Why is female nudity more acceptable than male?

Curves - Oils on Canvas a contemporary nude by Jennie Rosenbaum
Curves – Oils on Canvas by Jennie Rosenbaum

@naturistnews: @minxdragon why is female nudity more acceptable than male nudity? Why is nudity considered shameful?

Original Message

I was asked these questions via twitter, and there was no way I could answer them in 140 characters or less and do them justice, in fact, I don’t think I could satisfactorily answer them in an entire blog post! I will try it in two.

I think female nudity is generally more acceptable than male nudity for a number of reasons. largely, however it seems to come down to aesthetics and homophobia.

Despite all our efforts to the contrary we still live largely in a patriarchal society. While males dominate industry, advertising and the media there will still be a slight locker room mentality. While nudity remains mainly sexual in the minds of the general public, it will be more acceptable for that locker room mentality to gaze upon nude women than men.

Many men fear nude men, but women do not fear nude women. I do not know why this is. It could be media and advertising, it could be that we grow up seeing semi nude women constantly or it could just be that there is a homophobic backlash still in effect.

Women are more aesthetically pleasing than men nude. It’s the truth. No matter the shape of the woman she is beautiful. Men are interesting nude, but not necessarily beautiful. There is an inherent charm in the swell of a hip, the curve of the breast. We have been taught since ancient times to revere the female figure.

10 thoughts on “Why is female nudity more acceptable than male?

  1. Actually, Jennie, in “Classic” times (Ancient Greek/Roman/etc) the male nude was more revered than the female (although the female was certainly not ignored). The majority of nude scultures from that time period are male, while a large number of female sculptures were only partially nude.

    I think your Patriachal though is probably closer to the truth, combined with sexual mores. In general, displayed nudity is considered sexual, and most men prefer women in that regard. I know a lot of women who “fear” female nudity in that regards, but not in others (such as changing rooms). The same holds true with a lot of men when it comes to male nudity.

    Hope this makes some sense. I’m writing this at 2.30 in the morning, so anything is possible.


    • Interestingly, classical times were more open sexually and less repressed about homosexuality, I wonder if there is a connection there?

      You make lots of sense, I think that there is a lot of fear surrounding the nude in general from all sides. Especially as we become more body conscious and afraid, as our fears turn inward we reject the outward visualizations of those fears..

      Or something like that..

  2. Hi Jennie, Very interesting. I like your posts. I think though the reason female nudity is more acceptable is due to advertising. Partially dressed women are used to sell cars, cosmetics, clothes, etc. since WWII. Americans are used to seeing partially dressed women in newspapers, magazines, movies, etc.
    I agree there is a homophobia out there with many men. However this can easily be unlearned.
    I represent a nudist organization the American Association for Nude Recreation http://aanr.com and I own a clothing optional resort called The Terra Cotta Inn, Palm Springs, CA http://sunnyfun.com so I am an expert on nudity like you.
    Once you vacation at a nude beach or nudist resort, you realize bare skin is just that, skin. It is what’s inside a human that is beautiful.
    And I think both men and women are beautiful. After all Michelangelo created David and Donna. Keep up the good posts. Tom

    • Thank you Tom! I think you have the truth of it there, when skin is used to titillate, it’s no longer just skin, and it’s the surface that counts. I think our society is now so superficial that people can no longer see past the imperfections and titillation to see that it’s all just a container. We are all the same, lumps and all we ares all just people and we all have the same capacity for beauty.

  3. Pingback: Why is nudity considered shameful? « Jennie’s Palette

  4. Pingback: Why is Female Nudity More Acceptable Than Male Nudity? | Naturist News

  5. I now this is a bit dated, but I feel the need to answer this as well. First I have to state that the only reason nudity is looked upon as sexual, is because we have been taught this as children. And that is really the only reason.

    As a guy, I will give you a more honest answer that many men might not want to admit. But but are easily intimidated. And that is the biggest reason. And it’s not just by the obvious reason, Penis sizes, but even muscles. A guy with a “bird chest” is less likely to take his shirt off in public than a guy with muscles, because of embarrassment. That also translates to penis size. A guy with a tiny penis is much less likely to want to share that with the world than a guy with a bigger than average one.

    As for as men looking at another man in the showers, etc. There is the fear of homosexuality. Although it’s likely that a guy will still probably glance, if just to see how he “measures up”. But less likely to admit it.

    I think it’s more important to ask why this is. The fear of nudity is such that we would seldom if ever walk around our own house naked if our child(ren) were present. Even more less likely for a guy to do that with the fear of someone finding out and shouting pedophile even if it were 100% innocent. And as a result, we are also fearful of being truthful with our children about nudity and sex. Even when some parents do talk about it, it’s too late in life. This all results in very poor body and self image. And this is the main reason why (to the answer of your question).

    We need to teach our kids that the real #1 reason of clothing is to protect our bodies from the elements. Let’s face it. The reason we cover up is because Christianity says it’s a sin that leads to unholy sex. And this idea has been drilled in our heads for so many generations that we just accept it, though it makes almost no sense.

    Okay, before I go off on a tangent… I’ll just halt there.

  6. Pingback: Why is female nudity more acceptable than male? | Jennie’s Palette | All Nudist

  7. I think it has something to do with the softness of the curves. As a male nude model, for 10 years, I have seen artistic renditions of my own body in very sensuous ways, so I am always surprised at how people respond to the naked male body. But…as a het male who enjoys a female body, I can see why a woman’s nude body might be more aesthetically pleasing to look at. On the other hand, I find it revolting to refer to male genitals as “junk.” Nothing on my body is junk.

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