By Desmond Morris. Martin's Press. Not until he developed his corollary theory of sexual selection did he realize that such apparently nonfunctional characteristics evolved to win the mating game. Those peacocks with the most flamboyant tail feathers attracted more peahens and sired more young, passing on their genes for this outlandish ornament. Like peacocks, women and men have evolved a host of ornaments. Many of these feminine trimmings, he reports, evolved at least in part to attract a mate. Morris starts with scalp hair, which grows much longer than that of all other primates. These tresses can signal health, age, status or affiliation in both sexes, but women more regularly use their locks for sex appeal.
Portrait of a nude brunette in a low key setting
The nude figure is a tradition in Western art , and has been used to express ideals of male and female beauty and other human qualities. It was a central preoccupation of Ancient Greek art , and after a semi-dormant period in the Middle Ages returned to a central position in Western art with the Renaissance. Athletes, dancers, and warriors are depicted to express human energy and life, and nudes in various poses may express basic or complex emotions such as pathos. Unclothed figures often also play a part in other types of art, such as history painting , including allegorical and religious art , portraiture , or the decorative arts. Nude female figures called Venus figurines are found in the art of the Upper Palaeolithic , and in historical times, similar images represent fertility deities. Other significant non-Western traditions of depicting nudes come from India , and Japan, but the nude does not form an important aspect of Chinese art. Temple sculptures and cave paintings, some very explicit, are part of the Hindu tradition of the value of sexuality, and as in many warm climates partial or complete nudity was common in everyday life. Japan had a tradition of mixed communal bathing that existed until recently, and was often portrayed in woodcut prints. The earliest Greek sculpture , from the early Bronze Age Cycladic civilization consists mainly of stylized male figures who are presumably nude. This is certainly the case for the kouros , a large standing figure of a male nude that was the mainstay of Archaic Greek sculpture.
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T his week you may have heard about the Utah lewdness law , which a judge refused to overturn in a judgment against a woman who removed her top in her own home while applying drywall, and was seen by her stepchildren doing it. What little research there is on the topic suggests fears around the harms of parental nudity are exaggerated. One UCLA study that followed families over a period of 18 years found no negative effects among adolescents who observed their parents naked regularly when they were between the ages three to six. One of the main benefits to seeing a parent naked is that a child gets to see what a normal, naked adult body looks like. By contrast, seeing women with stretch marks, pubic hair and lumpy parts gives children more realistic expectations. If they want to see what boobs look like, they will Google it. Some fear exposing a child to nudity will ruin them in some way, or at least embarrass them — but these concerns are unfounded. It also means that they have a better model for talking about sex in a healthy way.