NEF 2015 Polls
A new series of independent opinion surveys
commissioned by the Naturist Education Foundation.

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NEF US Poll 2015

Click HERE for PDF version, as reprinted from issue 34.4 of N magazine.

QUESTION number 1
 
Do you agree or disagree that people should be able to enjoy nude sunbathing on a beach or other location that is accepted for that purpose?

AGREE 65%

Disagree 29%
Not sure     6% 
Note 3.

NEF-COMMISSIONED ZOGBY ANALYTICS POLL OF 1,026 US ADULTS - NOVEMBER, 2014
MARGIN OF ERROR IS ±3.1 PERCENTAGE POINTS
WITH A 95% CONFIDENCE LEVEL.

Continued Strong Support for Nude Sunbathing
 
       Close to two-thirds of US adults agree: nude sunbathing that takes place on accepted beaches or in other recognized areas should be allowed. This high level of acceptance for nude sunbathing remains consistent with national acceptance figures in 1983 (72%), 2000 (80%) and 2006 (74%).

  • ADDITIONAL DISCUSSION FOR QUESTION 1: Support for those who choose nude sunbathing is remarkably consistent across generational lines. Between and among the various age-related cohorts (18-29, 30-49, 50-64, and 65+), there was not more than 5% difference in the percentage of those who agreed.

    While a healthy margin of the size that responded "agree" to this question is any political candidate's dream, increasing national ideological and political polarization may have contributed to a drop in the favorable level, compared to previous polls. Responses from those who identify themselves as "moderate" or "liberal" were significantly more favorable than those who self-identify as "conservative." Even so, 49.7 percent who consider themselves to be conservative agreed that people should be able to enjoy nude sunbathing on a beach or other location that is accepted for that purpose. US Presidents have been elected by smaller percentages of the popular vote.

    Regionally, agreement is lowest in the South and highest in the West.
    Note 1.
     

Click HERE to return to the main page of the Naturist Education Foundation Web site.

Multiple public opinion surveys commissioned by the Naturist Education Foundation (NEF) test the responses of US adults to questions about body acceptance, recreation and personal freedoms. In addition to a nationwide sample, three states were selected for specific focus. Many of the questions are identical in all surveys, but the regional focus allows a closer and clearer view of key areas of local interest.

The independent surveys were conducted for NEF by the prestigious Zogby Analytics polling firm. Among the results:

• strong support for nude sunbathing.

• majority acceptance for the personal rights of those who are nude in their own homes or on their own property - even if they may occasionally be seen by others.

• significant rejection of the notion that the majority of Americans are personally offended by the non-sexual nudity of others.

NEF 2015 US POLL

QUESTION number 2
 
Local and state governments now set aside public land for special types of recreation such as camping, off leash dog running, bird watching, snowmobiling, surfing, fishing and hunting. Do you agree or disagree that areas should be set aside for people who enjoy clothing-optional recreation such as nude sunbathing and swimming?

Americans to Government:
Set Aside Clothing-Optional Areas

 
       The 2015 NEF US Poll indicates that the idea of setting aside areas for nude sunbathing enjoys enormous support. National polls show that public approval for the idea has clearly been building over the years, but governmental agencies have been slow to respond to the emerging demand. Agencies and public land managers must reevaluate their policies toward the designation of public land for people who enjoy nude sunbathing.

  • ADDITIONAL DISCUSSION FOR QUESTION 2: The same basic question has been asked in public opinion surveys spanning more than 30 years.

    1983 Commissioned by The Naturist Society. Polling organization: GALLUP.
    2000 Commissioned by Naturist Education Foundation. Polling organization: ROPER.
    2006 Commissioned by Naturist Education Foundation. Polling organization: ROPER.
    2015 Commissioned by Naturist Education Foundation. Polling organization: ZOGBY.

AGREE 57%

Disagree 34%
Not sure     9%

NEF-COMMISSIONED ZOGBY ANALYTICS POLL OF 1,026 US ADULTS - NOVEMBER, 2014
MARGIN OF ERROR IS ±3.1 PERCENTAGE PTS
WITH A 95% CONFIDENCE LEVEL.

HISTORICAL TREND

        Notable successes already exist where agencies have responded positively to this increasing demand. Among its positive efforts to manage for nude recreation, the National Park Service counts recognized clothing-optional areas at the Gateway National Recreation Area in New Jersey and at Canaveral National Seashore in Florida. At the state level, Oregon has designated a portion of Rooster Rock State Parks as clothing-optional, and Collins Beach on Sauvie Island has official clothing-optional signage supplied by the State Department of Fish & Wildlife. Miami-Dade County in Florida has shown vision and has reaped economic rewards by setting aside a portion of Haulover Beach for clothing-optional use.

  • ADDITIONAL DETAIL FOR QUESTION 2: Majority support for clothing-optional designation across political / ideological boundaries. Of those who identify themselves as sympathetic to Occupy Wall Street, 72.9% agree that public land should be set aside for clothing-optional recreation. Among those who self-identify as sympathetic to the Tea Party, 59.3% agree that public land should be set aside for clothing-optional recreational users. Note 1.


NEF 2015 US POLL

QUESTION number 3

Do you agree or disagree that people have the right to be nude in their homes or on their property, even if they may occasionally be visible to others?

AGREE 59%

Disagree   35%
Not sure     6%

NEF-COMMISSIONED ZOGBY ANALYTICS POLL OF 1,026 US ADULTS - NOVEMBER, 2014
MARGIN OF ERROR IS ±3.1 PERCENTAGE PTS WITH A 95% CONFIDENCE LEVEL.

Americans see nudity as a personal right

       In a time of eroding personal freedoms, a majority of Americans affirm their support for nudity as a personal right. Fifty-nine percent believe that people have the right to be nude in their homes or on their property, even if they may occasionally be visible to others.

The responses to this question are significant, not only in the consideration of personal liberties, but also in the context of a creeping intrusion of "morality" laws into the private spaces and lives of individuals. State and local statutes typically refer to activities that happen in "any public place or in any place open to the public or exposed to public view." This NEF US Poll 2015 survey result clearly challenges the acceptability of extending the reach of the law, as it pertains to nudity on one's own property.

  • ADDITIONAL DETAIL FOR QUESTION 3: By a margin of almost 2 to 1, a majority (66.2%) of men agree that people have the right to be nude in their homes and on their property. A majority (51.6%) of women agree, too, even if they may occasionally be visible to others.   Note 1.


NEF 2015 US POLL

QUESTION number 4

Do you agree or disagree that you are personally offended by the non-sexual nudity of others?

Note that Question 4 was asked "inside out." Opinion survey respondents who are truly unoffended by the non-sexual nudity of others found themselves having to disagree with this question.

Sometimes professional pollsters do this to assure that respondents are not simply agreeing with everything.

DISAGREE 52%

Agree      40%
Not sure     8%

NEF-COMMISSIONED ZOGBY ANALYTICS POLL OF 1,026 US ADULTS - NOVEMBER, 2014
MARGIN OF ERROR IS ±3.1 PERCENTAGE PTS WITH A 95% CONFIDENCE LEVEL.

Maybe You Wondered
...
Nude or Clothing-Optional?
Nudity, even at a "nude" public beach, is never a requirement or an exclusionary designation. It's a personal option that many people choose when they're permitted to do so. Places where such a choice exists are often called "clothing-optional."

Private Resorts / Public Land
Private naturist parks, camps and resorts are wonderful places. They are businesses that cater to selected segments of the nude recreation industry. Nudist facilities range from tiny to large, rustic to posh, and inexpensive to pricey. They typically offer amenities not found at a beach. But for many people who seek a natural experience that doesn't involve a concrete swimming pool behind fences, walls and gates, nothing comes close to the open freedom of a clothing-optional beach.

Who Chose these Questions?
The questions were selected by NEF board members, inspired by the original 1983 questions of Lee Baxandall, founder of The Naturist Society, and informed and refined by the experience of subsequent NEF polls. Questions were reviewed for form by Zogby Analytics, the independent polling organization that conducted the survey.

How is NEF funded?
Naturist Education Fondation (NEF) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. It is funded entirely by voluntary donations.

Naturist Education Foundation
Board of Directors - 2015

    • Bob Morton, Chair - Austin, TX
    • Allen Baylis, Treas - Huntington Beach, CA,
    • Mark Storey, Sec'y - Seattle, WA
    • Judy Williams - Vancouver, BC
    • Don Zirbel - Canby, OR
    • Dick Springer - Scarborough, ME
    • Charles Harris - San Rafael, CA
    • James Dickey - Middleton, Wi



     

Most Americans are NOT offended by nudity

       The notion that most Americans are offended by nudity is shown to be a myth. A majority (52%) of US adults say that they are NOT personally offended by the non-sexual nudity of others. Lawmakers, regulators and policy-makers who truly wish to do "the will of the people" have a clear measurement here. It has been said that Americans do not elect their Presidents with any greater margins.

  • ADDITIONAL DETAIL FOR QUESTION 5: Those with a college degree are slightly less likely to agree that they are offended by nudity (38%) than those without a college degree (41%). Regardless, an overall majority of Americans (52%) disagrees that they are personally offended by the non-sexual nudity of others. Note 1.


NEF 2015 US POLL

QUESTION number 5

Clothing-optional recreation on public land has been increasing in popularity in recent years. Do you believe areas should be set aside:

  • Convenient to population centers
  • Far away from population centers
  • Both
  • Neither

Don't know: 12%

NEF-COMMISSIONED ZOGBY ANALYTICS POLL OF 1,026 US ADULTS - NOVEMBER, 2014
MARGIN OF ERROR IS ±3.1 PERCENTAGE PTS WITH A 95% CONFIDENCE LEVEL.

Nearby or Not - most Americans want Clothing-Optional areas

     An overwhelming majority of Americans (70%) want clothing-optional areas set aside on public land near population centers, far away from population centers - or both. This question differs from Question number 2, by allowing some choice of location. Overall, a significant number (39%) prefer areas that might be more of a "get-away" than a nearby amenity, but when allowed a chance to fine tune the locations, fewer than one-in-five opt for no such areas at all.

  • ADDITIONAL DETAIL FOR QUESTION 5: Home owners and those who live in rental housing both reflect the overall percentage (39%) of those who prefer clothing-optional recreational areas at some distance from population centers. However, those who live in large cities are three times more likely to prefer nearby clothing-optional areas, compared to those in the suburbs (23% to 7%).  Note 1.
     

NEF 2015 US POLL

QUESTION number 6

Women in some jurisdictions are required to cover their chests, even where men are not. Do you agree or disagree that the government should compel women to dress differently from men in this manner?

NEF-COMMISSIONED ZOGBY ANALYTICS POLL OF 1,026 US ADULTS - NOVEMBER, 2014
MARGIN OF ERROR IS ±3.1 PERCENTAGE PTS WITH A 95% CONFIDENCE LEVEL.

Agree      52%
Not sure     9%

DISAGREE 39%

  • ADDITIONAL DISCUSSION FOR QUESTION 6: Naturists refer to the uncloaked and unfettered appearance of a woman's upper torso as "topfree." That description contrasts with "topless," a term that implies something is missing. "Topfree" will not likely supplant "topless" in adult entertainment contexts. It's not intended to do so. But it makes more sense among those who seek freedom and equality, instead of exhibition for profit.

    Ongoing discussion has asked whether this is a nudity issue or a matter of women's rights. It may be both, but naturists see it as a matter of incremental body acceptance.

Topfree sensibility is gaining favor

     A very slight majority of US adults want women to be bound by government dress codes that do not apply to men.

  • ADDITIONAL DETAIL FOR QUESTION 5: Men disagreed in far greater measure than did women (49% to 29%).

    Those who identified themselves as Republicans supported mandatory dress codes for women significantly more than those who said they were Democrats (61% to 47%).  
    Note 1.
     

NEF 2015 US POLL

QUESTION number 7

Do you agree or disagree that the nudity included in some popular TV "reality" shows is an accurate portrayal of those who actually participate in nude recreation or live clothing-optionally at home?

DISAGREE 41%  Note 3.

"Naked reality" on TV? A third of Americans believe it's accurate

     But greater numbers disagree, and a significant number are simply not sure.

Agree      33%
Not sure   27%

  • ADDITIONAL DISCUSSION FOR QUESTION 6: With their contrived scenarios and tortured pixelated or blurred presentation of human anatomy, it has been said that popular "naked" TV shows are far from reality.

    But viewers get the idea, right? Even if it's a censored and filtered view, is it an accurate view of those who actually participate in nude recreation or live clothing-optionally at home. Only a third of Americans agree that it is. A relatively large number (27%) say they're not sure, but some of that may be because they haven't seen the shows to which the question refers.
     
  • ADDITIONAL DETAIL FOR QUESTION 5: By a count of almost 3 to 1, men are more likely than women to agree strongly that the nudity in some popular TV "reality" shows is an accurate portrayal of those who actually participate in nude recreation or live clothing-optionally at home.   Note 1.

NEF-COMMISSIONED ZOGBY ANALYTICS POLL OF 1,026 US ADULTS - NOVEMBER, 2014
MARGIN OF ERROR IS ±3.1 PERCENTAGE PTS WITH A 95% CONFIDENCE LEVEL.


NEF 2015 US POLL

QUESTION number 8
 
How likely is it that you would consider going nude at a clothing-optional beach if you knew it was safe and legal?

NEF-COMMISSIONED ZOGBY ANALYTICS POLL OF 1,026 US ADULTS - NOVEMBER, 2014
MARGIN OF ERROR IS ±3.1 PERCENTAGE PTS
WITH A 95% CONFIDENCE LEVEL.

More than a quarter of Americans would try a clothing-optional beach
 
       The array of options available to those seeking clothing- optional recreation is large and growing. The choices include private nudist parks, upscale naturist resorts, clothing-optional bed and breakfast facilities, and nude ocean cruises. This question measures the likelihood that US adults would consider a clothing-optional beach, if they knew it was safe and legal to do so. Twenty-eight percent said YES.

LIKELY 28%

Unlikely   68%
Not sure     4%

  • ADDITIONAL DISCUSSION FOR QUESTION 8: This question may be a considered a close complement to Question number 1. Responding to number 1, Americans agreed that individuals should be able to enjoy nude sunbathing on a beach or other location that is accepted for that purpose. Interestingly, the overall percentages are swapped when the question becomes "are you likely to do it?"
     
  • ADDITIONAL DETAIL FOR QUESTION 8: Likelihood of considering a clothing-optional beach skews young. Among the 18-29 year old cohort, 43% said they were likely. The percentage among older cohorts who considered themselves likely remains above the overall average, until the age reaches 65+, where it drops off rapidly.
    [30-49: 32%,   50-64: 30%,   65+: 10%]  
    Note 1.
     
  • ADDITIONAL DETAIL FOR QUESTION 8: A college degree is not an indicator. Among individuals with a college degree, the percentage who consider themselves likely to go nude at a clothing-optional beach is exactly the same as the percentage for those without a college degree. [28% for each.]    Note 1.
     

NEF 2015 US POLL

QUESTION number 9

If a candidate for public office supported the designation of clothing-optional areas on public land, would you be more or less likely to support the candidate, or would it make no difference?

Not sure     6%

NEF-COMMISSIONED ZOGBY ANALYTICS POLL OF 1,026 US ADULTS - NOVEMBER, 2014
MARGIN OF ERROR IS ±3.1 PERCENTAGE PTS WITH A 95% CONFIDENCE LEVEL.

Candidates for public office should see this!

     If you're a politicians who's considering supporting the designation of clothing-optional areas on public land, the downside here is probably far less than you might have imagined. In fact, 38% of Americans won't hold it against you, and close to a quarter would be more likely to support you. Savvy politicians recognize that the negatives associated this issues are less than for many other matters.

  • ADDITIONAL DETAIL FOR QUESTION 9: Note 1. Of those who identified themselves as Republicans, 22% would be more likely to support a candidate who supports the designation of clothing-optional areas on public land. Among individuals identifying as Democratic, 31% are more likely to support such a candidate.
     
  • The greatest percentage of those responding "no difference" are in the $100,000 - $150,000 yearly income group [48%].
     
  • Among current members of NRA, 52% are more likely to support a candidate who supports the designation of clothing-optional areas on public land. Among those who are sympathetic to Occupy Wall Street, 49% are more likely to support such a candidate.
     

NEF 2015 US POLL

QUESTION number 10
 
Have you, personally, ever gone skinny-dipping or nude sunbathing with others?

More Americans than ever before have been
skinny-dipping or nude sunbathing with others

 
       The 2015 NEF US Poll shows an increasing percentage of US adults have gone skinny-dipping or nude sunbathing with others. This measure of participation has gone from a baseline of 15% in 1983, when Lee Baxandall first asked the question in a nationwide opinion survey, to 35% today.

This is what pollsters call a "self-biasing" question. It risks placing the respondent in a position of "taking sides" when answering other questions on this topic. That's why this one is asked as the last question of the opinion survey.

YES 35%

No           63%
Not sure     2%

NEF-COMMISSIONED ZOGBY ANALYTICS POLL OF 1,026 US ADULTS - NOVEMBER, 2014
MARGIN OF ERROR IS ±3.1 PERCENTAGE PTS
WITH A 95% CONFIDENCE LEVEL.

HISTORICAL TREND

  • SELECTED DETAIL FOR THOSE ANSWERING YES TO QUESTION 10:
    Ethnicity: Hispanic 58%.
    Ideology: Conservative 28%. Liberal 50%.
    Religion: Catholic 38%. Protestant 35%. Jewish 28%. Other/none 33%.
    Investment: Stock owner 41%.
    Military: Veteran/Armed forces 50%.
    Work: Union member 59%.
    Income: <$25K 35%. >$150K 45%. No income group under 30%.
                  
                  
    Note 1.

  • ADDITIONAL DISCUSSION FOR QUESTION 10: The same basic question has been asked in public opinion surveys spanning more than 30 years.

    1983 Commissioned by The Naturist Society. Polling organization: GALLUP.
    2000 Commissioned by Naturist Education Foundation. Polling organization: ROPER.
    2006 Commissioned by Naturist Education Foundation. Polling organization: ROPER.
    2015 Commissioned by Naturist Education Foundation. Polling organization: ZOGBY.

MORE INFORMATION
   Click HERE to view the nationwide 2006 NEF-Roper Poll.

NOTES

   1. The margin of error for the entire sample is +/- 3.1 percentage points. The margin of error at the subgroup level is higher.

   2. Methodology Statement from Zogby Analytics

Zogby Analytics was commissioned by Naturist Education Foundation to conduct an online survey of 1,026 adults in the US.

Using trusted interactive partner resources, thousands of adults were invited to participate in this interactive survey.  Each invitation is password coded and secure so that one respondent can only access the survey one time.

Using information based on census data, voter registration figures, CIA fact books and exit polls, we use complex weighting techniques to best represent the demographics of the population being surveyed. Weighted variables may include age, race, gender, region, party, education, and religion.

Based on a confidence interval of 95%, the margin of error for 1,026 is +/- 3.1 percentage points.  This means that all other things being equal, the identical survey repeated will have results within the margin of error 95 times out of 100.

Subsets of the data have a larger margin of error than the whole data set.  As a rule we do not rely on the validity of very small subsets of the data especially sets smaller than 50-75 respondents.  At that subset we can make estimations based on the data, but in these cases the data is more qualitative than quantitative.

Additional factors can create error, such as question wording and question order.

   3. Rounding of subtotals.

Please note that percentages may not add up to 100%.
 

about the ...
Naturist Education Foundation

The Naturist Education Foundation (NEF) is the educational and informational adjunct to The Naturist Society, a membership society serving North America. NEF is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization of volunteers.

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OSHKOSH, WI 54903

TEL (512) 282-6621
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EMAIL  nef@naturisteducation.org
 

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