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Lesson Plans


Child development and art

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Rosa Juliusdottir (rojul)
Wed, 8 Jul 1998 09:28:34 -0500


As always when this discussion comes up I feel I must add my few cents worth.

>On Tue, 7 Jul 1998, neal rosenblum wrote:
>
>> Nudity - censorship - difficult parents!!
>snip...
>> 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?

.........and then Henry answered
>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
>
>-henry

I will only add my words to some of this, like;
>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.
Yes I agree with Henry that this is first and foremost linked to culture.
As I have mentioned before I had a bit of difficulty understanding what I
took to be a part of the puritanism in the US when I lived there. People
got upset when my very young children wanted to be naked on the beach etc.
In our culture, (nordic) we are so used to both children and adults being
naked around eachother(f.example in the swimmingpool we all take showers
before we go in the pool and of course without clothes) and I do not
believe it has any traumatic affect on our children and luckyly we never
have to censor any artworks. I am glad that I can freely show my students
works by the great masters or some modern works that happen to show the
body in itīs natural state.
Best regards from the far north where we also like to roll naked in the dew
at midnight on the longest day of the year, Rosa


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