NEF 2015 Poll: Most Americans Approve of Nude Sunbathing; Not Offended By Nudity

| October 8, 2015 | 0 Comments

Naturist Education Foundation’s 2015 Poll Gets Americans’ Take On Nudism, Nudity and Nude Sunbathing

The Naturist Education Foundation (NEF) commissioned a new U.S. opinion poll this year to gauge Americans’ views on naturism and public nonsexual nudity and nude sunbathing. Bob Morton, executive director of NAC (Naturist Action Committee) has published a full report of the results on the NEF website.

These nationwide polls were started in 1983 by Lee Baxandall, founder of The Naturist Society. The first poll was conducted by Gallup and there were only 3 questions (the same questions as #1, #2 and #10 in the latest poll). Subsequent polls were expanded to include more questions and were conducted by Roper in 2000 and 2006. This year, NEF’s 10 question poll was conducted by Zogby Analytics as their professional pollsters.

You can read more on the history of the polls in the NEF report.

This 2015 poll was an online survey of 1,026 adults with a margin of error of about 3 percentage points and a “95% confidence level.”

So here are some key findings:

1. Most Americans approve of nude sunbathing in designated locations. The majority also approves of setting aside public land for nude use.

65% of Americans said they are fine with other people sunbathing naked in designated areas, such as on a beach (Question 1). Surprisingly this percentage has gone down from previous polls (it peaked at 80% in 2000). That said, the 2015 poll still shows that public nude sunbathing (in designated areas) still has the approval of nearly 2 / 3 of Americans.

Since 1983, the polls have been asking Americans if they agree with creating designated clothing-optional areas by setting aside public land for nude sunbathing / swimming.

In the 2015 poll, 57% agreed with setting aside these areas (Question 2). There has been a steady increase of approval to this question, which started at 39% approval in 1983.

The percentage of approval is even higher, however, when you look at the results from a subsequent question. Question 5 asked people where designated nudie areas should be located: “close to population centers, far away from population centers, both or neither.”

By combining the first 3 choices NEF concludes that the majority of Americans – 70% – approve of having areas set aside for clothing-optional use. While the majority of responders said nudie places should be “far away” from civilization, only 19% believe that no such places should exist at all.

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Most Americans approve of having clothing-optional areas on public land according to the NEF 2015 Poll. (photo: naked-club.org)

 

2. Most Americans think people should be able to sunbathe nude in their own backyard, even if their neighbors may occasionally catch sight of them.

NEF Question 3: “Do you agree or disagree that people have the right to be nude in their homes or on their property, even if they may occasionally be visible to others?”

The majority – 59% – said they agree with this (39% said Disagree and 6% said Not Sure).

There have been many cases of people facing legal ramifications and public persecution for just being naked in their own home or backyard – even when they were clearly trying NOT to be seen by anyone! This poll result is an encouraging show of support for people’s freedom to be as naked as they wish on their own property.

From this question, Bob Morton / NEF conclude that most Americans “see nudity as a personal right.” They note its significance given the troubling increase in “morality laws” that have been pushing their way into people’s private lives.

3. “Most Americans are NOT offended by nudity”!

It seems to be a widely held assumption that the majority of Americans are offended by non-sexual nudity. This survey indicates that this is simply not true.

NEF’s question 4: “Do you agree or disagree that you are personally offended by the non-sexual nudity of others?”

Over half of respondents – 52% – said they disagree, while 40% said they agreed and 8% said “Not sure.”

4. There is increasing support for women’s topfree (topless) equality.

NEF Question 6: “Women in some jurisdictions are required to cover their chests, even where men are not. Do you agree or disagree that the government should compel women to dress differently from men in this manner?”

The answers — 39% said “Disagree,” while 52% said “Agree” and 9% were “Not sure.”

This was a new question for the 2015 poll, so there are no comparison stats with previous polls. (Though if there were, I personally would guess it’d show an increase of support.) The greatest percentage here did not support women’s topfreedom, but nearly 40% is no small group either.

Interestingly, the NEF poll notes that there was a significant difference in response from men and women. Over 50% of men agreed with topfree gender equality, versus 29% of women.

NEF also noted the difference in political parties – 61% of Republicans were in agreement with gender-based (sexist) dress codes, versus 47% of Democrats.

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5. Over a third of Americans have tried skinny-dipping or nude sunbathing with others. And over a quarter of Americans would consider trying it in the future.

NEF’s Question 10: “Have you, personally, ever gone skinny-dipping or nude sunbathing with others?”

35% answered “Yes” and 63% said “No.”

This question has been included in each poll since 1983, when 15% of respondents said “Yes.” In 2000, it went up to 25% and remained at this percentage in 2006.

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NEF 2015 Poll: 35% of Americans have tried skinny-dipping or nude sunbathing with others.

 

NEF presented some details about the ethnicity, ideology, religion, income and more, of those who’d responded “Yes” in 2015.

  • Hispanics were the dominating ethnicity at 58%.
  • Of those who identified as liberals, 50% said yes, and of conservatives, 28% said yes.
  • The dominating religion was Catholic – 38%, followed by Protestant: 35%, Jewish: 28%, Other / none: 33%.

NEF question 8: “How likely is it that you would consider going nude at a clothing-optional beach if you knew it was safe and legal?”

28% said they would likely consider it. 68% said “Unlikely” and 4% were in the “Not sure” camp.

NEF notes that the younger age group of 18-29 showed the most interest in visiting a clothing-optional beach – 43% of them said “likely.” Among older adults, it was around 30% likely until age 65+ at which dropped to 10%.

6. You can run for public office AND support naturism.

NEF Question 9: If a candidate for public office supported the designation of clothing-optional areas on public land, would you be more or less likely to support the candidate, or would it make no difference?

24% said “More likely,” 38% said it would make no difference and 32% said “Less likely.”

Would Americans vote for a political candidate who’s also a naturist or who supports naturism? The NEF poll results indicate that’s a YES! Most Americans – 70% — said they’d be either inclined to support the candidate or would just be indifferent to it.

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There were lots of encouraging findings in this poll. While the U.S. is no Germany when it comes to nudity or getting naked, this country is also not as anti-nudie as one would think. Furthermore, the results from previous polls indicate a strong ongoing support for people’s right to be naked and have designated clothing-optional beaches or areas. They also indicate an increasing participation in nudism, as more and more people have said they’ve tried social skinny-dipping or nude sunbathing.

This is just an overview of the stats and findings from the recent NEF poll — visit the Naturist Education Foundation website to read more. And if you want to see more survey research like this, please donate to NEF. It’s is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and relies entirely on donations to stay up and running!

NEF 2015 Poll: Most Americans Approve of Nude Sunbathing was publkished by – Young Naturists & Nudists America

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Category: Naked News, Nudism and Naturism, Public Nudity, Social Activism

About the Author ()

Author of Felicity's Blog. Co-founder of Young Naturists America. 3rd-generation nudie. Avid reader. Feminist. 70% vegan, 30% vegetarian. When I'm not busy eating, I'm writing about naturism, censorship, topfree equality, body image and other fun topics. I like feedback, so plz leave a comment when you've got something to say!