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Naturism or nudism is a cultural and political movement practising, advocating and defending social nudity in private and in public.[1] David G. Danielson remarks, "nudity is a crime, despite the fact that nudity is usually considered a sign of vulnerability... the very opposite of aggression, which is the hallmark of criminality."[2] The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a First Amendment balancing applied to a case involving nude dancers, because the nudity took place in an expressive context.[3]

Children have been banned from activities involving public nudity due to laws such as the Child Protection and and Obscenity Enforcement Act.[2] A federal judge upheld a Virginia law requiring parental supervision at a nudist camp for kids, ruling that it does not violate parents’ rights to raise their children as they see fit. A state spokesman argued, "We know that pedophiles tend to congregate where children are accessible." An attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union argued, "If there were a law requiring a parent to accompany every child to Boy Scout or Girl Scout camp, you can see what a burden that would be."[4] In 2003, U.S. Congressman Mark Foley asked that teen nudist camps be investigated for child abuse.[5]

The Market for Liberty speculates, "private street companies would have no interest in regulating the dress, 'morals,' habits, or lifestyle of the people who used their streets. For instance, they wouldn't want to drive away customers by arresting or badgering hippies, girls in see-thru blouses or topless bathing suits or any other non-aggressive deviation from the value standards of the majority. All they would ask is that each customer pay his dime-a-day and refrain from initiating force, obstructing traffic, and driving away other customers. Other than this, his life-style and moral code would be of no interest to them; they would treat him courteously and solicit his business." In Keene, New Hampshire, activist Cassidy Nicosia committed an act of civil disobedience "wearing an openly holstered pistol on her waist and nothing above it," arguing that women should not be arrested for doing something that men are allowed to do.[6][7]


  1. "Nudist Information Portal". Candid-HD. "A nudist is one who sometimes chooses to go without clothes. A naturist is one who embraces a philosophy that includes more than occasional nudity, often environmentalism, vegetarianism or simply more of a closeness to nature. . . . While there is a large amount of shared history and common themes, issues and philosophy, differences between these separate movements are sometimes contentious. The usage of these terms varies geographically; people in the US often prefer the term nudism, while people in Europe more often than not refer to themselves as naturists." 
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Au Naturel Rights". Liberty Magazine. March 1991. 
  3. "Regulation of Sexually-Oriented Businesses and the "Secondary Effects" Test". Exploring Constitutional Conflicts. 
  4. "Teen Nudist Camp Lawsuit Dismissed". ABC News. 10 August 2004. 
  5. Mariano, Willoughby (1 July 2003). "Lawmaker Aims To Button Up Children Away At Nudist Camp". Orlando Sentinel. 
  6. "NH: Open Carry Topless Movement". YouTube. 
  7. "Topless Equality Activist Arrested". VideoSift.