Are there equal amounts of male and female nudity in movies?

After reading through this thread it struck me, what do people think of nudity in movies?

One of the arguments in the thread (and the one I subscribe to) is that for every topless woman you see in film you can name another topless man appearing in the same film, thus equality.

The other argument is that because men don’t show their ahem, “frank and beans”, on screen that woman carry the heavier load in the nudity department.

My argument against this is that it’s even more rare for a woman’s vagina to show up on screen than it is for a penis. Hollywood has a problem with all genitals, not just men’s.

So what do you think of the great nudity issue?

References to come to a more informed decision available upon request.:smiley:

Well, of course, the first one to pop into my mind is Basic Instinct. You see lots of female frontal and rear nudity, but just the guy’s booty. The Color of Night again shows her all over the place, but you do get to see one very fast glimpse of Bruce’s penis. I do think that you see more female than male, generally speaking.

I think you see a fair amount of female pubic hair but almost never do you really see a vulva. Dick shots are rare but they exist. Vaginal lippage is almost unheard of (Basic Instinct being a notable exception).

My thoughts: There is much more female nudity in the film world. The only way you could not think this is so is by counting topless males. This does not count as far as I am concerned since it does not count as nudity in most of prudish America. (Just got off work, so this isn’t as coherent or detailed as I’d like. Hope you get the gist of my argument tho, even if you don’t agree with it.)

Hard to say. Any survey of sexy films usually focuses on naked women; were there any naked women in Red Heat? Not that I remember. But Arnold and that Mongolian guy in the Siberian sauna fought naked. Or Spartacus, or all those Steve Reeves Hercules films.

Consider the last Batman movie: Every male character had a costume with hard nipples on it, but none of the female characters did. Hmm, maybe Hollywood does have some kind of weird gay agenda…

I’m not sure the numbers are really equal, but let’s assume for a moment that they are. Do you sincerely believe that this is an equal situation? I mean, there’s a case to be made that there is little logical reason why a shirtless man should be treated or perceived any differently than a shirtless woman, but in the US at least there is an undeniable legal and cultural distinction between the two.

There are a bunch of guys up the block from me right now playing basketball without their shirts on, a common sight in the summertime, but if a woman tried to do the same thing she could be arrested. And even if she managed to evade both the law and the potential less savory consequences of appearing to be “asking for it” so blatantly, I’m sure the neighbors would be talking about the incident for a long time. A man out in public with his nipples bared to the sunshine is simply not considered in our culture to be “exposing” himself or making an overtly sexual display in the way that a woman doing the same thing would be.

Those are far from the only two possible arguments. A dear friend of mine is a great believer in something she calls “The T-to-A Ratio” – any movie showing a sexy actress’s breasts should show a sexy actor’s buttocks. If they show the actress’s breasts and then buttocks, they should show the actor’s butt twice. I think she also wants to be the one to make sure the actors have sufficiently sexy tushes, but Hollywood has yet to get in touch with her.

I’m sure I’ve never seen a gyno shot in a mainstream film, but I can think of quite a few that show full-frontal female nudity. The only movies springing (heh heh, I said “springing”) immediately to mind when I try to think of scenes of full-frontal male nudity were either foreign or independant films.

Now, I agree that from most angles a pantless man is revealing a lot more than a pantless woman, but a shirtless woman is revealing a lot more than a shirtless man. If you’re going to recognize the first distinction I don’t see why you shouldn’t recognize the second.

To poster Lamia: Thanks for saying in such a coherent way what I couldn’t get together. Total dittoes to what you wrote.

I’ve read recently (can’t remember where, sorry) that the amount of female nudity in mainstream Hollywood films has fallen significantly from what it used to be. The article pointed the finger directly at the Internet for this, stating that female actresses know that any nudity will immediately appear on the web in screen captures and so are less likely to do any of it.

No statistics, but my memory tells me that this is probably true. And that the amount of male, at least partial, nudity has increased so that the ratio between them is far closer to one to one than in days past.

True. And thanks to the wonders of DVD you can now catch it!:rolleyes: I was suprised that winkies showed up in both movies I rented on thursday night a couple of weeks back: One Hour PhotoandTangled. 'Course both shots were so brief that you barely notice them unless you pause the movies (although, I did notice, which made me go back and look, so I suppose they weren’t a second long). I think it will still be a while before male nudity is as blatent as female nudity has been, though.

I just don’t understand why the need of “equality”. This is not about ying and yang, or an accounting issue.

Let’s face it: men nudity is not as aestethic as women’s. What I really don’t understand is why some feminists seem to have a problem with that, speaking about exploitation and macho-abuse.

I don’t think this has to be a problem (not a problem, but a good point for discussion, indeed). Women show their breasts because they love to, they are not forced or obliged. Of course, they are not radical feminists, the real feminist (I suppose) fights for equality in jobs, equal treatment, etc., but in matter of sex (derived to nudity), maybe a good feminist likes pleading to be “penetrated” (or the other word, I don’t know if it’s allowed here), as she is only playing his sexual role. Men who show their privates love to do it, too. All for fun purposes, the main objective in this industry.

We can’t put “amount values” in body parts for showing standards, that’s as much as women saying “for every time you penetrate me, I will penetrate you”. Sexual roles may have to be respected for good sexuality; then in the movie business, if you women wanted to see more, now there’s more than before, there you have it… what’s the big deal? You want to see more, or you want to win?

(In fact, I’m allergic to sex wars)

Oddly enough, I finally saw 12 Monkeys the other night and while there was no female nudity at all, there were two prolonged scrubbing scenes featuring Bruce Willis’ buttock, and a slightly prolonged Bratt Pitt Butt-fest. So, it depends on the movie I think. If the movie is exploitive, you tend to see nude women. If it thinks itself an important film, then you see naked (or as they say around here, nekkid) men.

I suspect the 1970s may have been the peak, as it were, of gratuitous female nudity in films. I didn’t see Carrie until I was in college, at a Halloween film festival, and I was really surprised by the opening sequence. Sissy Spacek’s shower scene was nothing unusual, but all those HOT WET BARELY LEGAL TEEN GIRLS cavorting TOTALLY NUDE in the locker room? Don’t see much of that these days. In ordinary movies, I mean. Spam e-mail is a different story.

Consider this aesthetic travesty perpetrated by the supposedly great artist Michelangelo. Makes the stomach turn, doesn’t it? You’d think Mister Big Shot Sculptor would at least know to give the guy a robe or something so unsuspecting museum goers could be spared the sight of his repulsive masculine body.

But seriously, I suspect you are confusing aesthetics with what you personally find attractive. You may not, as a matter of personal taste, find looking at nude men very enjoyable. And that is your right. Seeing a nude man is unlikely to get my gears grinding either. But I am perfectly capable of feeling some sense of aesthetic appreciation for a heathy, attractive human being. I am also aware that many heterosexual women, gay men, and bisexuals of either sex feel appreciation of a more than simply aesthetic nature for healthy, attractive, buck-naked men.

In the past there was obviously far more female nudity in movies.

However, this has changed now to such an extent that there is probably just as much or more male nudity.

I think the reason for this is that female nudity has come to be associated with juvenility and exploitation, and therefore is often avoided, while male nudity has none of these associations and in fact can do the exact opposite, making a movie seem less juvenile and less like exploitation.

Not only do directors avoid female nudity for this reason, but the actresses themselves likely wish to avoid being associated with these things and are more reluctant to do nude scenes. Males on the other hand only have their reputation improve after doing a nude scene. It’s a strange double standard.

Also, males show more revealing nudity than women. Most female nudity in movies is restricted to breasts. I do not find compelling the argument that a female showing her breasts is equivalent to a male showing his buttocks. This argument makes no sense - you are basically admitting that women show less nudity, and then saying that their nudity matters more or something. Which may be true, but is not the point being debated. Also, you will see a penis in a movie far, far more often than female genitals.

Males show more nudity, but female nudity is assumed to matter more, and this is mistaken for them showing more. Even references to female nudity are actively avoided, as in the Batman example. Personally, I wish there was more female nudity in the style of male nudity. Males often show nudity in good natured comedies, or serious sci fi films (The Full Monty and 12 Monkeys are good examples). Females are unlikely to be nude in films like these, and are more often seen nude in juvenile movies or exploitation films. And, of course, that is largely why female nudity is associated with such things, and why it is avoided in the kind of movies I like to see. Oh well.

According to you. Many people disagree. You are stating an opinion, not a fact.

I didn’t say that was my personal opinion. Saying a naked man is not as aestethic as a woman doesn’t mean that can’t be aestethic at all. I meant by social standards for showing bodies (I don’t think I’m ugly, right?).

In fact, I would like you to pay more attention to the rest of my post. Because that little phrase could generate more polemic than needed, not my intention.

I think exploitative films probably do show more female than male nudity, but there are still plenty of “important” films that contain female nudity. Like Mrs. Dalloway or Shakespeare in Love. Although not a particularly highbrow film, Titanic wasn’t exactly aimed at the horndog young male audience either, yet Kate Winslet still had a nude scene.

I’m still trying to figure that last one out. I mean, Kate Winslet looked beautiful and the scene was tasteful, but I’m certain the demographic groups most interested in seeing Titanic would have appreciated a nude scene with Leonardo DiCaprio far more. Heck, I’m certain that there were plenty of Titanic fans who would have committed desperate acts to see just a little more of Leo. But I suppose since many of the teenaged girls in love with Leo saw the movie multiple times anyway, there would have been little to gain financially by providing them with more fanservice. In fact, it could have hurt the movie if it had caused the MPAA to stick it with an “R” rating (I remember reading that, thanks to Winslet’s nude scene, Titanic barely got away with a “PG-13” as it was). Many of the teenaged girls in love with Leo wouldn’t have been allowed to go to see it at all if it were rated “R”. Or they’d have had to bring their mothers along, and that just would have been embarassing.

I’d even dispute that as an example. The leg-uncrossing scene in BI is more notable for what it implies than what it actually shows (which, thanks to the miracle of DVD, I can confidently state isn’t much at all).

They could hardly show much more without asking Sharon Stone to sit in an even more awkward and unnatural position. An actress can be sans panties, or even as naked as the day she was born, but her genitals are not going to be fully visible to the camera in many poses.

Well, I haven’t seen Mrs. Dalloway, but Shakespeare in Love is just another example of a movie that shows both males and females from the waist up, but only males from the waist down.

You are still arguing that female nudity is more important, rather than more prevalent.

Titanic is sort of the exception that proves the rule. It is very rare for such a big movie to be aimed at women. Since it is aimed at women, and not men, it is able to show female nudity and not be associated with exploitation or juvenility.

I am not disagreeing that female nudity is more important. Bruce Willis and Brad Pitt can both appear nude in 12 Monkeys, and their lives are not affected. However, if Madeleine Stowe had done the same there would be screenshots all over, and it would almost be like she posed for Playboy or something. For this reason, movies like Mulholland Drive have female nudity edited out in the dvd. Has male nudity ever been edited out in a dvd release to protect the actor? The lack of female nudity in movies can be attributed to our society’s strange, immature attitude towards nudity.

In case anyone was wondering, there are screenshots of Brad Pitt and Bruce Willis from that and many other movies (and tabolids) all over the internet as well.

Not that I go looking for that kind of thing… ahem…