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Table of contents
PREFACE
THE MOTHER AND HER CHILD-1.1
THE MOTHER AND HER CHILD-1.2
THE MOTHER AND HER CHILD-1.3
THE MOTHER AND HER CHILD-1.4
THE MOTHER AND HER CHILD-1.5
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.1
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.2
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.3
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.4
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.5
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.6
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.7
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.8
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.9
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.10
SEXUAL EDUCATION-2.11
SEXUAL EDUCATION AND NAKEDNESS-3.1
SEXUAL EDUCATION AND NAKEDNESS-3.2
SEXUAL EDUCATION AND NAKEDNESS-3.3
SEXUAL EDUCATION AND NAKEDNESS-3.4
THE VALUATION OF SEXUAL LOVE-4.1
THE VALUATION OF SEXUAL LOVE-4.2
THE VALUATION OF SEXUAL LOVE-4.3
THE VALUATION OF SEXUAL LOVE-4.4
THE FUNCTION OF CHASTITY-5.1
THE FUNCTION OF CHASTITY-5.2
THE FUNCTION OF CHASTITY-5.3
THE FUNCTION OF CHASTITY-5.4
THE FUNCTION OF CHASTITY-5.5
THE FUNCTION OF CHASTITY-5.6
THE PROBLEM OF SEXUAL ABSTINENCE-6.1
THE PROBLEM OF SEXUAL ABSTINENCE-6.2
THE PROBLEM OF SEXUAL ABSTINENCE-6.3
THE PROBLEM OF SEXUAL ABSTINENCE-6.4
THE PROBLEM OF SEXUAL ABSTINENCE-6.5
THE PROBLEM OF SEXUAL ABSTINENCE-6.6
PROSTITUTION-7.1
PROSTITUTION-7.2
PROSTITUTION-7.3
PROSTITUTION-7.4
PROSTITUTION-7.5
PROSTITUTION-7.6
PROSTITUTION-7.7
PROSTITUTION-7.8
PROSTITUTION-7.9
PROSTITUTION-7.10
PROSTITUTION-7.11
PROSTITUTION-7.12
PROSTITUTION-7.13
PROSTITUTION-7.14
PROSTITUTION-7.15
FOOTNOTES-1
FOOTNOTES-2

CHAPTER III. 

 

SEXUAL EDUCATION AND NAKEDNESS. 

 

The Greek Attitude Towards Nakedness--How the Romans Modified That 

Attitude--The Influence of Christianity--Nakedness in Mediaeval 

Times--Evolution of the Horror of Nakedness--Concomitant Change in the 

Conception of Nakedness--Prudery--The Romantic Movement--Rise of a New 

Feeling in Regard to Nakedness--The Hygienic Aspect of Nakedness--How 

Children May Be Accustomed to Nakedness--Nakedness Not Inimical to 

Modesty--The Instinct of Physical Pride--The Value of Nakedness in 

Education--The AEsthetic Value of Nakedness--The Human Body as One of the 

Prime Tonics of Life--How Nakedness May Be Cultivated--The Moral Value of 

Nakedness. 

 

 

The discussion of the value of nakedness in art leads us on to the allied 

question of nakedness in nature. What is the psychological influence of 

familiarity with nakedness? How far should children be made familiar with 

the naked body? This is a question in regard to which different opinions 

have been held in different ages, and during recent years a remarkable 

change has begun to come over the minds of practical educationalists in 

regard to it. 

 

In Sparta, in Chios, and elsewhere in Greece, women at one time practiced 

gymnastic feats and dances in nakedness, together with the men, or in 

their presence.[40] Plato in his _Republic_ approved of such customs and 

said that the ridicule of those who laughed at them was but "unripe fruit 

plucked from the tree of knowledge." On many questions Plato's opinions 

changed, but not on this. In the _Laws_, which are the last outcome of his 

philosophic reflection in old age, he still advocates (Bk. viii) a similar 

co-education of the sexes and their cooeperation in all the works of life, 

in part with a view to blunt the over-keen edge of sexual appetite; with 

the same object he advocated the association together of youths and girls 

without constraint in costumes which offered no concealment to the form. 

 

It is noteworthy that the Romans, a coarser-grained people than the Greeks 

and in our narrow modern sense more "moral," showed no perception of the 

moralizing and refining influence of nakedness. Nudity to them was merely 

a licentious indulgence, to be treated with contempt even when it was 

enjoyed. It was confined to the stage, and clamored for by the populace. 

In the Floralia, especially, the crowd seem to have claimed it as their 

right that the actors should play naked, probably, it has been thought, as 

a survival of a folk-ritual. But the Romans, though they were eager to run 

to the theatre, felt nothing but disdain for the performers. "Flagitii 

principium est, nudare inter cives corpora." So thought old Ennius, as 

reported by Cicero, and that remained the genuine Roman feeling to the 

last. "Quanta perversitas!" as Tertullian exclaimed. "Artem magnificant, 

artificem notant."[41] In this matter the Romans, although they aroused 

the horror of the Christians, were yet in reality laying the foundation of 

Christian morality. 

 

Christianity, which found so many of Plato's opinions congenial, would 

have nothing to do with his view of nakedness and failed to recognize its 

psychological correctness. The reason was simple, and indeed 

simple-minded. The Church was passionately eager to fight against what it 

called "the flesh," and thus fell into the error of confusing the 

subjective question of sexual desire with the objective spectacle of the 

naked form. "The flesh" is evil; therefore, "the flesh" must be hidden. 

And they hid it, without understanding that in so doing they had not 

suppressed the craving for the human form, but, on the contrary, had 

heightened it by imparting to it the additional fascination of a forbidden 


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