commentators who've stressed the potential advantages to children of exposure to nudity

in the dwelling, in places such as later sexual function, and capacity for affection and
intimacy (cf. Finch, 1982; Goodson, 1991; Martinson, 1977; Mead, mentioned in Goodson,
1991). Although some 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 don't supply
Encouraging data - the cross cultural record is not normally explicit on the issue of
Real exposure of children to parental nudity. It does, nevertheless, present a powerful claim for
the universality of parent-child cosleeping or room sharing (e.g., Barry and Paxton, 1971;
Stephens, 1972; Whiting, 1964; Whiting and Edwards, 1988).
inferred that under such conditions large numbers of the world's population of children
Finally, a third group of writers stress the value of
the context in which youth exposure to nudity occurs, insisting that outcomes are
mediated by such contextual variables as gender, age of child, family climate, ethnic
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 intercourse, and following dream 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, light
We could find only one
Preponderance study (Rosenfeld et al., 1980) and two studies of initial result and

Following adult operation (Hoyt, 1978, 1979). Obviously, numbers of case studies
exist, including a very abundant psychoanalytic literature describing putative effects of
exposure to primal pictures. These writers have described 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 occasion; and c) the exacerbation of oedipal want and resultant
castration anxiety or other fears of retaliation" (Okami, 1995, p. 56).
Again, however, the few attempts to validate these notions empirically do not support
predictions of damage. For instance, Rosenfeld et al. (1980) concluded that the extent of
psychological damage has been exaggerated. These investigators arrived at their
conclusion by two paths: First, exposure to primal scenes appeared to be instead

suggested that given this frequency of event, factors besides the primal scene qua
primal scene must be responsible for trauma when it happens. Second, parents reported
Mainly neutral and noncomprehending reactions from their small kids [Mathematical
Expression Omitted]. On the other hand, some kids appeared to respond with
Hence, the fairly sinister portrait emerging
from psychoanalytic literature was largely absent from these parent reports.
Hoyt (1978, 1979) queried college students about their childhood exposure to scenes of
parental sexuality. He found that although these students reported that their exposure had
resulted in largely negative psychological reactions at the time, the open group did not
differ from the nonexposed group on self-report ratings of "present happiness" or
frequency of and satisfaction with current sexual relations. Furthermore, these subjects
Remembered at prepubescent and pubertal ages. Given that the mean ages
for first exposure reported by parents in the Rosenfeld et . (1980) studies were between
4 and 6, it really is conceivable that subjects in Hoyt's investigations weren't reporting their
first real exposure to scenes of parental sexuality. Therefore, findings of exposure at
peripubertal ages are of limited value in evaluating consequence of exposure to primal scenes
Typically, because with a few exceptions, primal scenes are defined in the
literature as events of early childhood. That's, results like "castration anxiety" and
"Oedipal desires" are said to be of most critical importance in the lives of quite young
The Present 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.
Therefore, longitudinal outcome data are important in beginning to resolve this issue.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *