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Clothing Style/Amount Should Be Up to The Individual and Not Enforced by Law

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/21/2016 Category: Society
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 546 times Debate No: 92972
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (1)
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To begin I would firstly like to say I am not a nudist nor would I be if clothing was optional in society, so my opinion does not come from a bias towards my own agenda. However, I believe it is oppressive to force clothing laws on citizens. We began as a species that wore clothing only to protect ourselves from the environment and it slowly developed into a means of being stylish. That being said the amount of clothing a person wears is not a matter of morals, only a matter of taste. It is not right or wrong to have your body exposed if you desire. Today revealing clothing is shamed and criticized. I believe this only causes unnecessary hate. If all people are to be treated as equal then our preferences of exposure should not be apart of our laws as views on clothing are culturally exclusive.

To the acceptor: Please reply with a paragraph or so of your position.


Forcing clothing laws is sometimes an extremely necessary precaution. The burqa for example is a clothing choice for many Islamic women worldwide, however it has been banned in France. Now this is not just in response to claims that the burqa is a symbol of female oppression, although arguably it is. The burqa poses a significant risk to security as it is the equivalent of walking into shops and down the street wearing a balaclava or bike helmet (which must be taken off upon entry of shops). Thus we have already had robberies in the west with the assailants escaping posing as innocent muslim women, and all the while camera footage having no way to identify them. For this reason the law must be applied to clothing when they pose a threat to security.

If you wish to wear revealing clothing then I have no quarrel although I do think that modesty is a great virtue and does reflect the value one's self confidence. I think it is very important for the self esteems of young men and women that they see the value in their personalities rather than their looks. You mentioned that we used to only wear clothing for protection against the elements. Nowadays people seek more fulfilling relationships than simply sexual attraction leading to reproduction. Happiness can only ever be achieved when you genuinely like the person you are with, which is much less likely to happen when men and women attract partners by sexual attraction alone.

Nonetheless the law must be enforced when clothing poses a threat to security. If you wear too much you may also hide your identity which is not compatible with the law.
Debate Round No. 1


I would first like to say that we both agree that modesty is a virtue, and of course relationships are about far more than sex. Your argument against clothing as a cover for dangerous activities is an interesting one. One could say maybe it should be a law to show your face when you enter an establishment, but that wouldn"t cover the people who would get robbed on the streets. My argument was targeted at those who want to wear less clothing rather than more, but I didn't explicitly state that so your argument is definitely warranted. I will concede that half of the argument to you, however I would still like to debate that lack of clothing should not be discriminated against. Young people are told that showing off their sexuality is immoral and wrong, when in many parts of the world people walk around in nothing but a small cloth. There are no statistics that collate nudism and sexual activity. It is our own confusion about it being something that is immoral that causes our brains to fire when we see the opposite sex dressed in a revealing clothing. I only mean to argue that if people were allowed to be more open about their body if they wished then maybe there would be much less shaming for being open about our sexuality.


I think that sexuality is a personal matter and so shouldn't be shown to everyone who looks. Sexual drive is part of human nature and will always be present in young adults. Revealing clothing is always going to stimulate that sexual drive, and so relationships are always going to be damaged if revealing clothing is heralded as the norm. I'd like to ask, what is your argument against everyone going nude? Other than the health impacts, if being open about the body is the key to improving social esteem, then surely we should abandon all clothes when we can?

I don't think it's fair to the younger generations to have them constantly compete for sex appeal, especially considering most people are tremendously unattractive (by modern standards). People are always going to look for partners based on looks, but I do think it is best to discourage such things so that lasting couples can be formed on mutual interests rather than just sex appeal.

I don't think anyone is shaming anyone about their sexuality. A scantilly clad girl walking down the street may be gay or straight, who knows. Unless you mean people should be less self conscious about their own bodies, which of course should be the case. However arguably revealing your body is not necessarily the best way to stop self consciousness. I think that it would be better to have girls just not care about their looks and see more to their lives than such things, rather than simply draw more attention to their bodies by wearing less.
Debate Round No. 2


In regards to: "relationships are always going to be damaged if revealing clothing is heralded as the norm"

If a relationship is damaged by the sexual drive of one of the persons involved then that relationship was most likely built mostly on sex in the first place. It's true someone can love a person and be sexual attracted to many other people, but that doesn't mean they go off and take another as a lover. Humans are social creatures and bonds are important to most of us. I believe if anything having the mind constantly reminded of our sexual drives will make us understand them better. There is nothing shameful about having sexual thoughts even if you are in a relationship, but it's when you decide it's worth crossing your partner that relationships get ruined. I argue that if are minds were more accustomed to our sexuality then we would be less likely to lose ourselves and our partner over desires of sex because we are used to the stimulation and we understand it is a simple emotion just like sadness and happiness, driven by chemicals.

In regards to: "if being open about the body is key to improving social esteem then, surely we should abandon all clothes when we can?"

To this I say yes, that would be in agreement to my beliefs. If everyone was completely nude then my argument would be that everyone would gain a more mature respect and understanding of the human body. I don't believe however anyone should be forced to be nude if they do not wish to be. For me, if nudity was allowed I most likely would not participate, I grew up feeling my body is something to be self-conscious about, and I'm not sure if I would be able to break that mental barrier. However, I do believe if everyone was nude it would be a positive thing, ignoring health impacts as you had said, I believe it would give people a better appreciation for people of all shapes and sizes.

In regards to: "I don't think it's fair to the younger generations to have them constantly compete for sex appeal"

I feel that the same level of competition would be present regardless if everyone was clothed or not. Yes some people have less sexual attraction then others to the majority of people, but if the younger generations were more open about their sexual then they could have more mature talks about it. I believe in many cases suppressing sexuality is part of the reason the younger generation seeks it out so much. I believe it also would give people more appreciation for it, and it would show that everyone is different l. Many "attractive" people wear clothing and makeup to hide flaws. If everyone was exposed maybe the younger generation would realize the human body comes in all shapes and sizes and that it's out of a person's control. And if they can make that realization then they should be able to realize what makes a person more special is the thing they can control, their personality. There will always be those who lose themselves in the pursuit of sex, but I believe a better understanding of sexuality brings with it more mature thinking and ideologies, especially for the younger generation.

In regards to: "arguable revealing your body is not necessarily the best way to stop self consciousness."

I believe that revealing that humans are rarely as depicted in magazines would give people a better understanding of why body type and shape is of little importance when compared to personality. Many times clothing is made to hide flaws and make a person appear more attractive. Without this more people would see the flaws of each individual and have a better appreciation for their own bodies.


I don't mean that actual relationships will be damaged. I mean future relationships will be damaged. I believe that relationships are more reliable and more stable if built on friendship and mutual interests. If relationships were built on that then there would be no need for revealing clothing, as showing off ones body becomes far far less important. On quite the contrary, in today's society as revealing clothing is becoming more and more frequent, relationships are being founded on physical attraction and so veyr often end up unhappy. I think society on the whole would be happier if sexuality was kept in the confines of the bedroom between intimate partners, rather than used as a tool to attract partners in the first place.

I think that sex and sexual attraction are far more precious when kept as a treat to be shared by committed partners. Of course people will feel sexually attracted regardless, however I think its importance in society ought to be downplayed so both boys and girls learn the importance of personality in relationships rather than looks.

With regards to nudity, of course nobody should be forced to be nude. However even if everyone wanted to be nude, again I think that there is something special about having things that are reserved only for the eyes of a loving partner. I think the whole idea of sex being something that occurs between partners and so being nude equally reserved makes the whole ordeal far more exciting and fun. Sex is a good example and a pro creation society would be a very boring one to live in. Hence promiscuous sex is generally discouraged as it makes the act of sex far less sensual and more of a social activity.

However arguably being self conscious about your body shape is a very healthy thing to happen considering the current obesity crisis. We already have Sadiq Khan in the UK banning pictures of women in bikinis because they make overweight women feel insecure. It is so important that we fight this censorship and have healthy bodies celebrated, so perhaps revealing clothing is required to try to bring healthy bodies back into the norm.

Debate Round No. 3


In regards to: "I believe that relationships are more reliable and more stable if built on friendship and mutual interest"

I completely agree with this, emotional bonds are a much better glue for a relationship than sexual attractions. However, just because everyone can be nude and show off their bodies doesn't mean that relationships would only be built on sex. The point of having no bounds on revealing clothing is to show that sex is just a natural thing, not that sex is the most important thing. It's to get everyone comfortable with there bodies and not feel ashamed of being what ever size and shape they happen to be. Why do you feel nudity would bring about more promiscuous behavior? Yes I agree that it may make sex a more occurrent topic, but what sets us apart from most animals is our ability to understand and grow from stimulation and experiences. I believe nudity would simply make us more open about the topic of sex, I do not believe that It would necessarily make us feel sex is what should determine a relationship. Yes there would be relationships built on sex but that happens already in today's world. I don't see why it's amount of occurrence would change with increased nudity, people would still come to realize emotional bonding is more important. It is in our instincts, before the time of "proper clothing" men and women still formed bonds above sexual attraction, that is why we value it so much today because we grew from generations of generations who felt that way, and each having their own level of acceptable nudity.

In regards to: "I think that there is something special about having things that are reserved only for the eyes of a loving partner"

I agree with this. There is no denying that saving something you feel is special for that one person can make bonding between two people stronger. That is why I would never wish for forced nudity, it should be up to the person to expose what they want and hide what they want (without threatening security). My argument is only if nudity was allowed and people could be as revealing as they wanted ,without worry of shaming or prosecution, we would get out of the mindset that being open about our sexuality is a bad thing, and we could all be a bit more mature minded citizen's.

In regards to: "However arguably being self conscious about your body shape is a very healthy thing"

I think this is a grey area topic. Yes it is important to wish to have a healthier body not only does it promote overall fitness and good diet, but it prevents our genetics from getting accustomed to our unhealthy ways and evolving us into a more naturally unhealthy species. However on the other hand we shouldn't be ashamed that we are naturally born a cretin way. I once knew a beautiful girl who went to my old school, but everyone found out she was born with male genitals and she was shunned and humiliated daily by immature minded peers. I believe having a better acceptance of nudity will bring with it more acceptance of different people. In a world of unshamed exposure, people with unhealthy bodies would still be self-conscious of the more "attractive" people, and at the same time I feel it would allow everyone to see and accept the differences in people.

Closing remarks:
Sexuality is a hot topic in America. Thousands of sexual violence cases are reported each year and yet little has been done about teaching respectful behavior towards sex. They have created sex ed classes, sure, but do they teach that sex is a natural thing to be treated with respect, no. They teach that sex brings with it horrible things, babies, diseases, and broken dreams. We need to start changing how we view sexuality in America. Our current system only brings us shaming, sexual suppression, and unwarranted fear. Should a young adult be made aware of disease and pregnancy, of course, but they should also understand that the feelings they have are not a thing of shame. I believe getting rid of restrictions on nudity and sexual exposure is one step we can take to making a more open minded America. I would like to point out a paragraph taken from a study done by the Department of Psychology, from the University of Central Florida on the correlations between acceptance of diversity and acceptance of nudity.

"Results indicated that pro-nudity students significantly differed from anti-nudity students on comfort with their bodies' appearances, but not on self-acceptance. Pro-nudity students also were significantly more accepting of other religious groups and gays and lesbians compared with anti-nudity students, but they did not differ on their attitudes toward the disabled. A trend was noted indicating that pro-nudity students were less prejudiced toward ethnically dissimilar people compared with anti-nudity students."

Although this is just one study it brings to light that there may be a strong link between acceptance and openness of sexuality (or nudity as described in this study) and openness to differences in culture and sexual orientation. If we do not accept at least the thinking that sexual suppression could be giving rise to some of the prejudice in America then we may be robbing ourselves an opportunity to grow as a nation.


You appear to have slightly misinterpreted my point on revealing clothing. If the argument is for full nudity, then perhaps as a society we could adapt to it and become more accomstomed to it. I don't think such a thing would ever happen simply because many bodies are fantastically unattractive, and so most people don't want to be confronted by this on a daily basis. If you want to see naked people, you can look it up or join a nudist group. Most people during their days don't want to see naked bodies down the streets, hence full on nudism although hypothetically might be a good idea socially, it will never happen so the suggestion is empty. Revealing clothing on the other hand has very sexual implications and so will draw more attention to sex in society. Revealing clothing is not the same as nudity, I think the point of revealing clothing is to cover up partially but leave sexualised areas more exposed. This is quite clearly done to attract the opposite sex (or same sex if that's what you're into), and it has clearly been well received as it has boomed in popularity; less attractive girls have found they can attract the boys simply by wearing less rather than by being more. We currently live in a very sexualised culture in the west, which for many is indeed a lot of fun. However I don't see how society would benefit by exacerbating this.

Again a lot of your argument appears to be based around nudity rather than revealing clothing, however nudity is legal. There are places you can go to if you wish to be naked around other people. However I don't see why one person's attempts to overcome their insecurities should be forced upon everyone else by walking up the street completely naked.

You say that we shouldn't be ashamed of being born in a cretin way, which I completely agree with! You're example of a female with male genitals is an example of an area that people should know more about as it does happen, and it is uncontrollable. However how this is an argument for nudity I don't know. I understand that a female may have male genitals, but I don't think I would feel much more accepting if I had to see this on a daily basis. Moreover if people have different builds then that is okay, although I've had enough of the 'I'm big boned' culture where obesity and being fat is considered a non issue. Discouragement of being obese is now being discouraged which seems like rather than coming to accept different body shapes, we are simply justifying gluttony and poor diets. The last thing I think most people want is to have a naked obese adult strolling up to you, and cursing your intolerance and body shaming if you don't like it.

Your studies are interesting, they do indeed show that those who are pro nudity are also more open minded with new social trends. This is probably however because peeple who disagree with nudity tend to be more conservative, and so also are hesistant to accept the big social changes that are currently going on. This doesn't however justify nudity, it simply points out a correlation. Just because those who are against nudity are often also associated with being hesistant to accept social change, that doesn't mean nudity is therefore a good idea.

Closing statement:

America today is facing a number of problems and threats. A resistance to nudity is not one of them. I think it is a perfectly reasonable position to take if one says I am happy for people to do whatever they like in their own homes or among those who agree with them, but I do not want to be subjected to nudists in the street simply because they feel insecure about their bodies, or about their sexuality. However this debate is not about nudity. It is about revealing clothing. We are not talking about treating private areas like any other part of the body, but about exposing those private areas alone in order to turn the heads of the opposite sex. If people really did wear very short skirts or very exposing tops to empower themselves and show the world that they don't care about their body shape then maybe I would agree with you, but this isn't what is happening. People wear revealing clothing to show off their bodies and to impress. I think this level of attention seeking, and the shallow nature of the attention seeking at that, is not something to be encouraged. Young adults ought to be encouraged to ignore looks and sexual attraction and instead focus on personality. This will not happen if people show even more of their bodies. We ought to be teaching young women to show off their confidence and their intelligence rather than their sex appeal. By encouraging revealing clothing, we only ever do the latter.
Debate Round No. 4
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by ForGrowthOfMind 2 years ago
Thank your for the debate Samcoder1
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