A check list on nudity
Posted on January 4, 2019
This is something of an ongoing project, something to be carried close to hand if someone else objects to one’s being in a nude state. The questions assume an accusation of public indecency or the violation of a law, whether real or imagined. Feel free to add your own questions.
A checklist concerning the legality of nudity:
- Is the person male or female?
- What portions of the body are unclad?
- Does the statute prohibiting nudity discriminate between men and women?
- Does the nudity involve the consumption of alcoholic beverages?
- Does the nudity involve the consumption of other recreational drugs?
- Does the nudity involve the solicitation of sexual activity?
- Is the person engaged in sexual activity?
- Does the person have a reasonable expectation of privacy, or of not being observed by others?
- Is the person in a densely trafficked area?
- Is the person in a lightly trafficked area?
- Is there a statute specifically prohibiting nudity in the location in question?
- When the person noticed that he/she was being observed, what did he or she do?
- Is the person engaging in activity that is otherwise permissible had he or she been clothed, i.e. hiking?
- Was any commercial activity, such as buying or selling a product, whether legal or illegal, present or involved?
- Is the complainant aware that nudity, per se, is not legally obscene?
- Were there other overt acts of indecency or obscenity aside from the bare fact of nudity?
- Do the governing statutes accurately, clearly, specifically define the alleged behavior as unlawful?
- Were the complainants damaged in any way?
- Are the person’s demeanor, behavior and activity within the area of constitutionally protected freedom of speech?
- Do the person’s demeanor, behavior and activity, applying contemporary community standards, have a tendency to excite lustful thoughts? [Consider, for example, the common practice of wearing of a thong bathing suit on the beach, street or in a hotel lobby in a resort area.]
- Does the complainant subscribe to extreme views of public morality or otherwise own a prohibitionist mindset that falls outside the community norm?
- Did the arresting official personally observe the behavior in question, view documentary evidence thereof, or is the official relying solely upon the words of another person?
- Are any of the complainants involved, whether private or official, expressing a moral judgement on the persons involved?
- Did the questioned behavior take place in an inhabited area or a wild, uninhabited area shielded by vegetation from the public eye?
- Have the legislatures of local governing authorities [municipality, county, state] addressed the behavior in question?
- Have the regulating authorities specifically addressed nudity in their rules and regulations?
- Is the case law less a legal opinion than an exercise in moral indignation?
- Is the allegedly offensive behavior purposeful or accidental?
- Was the allegedly offensive behavior openly, knowingly and deliberately made before others?
- Were these other persons reasonably expected to be shocked by the performance? [Consider, for example, the cartoon where a person in an overcoat flashes occupants of a nudist resort.]
- If the complaint is of indecent exposure, who are the exposees?
- What was the physical distance between exposer and the exposee?
- Was the exposer totally naked, or was just part of the individual’s anatomy exposed?
- Was there an unmistakably erotic attempt to focus the attention of others solely on the sexual organs of the exposer?
- Did the alleged exposer sport an erection?
- Did the alleged exposer touch any part of his own body or any part of anyone else’s body during the incident in question?