Hiding nudity from children

I am curious as to the purpose of this. No, I am not a nudist or anything, but it just seemed (and still seems) wierd to me. I had a mother that seemed deathly afraid I would be privy to the naked female body (if it were up to her, I probably wouldn’t have seen one until I got married).

Also, when I was young, I always found it peculiar that when watching a movie, if there was a scene coming up that had nudity in it, all the male children would be hustled out of the room but the girls would be left alone. Just made things that much more confusing for me when I was a kid.

I think it’s weird too, Incubus. Me, I don’t mind my son (1 year old) seeing me topless, and I can’t see that changing too much in the future. Hell, he’s had my vagina around his neck, I don’t think a glimpse of my breasts are that big of a deal.
As for media based nudity, I’m torn. Simple ‘i’m walking to the shower’ nudity doesn’t bother me with kids, nor do photos or paintings of nudes. It’s a body, where’s the harm? Sexual content or speculum p.o.v. shots seem excessive though, and potentially confusing for younger children not yet familiar with the whole sex concept.

As for your “get rid of the boys but let the girls watch” experiences, I’m confused. Are you referring to sex-ed type films (in which case the boys *were[i/] escorted out while we girls learned about the “wonders of womanhood”) or just plain old movies? Who did this? Your parents? Teachers? Friends parents? I can’t imagine…


I come from a modest family, and my (by this time grown) brother once completely flipped out because he saw my mother in… gasp!… her slip (she actually had her skirt on, too, but was ironing her blouse)!!!


Luckily, I spent a lot of time with my grandparents, who were pretty free-wheelin’. In fact, my parents once took me with them to watch some “stag films” at a friend’s house when I was about a year old (they couldn’t find a babysitter, and hell, I was a BABY–I’d never know what was going on)…

Apparently I mistook the woman in the porn flick for my GRANDMOTHER, and started pointing and calling, “Nana! See NANA!”

We left shortly thereafter, and my mother had a “talk” with my grandmother.

As a result of my “dual existence” childhood, I am:

a) the only one in my immediate family who doesn’t attempt to hide my goodies around the others (especially now that my dad and brother are dead and it’s just us hens)–they think I’m a complete exhibitionist, and are slightly appalled.

b) secretly of the belief that the person who wields the power in the household is the person who can walk around naked in front of anybody in that household (like, say, the mom in a house containing her husband and three daughters, or my best friend in a household containing her husband and ME)–I am determined to be this person when I grow up (actually, I guess I AM this person, but the dogs are always naked…). :wink:
I can remember reading a Gary Snyder poem for an undergrad class… I think it’s called The Bath… describing bathing with his wife and toddler son. I thought it was beautiful. Other people in the class found it disturbing and inappropriate.

Diff’rent strokes, I guess…

But I agree with you–I think people can get too hung up sometimes on the nekkid booty. JMO…

Nope, these were just plain old movies. I can’t remember how many times I got booted out during the cake scene in ‘Under Seige’ (And that was the only good part of the whole damn movie IMO). I guess because they were girls and they were going to have breasts it didn’t matter.

bella, I love you. This made me spew chocolate shake.

I guess I can understand not wanting the kids to see you naked, if you’re very modest or shy or whatever. But not letting them see breasts on TV? What, you think they don’t know breasts exist? Kids either don’t care about breasts or, after a certain age, are QUITE aware of the existence of breasts. Big deal. I can’t believe this country still will allow the amount of violence it does on TV but is so bizarrely protective of breasts.

When I saw ‘The Mummy’ I was in front of a woman who brought two kids, looked to be about 10 or 12. She had no problem with them watching the violence and gore in the movie, or the scary bits, but had them cover up at the sight of the nearly topless egyptian woman. Damn woman, what kind of priorities is that?

One thing I observed (with myself anyway) is the more something is kept secret, the more interesting it becomes. Keeping certain parts of the female body a mystery just made me want to see them more. The concept of establishing that it is ‘bad’ to be in the visual presence of some things is screwed up IMO. It was indoctrinated into me in my childhood; and when I was 19 and went to a strip club with friends, I felt extremely uncomfortable having a nude woman dancing in front of me and giving me eye contact, even though I was looking foward to it and was still interested in the female body at the time.

I never shrieked in horror if my kids happened to accidently see me partially unclothed but I was not one of those run around topless kind of moms either.

I think it is important to differentiate between nudity and sex and even more important to shield children from unecessary violence. I do think people become desensitized to it. You should be horrified when someone gets shot in the head or stabbed in the chest, not if some random person happens to not be fully clothed.

I always tried to teach them that nudity while not wrong is a private matter much like going to the bathroom. ie certain things are private and not for public veiwing. Same thing with sex-while it is a happy normal function of the human body, it is a private matter. Oh and please knock before opening mommy and daddy’s bedroom door.

My son is three and he’s getting real curious about our naked bodies when he sees them. Which is just occasional–I don’t run around naked, but neither to make him leave the room if I am changing my clothes.

I want to teach him that bodies are private, and generally speaking people who aren’t family to each other don’t show each other their naked bodies. But I also want him to think of bodies as interesting and artistic and beautiful. We’ve got nudes as art in our house and I point this out sometimes.

My big goal is to make sure he thinks of boobs as dual-purpose objects. Not just funbags to giggle over and dive into when horny, but nourishment for babies, too. He sometimes grabs my nipples when I am changing my shirt… as I wincingly pry his fingers off I try to say something intelligent about breastfeeding and think wryly about him doing this to some hapless girl (for more sexually-charged reasons than just raw curiosity) in the back seat of some car in 14 years. Sigh.

My son and I are pretty laid back about it. It’s his mother I wonder about. She’s so uptight about nudity she won’t even look at her own body.

A few days after my son was born and all three of us were at home, I asked when the doctor said the episiotomy would be healed. She said she didn’t remember. I asked if she had checked the area out to make sure things were all right. She was aghast. “I wouldn’t look there!,” she gasped.


Geez. If I had recently had surgery in the package area, I’d be checking it hourly for progress.

Different strokes…

I don’t know how relevant this is to the OP, but here goes. As a boy I went around in front of my two older sisters in my underwear all the time, and my dad would sometimes do this, though he usually wore a robe. My mom never went around in anything less than her nightgown and neither did my sisters, who wore pajamas (I only wore them in the wintertime). It was also completely forbidden for me to see my sisters in their underwear, much less completely undressed. I respected this “rule” and if I accidentally caught a glimpse of them not fully dressed I covered up my eyes and ran away knowing that this was a big taboo. My sisters, however, were not quite so respectful and really had no reason to be since they saw me in my underwear all the time anyway. I have found that this seems to be some unwritten “rule” for families with both male and female children.

We played in our underroos with the neighbor girls all the time. Never thought of this as being odd, but now that I think about it, some parents today would be horrified over this.

Our apartment is so tiny I couldn’t be modest if I wanted to. Now that my children are 14, they are as modest as the tight space allows. I, on the other hand, am not afforded this right. I guess that’s what happens after years of not really giving a happy shit whether or not they saw me naked.

They walk in on me while I’m using the toilet and move the shower curtain over and start chatting me up while I bathe as if we were sitting in the livingroom. They are not quite as bad with my husband. But my husband never walked around starkers like I did (and still do if I gotta, with no shame at all.) It’s just skin after all.

Girls do not listen to this man. Believe me you do not want to see what Muffy looks like after such an insulting procedure. Images of bruises, sutures, labia that look like mud flaps…all this will be forever burned into your memory. Again do not look, the effect is similar to looking Medusa straight in the face. You will be forever altered.

Just remember her as she was and as she soon will be again but for the love of god and all that’s holy resist that urge to pic up the mirror. That way only leads to madness my friend.

I frequent a nude beach when it’s warm. But I’ll never tell my mum, 'cos she would get the royal freak on.

I’ve seen my parents starkers a couple of times, but only in strange situations-- stumbling home at 4 am after a night out and getting yelled at for waking up my dad, or when my mom’s top came off after being hit by a wave at Myrtle beach.

I’m with The Mermaid.

I think I can safely say I’m comfortable nekkid, being a former stripper and all, but I was NOT going to go there after my episiotomy.

First, what I could see without a mirror was pretty grusome in itself. Secondly, I wasn’t too in the mood for the contortions it would take to be able to see that area…and I didn’t think having my knees up near my ears would be all that good for the stiches.

Well, I guess she must’ve looked, then. :slight_smile:

I don’t know, I checked out my goodies once l&d was all said and done, and I was surprised by how much less gruesome it looked than I had been expecting. Maybe a tear would be kinda brutal, but the neat little cut was barely visible. YMMV of course, but I’m with Rysdad on this one. No way was I not checking to make sure all my bits and pieces were intact.

auntie em–sorry 'bout the shake!


I just have to make one comment about this…

If you value your son’s mental health, you’ll NEVER say this anywhere where he might hear it.

My youngest sister used to take all her clothes off at the drop of a hat. My mum was so concerned that she took her to the doctor, and the doctor basically said “some kids a like that, if she still does it when she’s 14, bring her back”. She’s 15 now, and has grown out of it.

When we were kids (4 of us (3 girls, 1 boy) with an 8 year age span) mum would just throw us all in the bath together - and for me it was never a big deal. I was more interested in getting my sister to eat the soap or something, than looking at her naked. So I guess it’s never been a big deal for me. We all grew out of wandering around with no clothes on by the time we were 10 or 11 without any external prompting.