No harm in exposure to nudity
TORONTO, Sept. 30 /CNW/ - Yesterday, in his testimony on the 3rd day of the Coldin trial, Dr. Ronal Langevin testified that adults or children who are exposed to nudity do not suffer any psychological harm. While he agreed that people who see nudity unexpectedly might experience shock, embarrassment and even be offended, he indicated that there was no evidence that those people would suffer any permanent psychological harm. He added that nudity is generally well accepted in society as evidenced by media, nude beaches, and the gay pride parade. While different people's reaction to nudity would vary greatly given that Canada is a multi-cultural society, Dr. Langevin was adamant that nobody would suffer any psychological harm.
Dr. Ronald Langevin has been studying sexual offenders and their victims for over 40 years. In preparation for this trial, he reviewed 195 scholarly studies as well as his own personal database of over 3,000 offenders. Dr. Langevin put special emphasis on a 1995 study by Dr. Paul Okami at the University of California, Los Angeles. The study concluded that children who are exposed to nudity do not suffer any harm.
Dr. Langevin was also very specific that nudism/naturism is not exhibitionism. Sexual arousal is key to exhibitionism as a sexual disorder. The scholarly research he reviewed clearly indicated that naturists/nudists are not motivated by sexuality. In fact, Dr. Langevin recalled that he dealt with two genital exhibitionists who had tried nudism/naturism but did not like it. But he also added that even in cases of simple genital exhibitionism there was no evidence of psychological harm to the victims.
Brian Coldin is charged with several counts of nudity in the Bracebridge area. In his testimony, Mr. Coldin denied going through any drive-through while nude but readily admitted to regularly walking in the parkland adjoining his property while wearing only sandals. His lawyer, Clayton Ruby, is planning a constitutional challenge to section 174 which criminalizes mere nudity. (section 173 deals with indecent acts)
Karen Grant, President of the Federation of Canadian Naturists, declared the organizations' support for decriminalizing mere nudity. "It is ridiculous that the simple exposure of our natural body could result in a criminal charge" said Ms. Grant. "Casual nudity should not be in the same league as theft, robbery, assault and murder."
Stephane Deschenes, the owner of Bare Oaks Family Naturist Park, who testified on the second day of the trial as an expert witness in naturism, added that "the public should not be concerned with the decriminalization of casual nudity. It's been nearly 15 years since Gwen Jacobs was acquitted by the Ontario Court of Appeal for walking topfree in Guelph thereby decriminalizing the exposure of women's breasts. Yet we still rarely see topfree women anywhere today."
It is important to note that indecent acts are covered under a separate section of the criminal code.For further information:
President, Federation of Canadian Naturists
Director, Federation of Canadian Naturists
Owner, Bare Oaks Family Naturist Park
Ruby & Shiller