Nudity

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Nudity is the state of wearing no clothing. The wearing of clothing is exclusively a human characteristic. The amount of clothing worn depends on functional considerations such as a need for warmth or protection from the elements, and social considerations. In some situations the minimum amount of clothing may be socially acceptable, while in others much more clothing is expected. People, as individuals and in groups, have varying attitudes towards their own nudity. Some people are relaxed about appearing less than fully clothed in front of others, while others are uncomfortable or inhibited in that regard. People are nude in a variety of situations, and whether they are prepared to disrobe in front of others depends on the social context in which the issue arises. For example, people need to bathe without clothing, some people also sleep in the nude, some prefer to sunbathe in the nude or at least topless. Many people are prepared to disrobe for a medical examination, while others are nude in other situations. Some people adopt nudism as a lifestyle. Though the wearing of clothes is the social norm in most cultures, some cultures, groups and individuals are more relaxed about nudity, though attitudes often depend on context. On the other hand, some people feel uncomfortable in the presence of any nudity, and the presence of a nude person in a public place can give rise to controversy, irrespective of the attitude of the person who is nude. Besides meeting social disapproval, in some places public nudity may constitute a crime of indecent exposure. Many people have strong views on nudity, which to them can involve issues and standards of modesty, decency and morality. Some people have a psychological aversion to nudity, called gymnophobia. Many people regard nudity to be inherently sexual and erotic. Nudity -- sex-related or not -- is also to be found in visual arts, also on the Internet, and in performing arts. It is a factor in adult entertainment of various types. In some locations, most particularly within western societies, a woman breastfeeding in public can generate controversy. For example, in June 2007, Brooke Ryan was dining in a booth at the rear of an Applebee's restaurant when she found it necessary to breastfeed her 7-month-old son. While she said she attempted to be discreet, another patron complained to the manager about indecent exposure. Both a waitress and the manager asked her to cover up. She handed him a copy of the Kentucky law that permitted public breastfeeding, but he would not relent. She ended up feeding her son in her car and later organized "nurse-out" protests in front of the restaurant and other public locations. Most U.S. states (40 as of January 2009) have laws clarifying a woman's right to breastfeed in public. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]

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