A summary of published research items

Bunjy splash

The following factors are pointed to by established or confirmed interrelationships of body-image, self-image, body-cathexis; 'barrier' and 'boundary' psychological scores.

There's a short glossary below.
The superscript number at the end of each summary point refers to the relevant publication - listed below.

Summary of researched effects on young people.

Researched effects on children and resources.

First - the positives:-

Naturists are: sociable, spontaneous, independent (yet promote the group), warm, friendly (yet prepared for hostility); they also feel less sexually restricted (frustrated). They are significantly better at: goal-setting and striving; task-completion, suggestibility resistance, self-expressiveness and stress-tolerance. Naturists are also more: communicative, aware of their identity when interviewed, influential and active; than average. 11 p60.

Naturists are relatively immune from: anxiety, sexual difficulties, social introversion, depression, and low levels of self-esteem. 15 p273.

Naturists are more likely to be more aware. 15 p272.

Naturists are less likely to deny their feelings. 1 p235.

Naturists are significantly more secure than average. 4 p24.

Naturists have less anxiety and insecurity. 11 p55.

Naturists are more mentally sound. 11 p2.

Naturists are likely to be more altruistic and positive than average. 11 p40.

Naturists are less likely to blame others, for any negative state of their own. 1p151.

Naturists see clothes as a mere social adaptation, and tend to deny their worth for defence. 4 p23.

Naturists are less hostile and threatening than average. 1 p99.

Naturists show low hostility and aggression. 5 p502.

Naturists feel inherently loveable and confident.3 p126.

Naturists suffer less body boundary dysfunction. 14 p8.

Naturists are less psychologically dysfunctional than average. 14 pxiii.

Naturists have less 'morbid restlessness' and faulty imagery. 15 p273.

Naturists are more pain-tolerant and stress-tolerant than average. 11 p59.

Naturists are less likely to be 'in denial' about their body. 5 p317.

Naturists are more likely to have an 'alive' body; thus more joy and satisfaction. 1 p233.

Non-naturist males are more likely to be dissatisfied with the genital aspect of their body-image. 5 p124.

Novice naturists have significant 'boundary' score improvement: a more valuable set of attitudes. 5 p513.

Naturists have more extensive options for how they conduct themselves. 4 p345.

Naturists are less susceptible to socially aberrant sexual behaviour. 1 p93.

Naturists are less inclined to be perverse, experiment with drugs, or be promiscuous. 1 p99.

Naturists are less likely to be paranoid or schizoid. 1 p197.

Chronic schizophrenics would be more treatable, if they were naturists. 11 p51.

Naturist novices show an enduring, four-fold improvement in body-cathexis (self-esteem), over the average of control groups. 10

Non-naturist males are more likely to be dissatisfied with the genital aspect of their body-image. 5 p124.

Naturism is more fundamentally attractive to males, than females. 11 p55.

Naturists are much less likely to have been delinquent. 11 p77.

Naturists are much less likely to have been delinquents. 5 p132.

Delinquents will fear naturism. 1 p260.

Naturists are the antithesis of rapists. 13 p151.

If the average male had the characteristics of naturist males, there'd be around a quarter less aggression in society. 19

Naturists are better readers. 5 p369.

Naturists are less likely to be authoritarian. Authoritarians have trouble realising the value of naturism. 5 p630.

Community awareness of the need for openness about the body is required: especially for the sake of children. 15

Naturist's children are less judgmental about their bodies. 5 p61.

Children of naturists are likely to suffer less from psychopathies originating from abuse. 1 p198.

Children of naturists are likely to better withstand teasing than average. 14 p16.

Children of non-naturists are likely to dislike their genitals. 7

Naturist's children, as adults, show no sexual maladjustment problems. 8

Naturist children have a significant developmental advantage. 18

Children's exposure to social nudity is definitively beneficial. 17

Children are negatively impacted by guilt, in proportion to the clothes-compulsiveness of their culture. 18

Naturist families are more likely to reflect 'family values' than be disrupted. 14 p16.

Here: the negative:-
They may be sometimes perceived as deviant and/or unacceptably self-expressive in some settings. 5 p527.

In short: naturists have a significantly better body-image and self-concept than average.

"The results of the research speak clearly, and with force: children's exposure to nudity is not only not harmful, it appears to be beneficial. However this seemingly clear relationship is not at all clear to most parents, nudist or non-nudist. Nudists are still widely (and erroneously) perceived in our society as sexual deviants: people who obtain sexual stimulation by engaging in nude recreation. Those who are not nudists have no direct personal experiences to disprove this fallacy, and many nudists are afraid to reveal their status for fear of being ridiculed, prosecuted and persecuted." 17

These are indications of the essence of the publication/page linked to the superscript at the end of each line. 

Establishes a relationship between barrier and cathexis; thus: body, manner of relating, and 'self'. 10

Establishes clear relationship between one's satisfaction with the body and with the self. 2 p394.

Establishes the body - self - esteem relationship. 5 p316.

Establishes the concept of boundary or barrier between 'self' and 'other'. 11 p2.

Indicates the body-image as causal, for behaviour. 11 p60.

Relationship of body-satisfaction and self-esteem can't be faked. 5 p127.

Confirms the interrelationship of: body-image, self-attitude and body-cathexis. 11 p40.

Confirming the connection of personality, body and body-cathexis. 9 p343.

Confirmation of relationship between 'barrier', attitude set, body-image and vocabulary. 11 p40.

Confirms a fairly close link between body-image and behaviour. 5 Preface, pxiii.

Confirms the paramount value of 'self esteem'. 3 p96.

Confirms relationship between body, image and perceived self. 11 p58.

Confirms the body - self relationship. 9 p346.

Confirms the correlation of body and self. 11 p57.

Confirms the need for an 'alive' body-image. 1 p6.

Confirms the importance of an undistorted body-image. 4 p356.

Confirms a close correlation of attitudes to body-image by site, with ratings of self. 14 p15.

Particular parts of the body-image have specific connections with expressions. 11 p2.

Confirming the relation of the body-image 'complex' and the boundary 'complex'. 5 p524.

Confirmation of the positive correlation of boundary definition with security. 4 p363.

Different people exhibit different boundary penetrability. 14 p1.

A strong boundary equates to social invulnerability: improved cognition. 5 p369.

Those with ill-defined boundaries are psychologically vulnerable. 11 p2.

Rape: a consequence of dismal body-image? 1 p92.

The importance for development, of having a 'high-barrier' identity. 1 p259.

First comes conformance: morality (convention). But adult awareness moves one from 'normal' to 'natural'. 5 p13.

Social behaviour is determined by the body image. 11 p2.

Relates role, mask, loss of true inner feeling; to 'inauthenticity'. 3 p94.

The dangers of the 'role' specified. 1 p259.

An inauthentic role is inherently and dangerously stressful. 1 p260.

An unconscious role distorts and restricts self; and obstructs recovery of identity. 1 p261.

Conscious humans must relate to each other. 3 p147.

A sensitive masseur recognises that he's actually massaging the brain. 5 p.xiv.

Males have a greater need for an adequate body-image and self-esteem, than females. 11 p55.

Naturist body-cathexis score is confirmed to be higher than that of non-naturist, for both male and female. 12

Naturism was found to be the most significant variable (more than sex) in body self-concept score levels. 7

Thanks are due to Nobilangelo Ceramalus for unearthing of most of this research  


  1 The Betrayal of the Body, by Alexander Lowen MD, an analytical psychotherapist, (MacMillan 1967). 

  2 The SELF in Growth, Feeling, and Learning. Selected Readings, edited by Hamachek (Prentice-Hall, 1965), page 394, citing Secord & Jourard (1953) published by the American Psychological Association in Journal of Consulting Psychology, Volume 17, pages 343-347.

  3 Solitude, a Return to the Self by Anthony Storr, Clinical Lecturer in Psychiatry, Oxford University (Free Press/MacMillan 1988) 

  4 Body Image and Personality by Seymour Fisher and Sidney Cleveland (D. Van Nostrand & Co., 1958) 

  5 Development and Structure of the Body Image, Seymour Fisher (Lawrence Erlbaum Associates 1986), 'a detailed review and analysis of the body-image literature from 1969 to 1985.'

  6 Body Disclosure and Self-Disclosure: Relating Two Modes of Interpersonal Encounter Sussman, (Journal of Clinical Psychology, Oct 1977, V331N4, 1146-1148), 'to investigate the hypothesis that self-disclosure and body-disclosure are directly related.'

  7 Factors Associated With More Positive Body Self-Concepts in Preschool Children, Story, (Journal of Social Psychology, 1979, Vol 108:49-56). 

  8 The Relationship Between Adult Sexual Adjustment And Childhood Experiences Regarding Exposure To Nakedness, Sleeping In The Parental Bed, And Parental Attitudes Toward Sexuality Lewis and Janda, (Archives of Sexual Behaviour, Vol 17/4, 1988). 

  9 Body Cathexis, Secord and Jourard, Journal of Consulting Psychology, Volume 17, Number 5, (1953) pages 343-347. 

10 Body Disclosure and Self-Disclosure - Relating Two Modes of Interpersonal Encounter,Sussman under the aegis of Jourard, Journal of Clinical Psychology, October 1977, Volume 33. p1146.

11 Body Schema and Body Image,Donwe Tiemersma (Swets & Zeitlinger, 1989). 

12 Social Naturism & Body Concept, De Goede, Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume 45, Number 12, June 1985: 

13 Sexual Aggression, edited by Hall, Hirschman, Graham, Zaragoza (Taylor & Francis, 1993). 

14 Body Image Disturbance, Assessment and Treatment, by Thompson (Pergamon, 1990). 

15 Body Images: Development, Deviance and Change, edited by Cash & Pruzinsky (Guilford, 1990). 

16 Article 12.1 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, for example. 

17 Parents and the sexuality of preschool children, by Aquilino and Ely. Pediatric Nursing 11(1) p44-46 (1985) 

18 Children's perception of clothes and nakedness: a cross-national study, Goldman and Goldman. Genetic Psychology Monographs 104 p163-185 (1981) 

19 MMPI profiles, Analysis by John P. Brantner PhD, Professor of Psychology, University of Minnesota Medical School; In Nudist Society, William E. Hartman, Ph. D., Marilyn Fithian and Donald Johnson. Crown Publishers I Avon, NY, p103-110; (1970). 

20 Decartes' Error, by Antonio Damasio. Grosset / Putnam. (1994). 


Barrier Refers to a set of attitudes indicating the positiveness and definiteness of the body-image. 'Penetration' is its opposite - a weak, negative boundary; broken, destroyed, or absent.
Body-image One's sense of the self and one's body.
Cathexis (psychology) the concentration of energy in one channel. (Concise Oxford)
(psychology) a charge of mental energy attached to any particular idea or object. (Chambers)
Attachment, conscious or unconscious, of emotional feeling and significance to an idea, an object, or, most commonly, a person. (Psychology Glossary)
(psychoanalysis) the mental/libidinal/psychic energy invested in some idea or person or object. "Freud thought of cathexis as a psychic analogue of an electrical charge." (Wordweb)
Ego In psychoanalytic theory, one of the three major divisions in the model of the psychic apparatus, the others being the id and the superego. The ego represents the sum of certain mental mechanisms, such as perception and memory, and specific defence mechanisms. It serves to mediate between the demands of primitive instinctual drives (the id), of internalised parental and social prohibitions (the superego), and of reality. The compromises between these forces achieved by the ego tend to resolve intra-psychic conflict and serve an adaptive and executive function. Psychiatric usage of the term should not be confused with common usage, which connotes self-love or selfishness.
Imprinting A term in ethology referring to a process similar to rapid learning or behavioural patterning that occurs at critical points in very early stages of animal development. The extent to which imprinting occurs in human development has not been established. (Psychology Glossary)
[The offspring's process of establishing its base knowledge of the form of its species.]
Naturist One who has realised that the common assumption that 'nakedness equals sex', is simply a myth; and thus is socially comfortable, naked.