USF St. Petersburg campus Honors Program Theses (Undergraduate)


Joyce R. Casto

First Advisor

Raymond 0 . Arsenault, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Jay H. Sokolovsky, Ph.D.


University of South Florida St. Petersburg

Document Type


Date Available


Publication Date


Date Issued



In the United States, there currently exists varying perceptions about Social Nudism. Some consider it a form of expression, while others find the behavior deviant or out of the norm and immoral. My paper focuses on a specific group known as the Naturists, the present day term for Nudists, a social culture that engages in complete nudity in a community setting. I chose this topic in an effort to increase awareness of this culture and to expel some of the misconceptions which have existed for many years. I have always been curious about this lifestyle so when the opportunity arose for me to attend a Naturist resort, I couldn't resist. Naturists claim the many benefits of nudity enhance their overall health and therefore are conducive to a wholesome way of living, positively affecting one's mental, spiritual, and physical well being. Though they find their attempts at existence and acceptance being challenged by influential, pre-existing, negative ideals about the naked human body, this culture continues to attract new members. This has resulted in the need for more resorts and other activities to support this lifestyle. Included in my paper are scholarly studies, interviews, and personal observations and experiences regarding Social Nudism as it exists in the United States today. The first chapter explores what nudism is, and more importantly, what nudism is not, citing some of the common misconceptions still expressed today. The second cliapter examines the history of Social Nudism, and how it came to be, in the United States, recognizing the influential people who fought for a lifestyle they strongly believe in. Chapter three focuses on moral questions and the effects of guilt and shame. Chapter four analyzes The Naturists Society and some of its important projects. The fifth chapter surveys the types of people who engage in social nudism as well as the deterrents that discourage others from joining. The final chapter includes interviews with Naturists, and others who have visited nudist communities.


A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the University Honors Program, University of South Florida St. Petersburg.

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