I am American and my partner is Scandinavian, and we each have our culture’s comfort level with nudity. Is there any research into the effects of little kids playing/swimming naked, kids seeing their parents naked, or the like? We’re usually in sync with how to raise our boys but cannot find common ground on this one.—Kat
There isn’t very much research here, and certainly nothing that is going to tell you that one of you is correct. There’s one study many people point to showing that it doesn’t seem to matter much whether you are naked around your kids or not. Some people will tell you that being naked around your kids is the key to making them comfortable with their bodies. Others will say it’s inappropriate and can cause trauma. Neither has good support in data.
Broadly, and you can see a nice discussion of it here, much of the decision-making around this is about what you are comfortable with. Which, I understand, is tricky because your point is that you and your partner disagree.
Most people agree that with very small children, nudity is no big deal. As kids age, adult comfort with this varies. As does child comfort. Some kids are going to be naturally less excited about being naked, and others will be more so. This is influenced by parents, but kids also have their own personalities and preferences. For parents, our feelings about nudity may be influenced by our own upbringing, the gender of our kids (versus our own), and a billion other things.
Given this, how can you move forward? There is no substitute for discussion here, and I wonder if that discussion might be improved by recognizing that one person isn’t “right.” If you start the conversation by recognizing that this is about preferences, and preferences differing, and not about one person winning the argument, maybe there is more ability to find common ground.
Or, maybe, he should just be naked alone.