What’s the problem with nudity?

While I wouldn’t describe myself as a prude, I found this programme made for some uncomfortable viewing.  It was an odd combination of examining theories on why and when humans became hairless and “quasi” research into our own discomfort at being nude – two very different subjects.

I found the explanation of the theories on why we as humans are hairless (or at least not as furry as say primates) quite fascinating.   The programme started with Darwin’s own theory that our hairlessness is due to women’s natural preference for less hirsute men.  This has lead to our evolution as “furless”.  Darwin’s theory has only recently been empirically tested and findings do indeed suggest that women prefer less hirsute men.

Then the programme moved on to consider when humans became hairless.  Odd enough research in this area examines our parasites – lice to be exact.  By comparing our lice with those of our nearest evolutionary neighbour – primates – researchers in California have projected that human became hairless very early on in our evolution.  It all turns out to be due to the size of our brain and temperature regulation.  In other words, we sweat to keep cool and we wouldn’t be able to do this if were covered in fur. 

The other aspect of this programme (why we are uncomfortable nude) was less informative.  It came across as little more than titillation for voyeurs.  It tried to examine why humans (whatever the culture) are naturally modest and embarrassed to be nude.  The programme took a group of volunteers and had them go through a variety of “experiments” to see if they were embarrassed to be nude and whether they could overcome their embarrassment.  This bit of the programme drew some very obvious conclusion – yes we are embarrassed to be nude and yes it is tied up with sexuality.  The programme theorised that we are naturally modest so that we remain monogamous.

I’m not sure why the programme makers felt the need to mix between these two topics as they have.  More importantly, I really don’t understand why they needed a group of volunteers to go nude to show us how embarrassing nudity can be.  Being a bit of a cynic I wonder if they felt they had to add in something a bit sensationalistic to liven up this slightly nerdy scientific programme.

Am I just being a prude or did anyone else feel this programme to be leaning toward titillation?


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What can I say....I'm addicted to TV
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