commentators who have stressed the possible advantages to children of exposure to nudity

in the dwelling, in places such as later sexual functioning, and ability for affection and
Familiarity (cf. Finch, 1982; Goodson, 1991; Martinson, 1977; Mead, cited in Goodson,
1991). Although a few of these writers (cf. Ellis, mentioned in Goodson, 1991) make reference
to the cross cultural ubiquity of youth exposure to parental nudity – although
objecting to alarmist positions taken by Western commentators who fail to provide
Supporting data – the cross-cultural record isn’t normally explicit on the question of
Genuine exposure of children to parental nudity. It does, however, present a powerful case for
the universality of parent-child cosleeping or room sharing (e.g., Barry and Paxton, 1971;
Caudill and Plath, 1966; Gardner, 1975; Lozoff et al., 1998; Morelli et al., 1992;
Stephens, 1972; Whiting, 1964; Whiting and Edwards, 1988). may tentatively be
inferred that under such conditions large numbers of the world’s inhabitants of children

are exposed to parental nudity. Lastly, a third group of writers stress the importance of
the context in which youth exposure to nudity takes place, insisting that outcomes are
mediated by such contextual variables as sex, age of child, family climate, cultural
beliefs, and so on (Okami, 1995; Okami et al., 1997).
Exposure to Scenes of Parental Sexuality (Primal Scenes)
Freud and his followers picked the term “primal scenes” to refer to visual or auditory
exposure of children to parental sex, and subsequent fantasy elaborations on the
Occasion (Dahl, 1982). Despite the identification of such exposure by psychoanalysts and
others as uniquely dangerous to the mental health of children, there are, once again, short
empirical data bearing on effects of primal scene exposure. We could locate just one
prevalence study (Rosenfeld et al., 1980) and two studies of first result and

Following adult functioning (Hoyt, 1978, 1979). Of course, numbers of case studies
exist, including a very abundant psychoanalytic literature describing putative effects of
exposure to primal scenes. These writers have clarified the traumatagenic issues by
referring to “a) the erotically charged nature of the exposure, resulting in undischarged
libidinal energy and concomitant stress; b) the sadomasochistic content of fantasy
misinterpretation of the event; and c) the exacerbation of oedipal want and resultant
castration anxiety or other anxieties of retaliation” (Okami, 1995, p. 56).
Again, however, the few efforts to validate these ideas empirically don’t support
predictions of harm. For example, Rosenfeld et al. (1980) concluded that the extent of
Emotional damage has been exaggerated. These investigators arrived at my nudist video by two paths: First, exposure to primal scenes appeared to be instead
Widespread, with the most conservative estimates as high as 41%. Rosenfeld et al.
suggested that given this frequency of occurrence, variables other than the primal scene qua
primal scene must be responsible for injury when it happens. Second, parents reported
largely neutral and noncomprehending reactions from their small children [Mathematical
Expression Omitted]. On the other hand, some children seemed to respond with
amusement, giggling, and clear comprehension. Hence, the fairly sinister portrait appearing
from psychoanalytic literature was largely absent from these parent reports.
Hoyt (1978, 1979) queried college students about their youth exposure to scenes of
parental sexuality. He found that although these students reported that their exposure had
resulted in mainly negative emotional responses at the time, the exposed group didn’t
differ from the nonexposed group on self-report evaluations of “current well-being” or
frequency of and satisfaction with present sexual relations. Furthermore, these subjects
recalled exposure mostly at prepubescent and pubertal ages. Given that the mean ages
for first exposure reported by parents in the Rosenfeld et al. (1980) studies were between
4 and 6, it really is conceivable that subjects in Hoyt’s investigations were not reporting their
first genuine exposure to scenes of parental sexuality. Thus, findings of exposure at
peripubertal ages are of limited value in evaluating outcome of exposure to primal scenes
Typically, because with a few exceptions, primal scenes have been defined in the
literature as occasions of early childhood. That is, results including “castration anxiety” and
“Oedipal want” are said to be of most essential importance in the lives of quite young
The Current Study
Despite the lack of empirical support, psychoanalytic and family systems theorists
continue to stress the possibility of damage in exposure to parental nudity and primal scenes.
So, longitudinal outcome data are important in beginning to solve this issue.
In the current exploratory study, 204 families were enlisted during the mid-1970s as part