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Lesson Plans

Re: Child development and art

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
taylorh (taylorh)
Tue, 7 Jul 1998 07:18:36 -0700 (MST)

On Tue, 7 Jul 1998, neal rosenblum wrote:

> Nudity - censorship - difficult parents!!
> During my research I ran across a warning against exposing children to
> nudity by Benjamin Spock and Dr. Joyce Brothers. Sorry to say but after
> studying the developmental stages of Piaget (and how egocentric children
> are at this age) their warning made sense. They mentioned that if
> children are exposed to adult/parent nudity they will develop childhood
> traumas because their body does not compare to what they see and it will
> be a blow to their self concept.
> Could you enlighten me as to which theory is the most accurate and if you
> know of anything published to support it?

Hi Neal,

I haven't all the primary texts here at hand, but let's think about this
for a moment. The first two things I'd note is that Homo Sap' has been
around for quite a while now and, up until missionaries started arriving,
the tropics, at the very least, have been pretty much a "clothing
optional" zone. If Spock (which Spock, BTW< early or late?) or Brothers
have any universal/biological child development validity, that's
generation after generation of traumatized individuals and countless
millions of children suffering damaged self concepts.

Given our own culture's recent traditions of Social Darwinism and
Scientism I have no doubt that we COULD march right in there and "prove"
the case to the satisfaction of many, just as "superior" Anglo Saxon
brain size was once "verified".

Still, I'd have my doubts. The way I'd reason it out is that the trauma is
culturally induced. No matter which story one follows man was "created"
naked and evidentally intended by original design or nature to remain that
way. I cannot imagine the claimed trauma to the child confronted
with nudity to have any evolutionary basis or foundation in paradise.
(post-paradise MAY be another thing)

So if Spock and Brothers are correct it would seem that the phenomena is
likely to be an acquired response linked to culture and that any trauma
originates in the culture fostering such beliefs and so not a true
developmental issue.

To be fair, we do live IN that culture and it may be true that children as
a result WILL be traumatized, but the primary cause seems most likely not
to be the nudity itself but the cultural beliefs fostered in the children.

Let me be up front and say that this is only a rhetorical analysis and
doesn't rely on any statistical, psychological, sociological or
anthropological studies. Science is the culturally accredited institution
in out culture nor rhetoricaal rationalism. :)

It seems likely to me to remain a tough call. The local
community/communities has/have rights but so do individuals and families.
To my mind it makes sense to look at the feasibility of teaching at that
individual level rather than the traditional public-educational
"one-size-fits-all" assembly line model. But, to what extent is that
possibility viable? Certainly it would never be easy.

My 2p. FWIW