|MadSci Network: Other|
In many cultures around the world, the human body is not only considered a natural thing, but nudity, whether total or partial, is not even considered something special or unique. The Danii of New Guinea only consider a man to be nude if he lacks a penis sheath ( a conical empty root that covers the penis), but this sheathe doesnt cover the scrotum, only the penis. I could give you more examples, but the main point I would like to express is this : In the old world, life is just too hard for people to worry about what kind of clothes a person wears or if he or she is even wearing any. I am an Anthropologist, but reams of ethnographic minutiae will not yield hard and fast data with names and dates and rules to apply. If you want a rule to understand social opinion concerning nudity and the human body, I suggest the works of Alfred Louis Kroeber, the Dean of American Anthropology. The general trend ends up looking like this : As population density increases to a level that threatens available resources, social taboos against sex increase. You see, in order to maintain the quality of life, you must either produce more food, which may be impossible, or you must limit the number of individuals there are ( by war or abortion/contraception) These taboos can take secular (fashion and law) for or religious form, such as the puritanic beliefs to which i believe you were referring. By keeping people clothed and covered, the hope is that they will be less likely to have sex and increase the surplus population, so to speak. It was a poorly conceived idea and it didn't work. Nothing burns the flames of desire like partially obscuring the desired item. That's the whole idea behind strippers. It may be considered lewd to run around naked in public, but the porn industry is a multi-billion dolar a year industry, so something is wrong somewhere. I hope I have been of help to you.
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