity (including lust) is considered to be against God's Word. Although Christian naturists may frequent public beaches and secular resorts, most do not accept New Age and humanist philosophies which sometimes occur in other aspects of naturism.

 

These facts haven’t stopped certain special interest groups from trying to enforce their own version of morality on the rest of us. We support the rights of others to their own beliefs and values, even if they differ from ours. We ask the same consideration in return.

 

Canard 5. “We Must Protect the Children”

Many opponents of clothing-optional beaches tell us that kids need protecting from not only the beaches but also from their own parents.  These opponents believe seeing others nude leads to promiscuity, unstable homes, more criminal activity, and reduced mental health.

 

To the contrary, we KNOW that clothing-optional environments – including beaches – make kids safer here than on any clothed beach, or at a shopping mall, or even in some churches!  And that they grow up more stable than their non-nudist counterparts. And we have statistical evidence to back this up.

 

THE NAKED CHILD: GROWING UP WITHOUT SHAME

Copyright 1996 Dennis Craig Smith, Reprinted with Permission

 

In 1996 Dennis Craig Smith published his 10 year study of children raised in a nudist park environment from 1986 to 1996. 100 nudist teens and young adults ages 17-27 were followed for the ten years to see how they turned out. They were compared with 100 non-nudist college students of the same age and gender balance.  Here are some of the major findings:

 

Marital Status:

In 1996, both test groups described themselves as to be just entering marriage and childbearing ages, so questions about their own children were inconclusive as the aggregate numbers were too small to sample.

 

The nudist group indicated 48.3% had never married while 38% were currently married. Far from being promiscuous, most of the nudists (68.3%) did not yet have children, whereas 31.7% had one or more children. 90% of these respondents had been married only once.

 

Perceptions were interesting, as the college groups thought that nudists had less happier marriages than themselves, however, point in fact, the degree of marital satisfaction for these two groups did not indicate any differences between the two groups as80% of the nudist group characterized their marriages as "very" or "somewhat successful or happy.

 

Employment:

In 1986, a majority of both groups (67.2%) were unemployed and had no yearly income.  By 1996, the nudists group reported that they perceived their careers as "very successful" (38.3%) or "somewhat successful" (23.3%) while some 6.7% of them said they were unsuccessful and 18.3% reported "unfulfilled careers."

 

Religion:

As a group, the social nudists did not view themselves as being very religious: 53.3% of them labeled themselves as "agnostic" or "atheist," while only 8.3% attended church regularly. The non-nudist group was not much different, with less than half of the non-nudist group reported religious affiliation and 18.3% of them never attended church (about 23.4% attend "frequently.")

 

Crime Stats:

Only three of the social nudists (5%) indicated having been jailed for more than two days, while 21.7% stated that they had been arrested. However, only two persons reported being convicted of a major crime.  This statistic is in line with that found in the general population for this age bracket.

 

Mental Health:

To the question “Have you ever been treated for mental illness?),” 90% of the social nudist group responded “No,” and 71.7% answered they had never sought the services of a psychiatrist.  This statistic is in line with that found in the general population for this age bracket.

 

Attitudes and Opinions about Nudity at Home:

A higher percentage of the nudist test group than the college non-nudist group felt that growing up in a nude environment lead to positive rather than to negative feelings about one's body. The great majority (85%) of the social nudists were raised by one or both of their natural parents. Nudity at home was a common practice, for 90% of the social nudists and 43% indicated it was common to dine in the nude. Some 28.3% of the social nudist group indicated that they had lived permanently with their parents in a nudist camp at some time during their childhood.

 

The respondents reported fairly stable family structures. Indeed, 66.7% of the social nudists labeled their adolescence as "stable" and/or "happy." Less than 18% of them report an "emotionally troubled” adolescence.

 

“Was there ever a time when you regretted being a nudist?” Yes: 6.7%, No: 86.7%

“Do you plan to raise your children as nudists?” Yes: 73%, No: 3%, Unsure: 18.3%

 

As found in earlier studies by Kinsey, Pomeroy, and Wardell, this study by Smith concludes being raised in a home that condones nudity may very well lead to a more calm acceptance of sexuality on a child's part, and that in fact young nudists often go to great lengths to avoid or suppress explicit sexual behaviors or even the suggestion of such activities while in nudist camps in order to repudiate the general publics belief that if one is nude one naturally has sex. Yet such nudists, in keeping with the attitudes of their middle-class peers, report a ready acceptance of human sexuality as natural and appropriate behavior among consenting adults.

 

Summary:

The attitude and opinion questions demonstrate no major differences in education, employment, income, marital status, or religious affiliation between the college group and the social nudists.

 

Both groups share similar attitudes on sexual behaviors and sexual morality, although the nudist group appears to see themselves as healthier and with fewer sexual hang-ups or drug problems.  The nudist group had more stable relationships and fewer arrests that the sample of clothed college kids.

 

Finally, the social nudists provide an endorsement of their upbringing by having indicated that 73.3% of them plan to raise their children as nudists.

 

Everyone wants the best, safest environment for their children. We don’t object to the way you are raising your kids so don’t object to mine!

Stay true to yourself, join the American Association of Nude Recreation  today!

JOIN AANR TODAY

The American Association for Nude Recreation - Western Region

The American Association for Nude Recreation

Western Region

23679 Calabasas Road, Suite 966

Calabasas, CA 91302

information@aanrwest.org

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