public nudity a sin?

Was reading a thread about whether or not to wear bikinis and I started wondering about nudity in general. Sorry if this has been discussed before, I'm new here and didn't find anything!

So would nudity that is not meant to incite lust, etc. be considered a sin? For example, I know in some cultures many women sunbathe topless in public parks, beaches, etc., not to mention the numerous nude beaches out there. Would this be considered sinful?

Here is the official position of the Catholic Church as expressed in the Catechism:

vatican.va/archive/catechism/p3s2c2a9.htm#I

“Purity of heart requires the modesty which is patience, decency, and discretion. Modesty protects the intimate center of the person.” I believe the implications of this moral precept means that nudity constitutes a sin.

By public nudity I take it you mean completely naked in a public place. Then the simple answer is yes, public nudity is a sin.

The thing is that even if it was not meant to incite lust, it may incite lust anyway… causing someone else to sin (and that would be a double sin).

Exceptions would be in some traditional aboriginal populations such as the Australian aborigines outside of European contact (of former times). Another exception may be someone who poses naked for artists and art schools but that’s not entirely a public situation.

Last Judgement scenes are often replete with public nudity… so therein lies another exception.

What you mention would not be a sin per se (note emphasis).

Modesty takes many forms from one culture to another (CCC 2524) and one generation to another. Exactly what is modest and what is not depends greatly on the situation.

In our culture (modern US culture), what you mentioned would be immoral even if it is not meant to incite lust because in this culture it likely would incite lust and/or disturb people (and thus be a sin against charity).

In other cultures it may be much different. There are some cultures in which it is the norm for women to be topless in public. In these cultures this is often the case in large part due to necessity (lack of clothing). It would not be sinful for a woman to go topless there because it isn’t likely to incite lust. Men in those cultures have been desensitized to seeing women topless, and thus seeing women topless has very little to do with sex for them.

Overall, it depends on the situation. St. Francis stripped naked in public to make a point about giving up cares of this world. Personally, I think we make too big of a deal of nudity in our culture. I’m not endorsing nudism, but I’ve heard that children who grow up in families that practice nudism are less likely to view porn during adolescence (due to reduced curiosity of the human body).

[quote="roveau, post:3, topic:197300"]
By public nudity I take it you mean completely naked in a public place. Then the simple answer is yes, public nudity is a sin.

The thing is that even if it was not meant to incite lust, it may incite lust anyway.... causing someone else to sin (and that would be a double sin).

Exceptions would be in some traditional aboriginal populations such as the Australian aborigines outside of European contact (of former times). Another exception may be someone who poses naked for artists and art schools but that's not entirely a public situation.

Last Judgement scenes are often replete with public nudity..... so therein lies another exception.

[/quote]

Personally, I think that anyone who poses nude for an artist or an art school is committing a mortal sin. You can't tell me that some of the students won't lust after the naked woman or man! It's just impossible! Anytime someone is nude in a public or semi-public environment they are committing a mortal sin because they are causing others to sin. The only thing I can think of where it wouldn't be a mortal sin is for example in a school gymnasium's shower rooms because of the simple fact that it is required to shower before leaving class. Also, those are 99% of the time a male or female only shower. In fact, I've never heard of a case where a school had co-ed showers. Personally, I think that school gymnasiums need to have shower stalls instead of open shower rooms because I can only imagine how many kids get made fun of because they are the wrong shape or size or because of something else. And what about the hermaphroditic kids? They can't help the way they were born and yet they would inevitably get made fun of anyway. So yeah, I am against pretty much any public or even semi-public nudity. One should only be nude in the presence of their spouse, pet, or by themselves. An exception to that rule would be going to the gynecologist's office or some other doctor's office where partial or complete nudity is required.

This is not so, and the Vatican has said so…within certain VERY restricted boundaries, of course. The art must be for the purpose of glorifying the human form, NOT to satisfy human lust. In these cases, the artist falls under the same exception that a medical doctor would. In a related issue, it would not be a sin to pose for nude medical photography, provided that the images were anonymous and were used for medical diagnosis or instruction. A nude model for the purpose of creating a great work of art like Michelangelo’s David would be acceptable to the church, as long as the modeling was carried out in private.

This artistic nudity would also encompass the type of nudity that occurs in a few rare film scenes, such as the gas chamber scenes from Schindler’s List. In this instance, the nudity is most CERTAINLY not for sexual gratification, but helps to convey the absolute sinful horror of the event taking place in a way that the scene might not without it. Note that a nude sex scene, in MOST cases, would certainly NOT fall into the artistic category.

Its all about intent and enviroment. Being nude in a art class, not really. Being nude in the middle of Mardi Gra, or a rock concert? Most likely yes.

I’ve heard this over and over and over again. The readers here are mainly not from a culture that regards nudity differently. Personally, I am seeing too many signs of nudity for the purpose of inciting lust in our culture. Soap operas are close to soft porn and there is way too much of it on the internet. This global, 24/7 access has made some people slaves to sin. It does not matter what nudists might think because if they want to have kids then there is a condition required for sexual arousal.

In the western World, there is no public situational dynamic.

God bless,
Ed

public nudity a sin?

Pretty much, yeah. Sorry.

This made me laugh a little . . . the Vatican is chock full of great works of art, including many, many nudes. Surely the Church doesn’t think all those artists were mortally sinning? Why preserve and display their work?

In many places in Europe, they have nudity displayed on billboards and it isn’t meant to be erotic and doesn’t incite lust (at least from people in that culture). The nude statue of David isn’t meant to, and usually doesn’t, incite lust of the women who look at it (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_(Michelangelo.

My brother met a priest at Ave Maria who was from a place in Europe where nudity on billboards is normal. He thought that the over sensitivity against nudity here in America leads us to subconsciously over-eroticize mere nudity.

I’ve heard (I don’t know if this is true) that most men who have same-sex attraction had almost no exposure to the naked male body before puberty, and thus become curious about the male body during puberty.

In today's culture it is socially acceptable for a woman to go to a public beach wearing less then she would if she had on underwear. Bikinis are very small bathing suits that show almost all of a woman's nakedness. The question is whether or not a Christian woman, let alone any woman, should display her body in such a way that modesty disappears.

Please understand that we are not advocating being prudes who don't want people to have fun. That isn't it. We understand that it is not practical to wear full body outfits at the beach. It is embarrassing and ridiculous. Nevertheless, the simple fact is that the woman's body is naturally beautiful and sensuous. Women learn this as they grow up and discover that boys (young men) will be attracted to them and will do all sorts of antics to earn a young woman's attention and favor. Many young women find this appealing and often take advantage of their power over males by displaying their bodies. Therefore, some young (and older) women will purposely dress in seductive ways so as to further their sense of attractiveness and control. The males are drawn to this and are easily enticed.

Is it right for a woman, especially a Christian woman, to use her body in such a way? The answer is obviously no. The woman needs to be careful not to ensnare men and she needs to be careful to be modest. But, the problem here is subjectivity. What is modest to one person is not to another. Where one Christian woman will not wear a bikini, another will. What, then, are we to conclude is appropriate?

The answer lies in Scripture. 1 Tim. 2:9 says, "Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments; 10 but rather by means of good works, as befits women making a claim to godliness." The biblical pattern for the dress of a woman is modesty. Now, the context of these verses is dealing with fancy adornment; that is, it is dealing with a woman spending lavish amounts of money on clothing. This draws attention to herself and demonstrates she is overly concerned with appearance. Note what two commentaries state:

"These terms stress not so much the absence of sexual suggestiveness, though it is included, but rather an appearance that is simple, moderate, judicious, and free from ostentation."1
"Those that profess godliness should, in their dress, as well as other things, act as becomes their profession; instead of laying out their money on fine clothes, they must lay it out in works of piety and charity, which are properly called good works."2
The emphasis is that a Christian woman should be more concerned with displaying her godly character than her skin. If her goal is to impress a man with her godliness, then she is being holy and sanctified. On the other hand, if she believes is trying to display herself in order to entice a man, then she is not being modest. Nevertheless, the point of modesty includes refraining from flaunting one's body. Young men are especially susceptible to the beauty of young women and it should be the goal of Christian women to not be a stumbling block.

[quote="eureka525, post:1, topic:197300"]
Was reading a thread about whether or not to wear bikinis and I started wondering about nudity in general. Sorry if this has been discussed before, I'm new here and didn't find anything!

So would nudity that is not meant to incite lust, etc. be considered a sin? For example, I know in some cultures many women sunbathe topless in public parks, beaches, etc., not to mention the numerous nude beaches out there. Would this be considered sinful?

[/quote]

he Marylike Standards For Modesty In Dress [3]

“In order that uniformity in understanding prevail… we recall that a dress cannot be called decent which is cut deeper than two fingers breadth under the pit of the throat; which does not cover the arms at least to the elbows; and scarcely reaches a bit beyond the knees. Furthermore, dresses of transparent materials are improper.” — The Cardinal Vicar of Pope Pius XI.

1. Marylike is modest without compromise, "like Mary,” Christ's Mother.  

2. Marylike dresses have sleeves extending at least to the elbows and skirts reaching below the knees. [When a woman sits down her knees should still be well covered]. (Note: because of impossible market conditions quarter-length sleeves are temporarily tolerated with Ecclesiastical Approval, until Christian womanhood again turns to Mary as the model of modesty in dress.)  

3. Marylike dress require full coverage for the bodice, chest, shoulders, and back; except for a cut-out about the neck not exceeding two inches below the neckline in front and in back, and a corresponding two inches on the shoulders.  

4. Marylike dresses do not admit as modest coverage transparent fabrics — laces, nets, organdy, nylons, etc. — unless sufficient backing is added. However, their moderate use as trimmings is acceptable.  

5. Marylike dresses avoid the improper use of flesh-colored fabrics.  

6. Marylike dresses conceal rather than reveal the figure of the wearer; they do not emphasize, unduly, parts of the body.  

7. Marylike dresses provide full coverage even after jacket, cape or stole are removed. — (Full, loose fitting culottes reaching below the knees have been suggested by some as acceptable for picnics, hikes, sports, and certain kinds of work.) [4]

Virtuous, young ladies should understand that dressing modestly does not mean that they cannot appear attractive. However, the attractiveness of their attire should be a modest reflection of the beauty deep within their soul rather than an improper exposure of sensual beauty that has an attraction that is only skin deep. Scripture teaches: "…let their adorning not be the outward plaiting of the hair, or the wearing of gold, or the putting on of apparel: But the hidden self of the heart in the incorruptibility of a quiet and a meek spirit which is rich in the sight of God" (1Pet. 3:3-4).

Like they say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so sin can be in the eye of the community in wich it resides. For example...I just finished a course in history that takes you back before the colonies were around here in the U.S. Well as we read along through the course I came about a chapter where the "white christian men" said african black slave women had an unquenchable sexual appetite because they walked around topless in their lands. So therefore the men "had" to "quench" the black womans sexual appeitite themselves or else suffer some kind of consequence. I thought it was stupid and perveted. It is us who have the dirty and perveted mind...no one else. Its the same as my children who went with me to my art class and saw the drawings of a nude woman and man and they uttered out "EEEWWW...HE AND SHE ARE NAKED!!!" I had to stop and explain to them that human body is the most BEAUTIFUL work of art that GOD created. If you say that a human body is disgusting, you are saying GOD is disgusting, because in the end he made us in HIS image. Another story...I lived in Germany for a while and I lived within the German comunity. I remember one day that I was on my computer in my room on the second floor of my home. I looked out the window and the sun was going down so it wasnt dark but not bright either. The neighbor behind me was in her underwear and bra just out there watering her lawn and flowers. I made the comotion...I closed my window and I said to myself "UGH...what the heck is wrong with that person!" Later I realzied it was me...not them who had the problem...it was my perveted mind. We went around Germany to some lake and they walked around nude there too. The children bathed in the lake nude, people were lying on the ground nude...its not a big deal...for me it was something else, I wasnt used to it...but again...I was the only one who thought that way.

Americans, im my oppinion, are the most perveted people in the plantet...next to, sad to say...christians (including catholics). I have since then changed my mind setting and have come to appericiate the human body and its form for what it is...a work of art by GOD. It is neither sinful or disgusting. It is our mind that is sinful and disguting. It is why a lot of American mothers have a hard time nursing, cause we have turned the human body as something of lust and desire. There is something to be said of other countries who have no shame in the human body. We are the shamefull ones. I had a housekeeper who would just flop her boob out to feed her baby. I talked to her about it, not to scold her, but asked her how her country viewed breastfeeding babies. She said in her country there are women who walk around with their boobs out..and no man blinks and eye...the men there do not see the breast as a sexual object, but only of nurishment for thier offspring. I found that to be very humbling...and it made me sad to know that here we dont see it that way.

So is public nudity a sin...well its illegal...a sin...I dont think so...if it were, I think GOD would send us with cloths on at birth.

You mean to tell me that nudity in public showers or dressing rooms is immoral? I suppose most public swimming pools would go out of business then because of the huge cost that would be incurred for individual showers and dressing rooms. As for nude art, what's the point of painting it in private when people will see it at a public art gallery anyways? Simply, there is no point. Also, I study world economics and cultures in South America and Africa. Many of the tribes or people in these cultures wear nothing, simply because clothing is very expensive and it is too hot. The only countries in South America or Africa that I would ever visit would have to be countries where public nudity is legal. I believe it would be more comfortable. So, by the common misunderstanding of public nudity, I would be deemed a sinner even though I am not. Also, I agree with marylike dress when temperatures are below 90 degress and humidity is no greater than about 50 or 60 percent. It is simply ridiculous to subject women (or men, for that matter, as well) to such situations that could be potentially dangerous.

:clapping: I agree

Public nudity is never sinful. Not during Mardi Gras. Not in an arttist’s studio. Not in the locker-room. Not in the bedroom. Not in Times Square during rush hour.

Any public behavior with the specific intention of causing someone else to behave inappropriately carries moral agency. But even if one appeared nude in public specifically to encourage someone else to behave inappropriately, it would be the intention to incite inappropriate behavior, and not the public nudity, that would be wrong.

I almost agree. Nudity is never sinful in itself. It is, at most, connected sometimes to occasions of sin. After all, nudity is the natural state, the state we had in the Garden before the arrival of sin and shame!

Clearly, it would be sinful to deliberately dress in order to provoke lust, whether that’s in a bikini or in the nude or (if you’re a particularly good-looking guy) shirtless.

I think we should go one step farther, though. All people have a certain, limited, but definite obligation to actively avoid tempting others to sin. We are all trying to get each other to heaven; we all ought to be filled with love and charitable consideration for each others’ weaknesses. For that reason, it would be sinful to dress provocatively (or nudely) under two circumstances: (1) there is good reason to believe that your dress will likely tempt others to sin (which varies by culture and is a judgement that belongs chiefly to prudence), and (2) there is no good reason for dressing like that (art posing, heat, showering after gym class, etc.).

Thus, African tribesmen in the nude are not committing any sin. Nude performance artists in Times Squares are certainly tasteless, but probably not sinful. Strippers are plainly committing a sin – as are lap dancers, even if they are clothed. Most controversially, I think it’s clear that a great many people who go to the beach dressed in nearly nothing (it was worse with the Speedo craze for men… now it’s mainly women in barely-there bikinis) are committing a sin. Their sin is either one of malice (if their whole purpose was to provoke lust) or of simple uncharitableness (if they just don’t care about the people who may be tempted to sin by their dress).

Either way, the church’s teaching on modesty is extremely useful here.

I'm sure western culture has taken nudity too far.....beyond any modest limits. Any how this is a stupid thread.

[quote="remjsmom76, post:14, topic:197300"]
Like they say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so sin can be in the eye of the community in wich it resides. For example...I just finished a course in history that takes you back before the colonies were around here in the U.S. Well as we read along through the course I came about a chapter where the "white christian men" said african black slave women had an unquenchable sexual appetite because they walked around topless in their lands. So therefore the men "had" to "quench" the black womans sexual appeitite themselves or else suffer some kind of consequence. I thought it was stupid and perveted. It is us who have the dirty and perveted mind...no one else. Its the same as my children who went with me to my art class and saw the drawings of a nude woman and man and they uttered out "EEEWWW...HE AND SHE ARE NAKED!!!" I had to stop and explain to them that human body is the most BEAUTIFUL work of art that GOD created. If you say that a human body is disgusting, you are saying GOD is disgusting, because in the end he made us in HIS image. Another story...I lived in Germany for a while and I lived within the German comunity. I remember one day that I was on my computer in my room on the second floor of my home. I looked out the window and the sun was going down so it wasnt dark but not bright either. The neighbor behind me was in her underwear and bra just out there watering her lawn and flowers. I made the comotion...I closed my window and I said to myself "UGH...what the heck is wrong with that person!" Later I realzied it was me...not them who had the problem...it was my perveted mind. We went around Germany to some lake and they walked around nude there too. The children bathed in the lake nude, people were lying on the ground nude...its not a big deal...for me it was something else, I wasnt used to it...but again...I was the only one who thought that way.

Americans, im my oppinion, are the most perveted people in the plantet...next to, sad to say...christians (including catholics). I have since then changed my mind setting and have come to appericiate the human body and its form for what it is...a work of art by GOD. It is neither sinful or disgusting. It is our mind that is sinful and disguting. It is why a lot of American mothers have a hard time nursing, cause we have turned the human body as something of lust and desire. There is something to be said of other countries who have no shame in the human body. We are the shamefull ones. I had a housekeeper who would just flop her boob out to feed her baby. I talked to her about it, not to scold her, but asked her how her country viewed breastfeeding babies. She said in her country there are women who walk around with their boobs out..and no man blinks and eye...the men there do not see the breast as a sexual object, but only of nurishment for thier offspring. I found that to be very humbling...and it made me sad to know that here we dont see it that way.

So is public nudity a sin...well its illegal...a sin...I dont think so...if it were, I think GOD would send us with cloths on at birth.

[/quote]

The words of the Blessed Mother at Fatima to Bl.Jacinta Marto.
Blessed Jacinta Marto

"the sins which bring most souls to hell are the sins of the flesh. Certain fashions are going to be introduced which will offend Our Lord very much... the Church has no fashions; Our Lord is always the same..."
1910-1920
Jacinta on Holy Silence:
Noticing that many visitors chatted and laughed in the chapel, Jacinta asked Mother Godinho to warn them of the lack of respect for the Real Presence this represented. When this measure did not bring about satisfactory results, she asked that the cardinal be advised that "Our Lady does not want people to talk in church."
Some days, Jacinta while in the hospital, was very saddened by the worldliness of the visitors, the women dressed in fashionable clothes, often with low-cut dresses. "What is it all for?" she asked Mother Godinho (her guardian ). "If they only knew what eternity is."

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