Reporter says gymnophobes need to grow up

If You Are Not Comfortable Being Naked Around Other People, You Are Not an Adult

As a child and a teenager, public nudity is scary. Puberty does strange things to our bodies, and we spend much of our younger years fretting about the development (or lack thereof) of our secondary sex characteristics. That is why schools should not force children and teens to take group showers: The practice fosters anxiety and bullying and deprives children of some bodily autonomy. It makes good sense to encourage teens to grow comfortable with their changing bodies in private.

But there is really no rational reason to remain afraid of public nudity once you are an adult. Your body looks more or less like everyone else’s, especially everyone else with the same sex. The fear driving men to slide their underwear on under their towels is rooted squarely in insecurity, an insecurity about one’s body and genitals picked up during pubescence. That’s fine—we all have insecurities—but that doesn’t make the insecurity healthy. It makes it an irrational phobia, one that should be conquered, not accommodated. (Trans people, who may face a legitimate threat of harassment

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