NEF California Poll 2009
Another in a series of independent opinion surveys
commissioned by the Naturist Education Foundation.

Click HERE to view the NEF California Poll 2009 results and discussion as a PDF file.

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

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 designated for that purpose?

AGREE 79%

Disagree 16%
Not sure     6% 
Note 3.

NEF-COMMISSIONED ZOGBY INT'L POLL OF 889 CALIFORNIA ADULTS - NOVEMBER, 2009
MARGIN OF ERROR IS ±3.4 PERCENTAGE POINTS

Strong Support for Nude Sunbathing

       Very few Californians object to nude sunbathing that takes place on designated beaches or in other recognized areas. The acceptance of nude sunbathing in California is consistent with national acceptance figures in 1983 (72%), 2000 (80%) and 2006 (74%). Approximately four of every five California adults agree that clothing-optional recreation should be allowed.

  • ADDITIONAL DETAIL FOR QUESTION 1: Agreement was high throughout the geographical areas of the state, with a notable peak of 92% in the Sacramento area.

     In San Diego County, where two long established clothing-optional beaches are located in State Parks (San Onofre State Beach and Black's Beach at Torrey Pines State Park), 78% agreed. Even in more conservative Orange County, approval was still high; 70% there agreed.
    Note 1.
     

QUESTION number 2

Do you agree or disagree that areas should be set aside for people who enjoy clothing-optional recreation such as nude sunbathing and swimming?

NEF-COMMISSIONED ZOGBY INT'L POLL OF
889 CALIFORNIA ADULTS - NOVEMBER, 2009.
MARGIN OF ERROR IS ±3.4 PERCENTAGE POINTS.

AGREE 70%

Disagree 25%
Not sure     5%

     A public opinion poll commissioned by The Naturist Education Foundation (NEF) tests the responses of Californians to questions about body acceptance, recreation and personal freedoms. The independent survey was conducted for NEF by the prestigious Zogby International polling firm. Among the results:

• strong support for nude sunbathing.

• 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 Californians are personally offended by the non-sexual nudity of others.

• sixty-two percent agreement with those who are calling for the California Dept. of Parks & Recreation to exercise its legal authority to designate clothing-optional areas in state parks.
 

Californians to Government:
Set Aside Clothing-Optional Areas

       The 2009 NEF California 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.

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 the Questions?
The questions were selected by a subcommittee of 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 International, the independent polling organization that conducted the survey.

Naturist Education Foundation
Board of Directors - 2009

    •Bob Morton, Chair - Austin, TX
    •Bill Schroer, Treas - Battle Creek, MI
    •Mark Storey, Sec'y - Seattle, WA
    •Morley Schloss - Loxahatchee, FL
    •Judy Williams - Vancouver, BC
    •Allen Baylis - Huntington Beach, CA
    •Virginia Schnee - Auburn, MA
    •Don Zirbel - Canby, OR


     

        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: The majority of all identified racial and ethnic groups favor designation, but support is highest among African-Americans (78.4%) and Hispanics (72.4%). Note 1.



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 68%

Disagree   30%
Not sure     2%

NEF-COMMISSIONED ZOGBY INT'L POLL OF 889 CALIFORNIA ADULTS - NOVEMBER, 2009. MARGIN OF ERROR IS ±3.4 PERCENTAGE POINTS

Californians see nudity as a personal right

       In a time of eroding personal freedoms, Californians affirm their support for nudity as a personal right. By a margin of more than two to one, Californians 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. California state statutes (like the disorderly conduct law, section 647 of the Penal Code) refer to activities that happen in "any public place or in any place open to the public or exposed to public view." This NEF California Poll 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: Agreement throughout the state is almost equally high among women (67.7%) and men (68.5%). Note 1.


California State Parks:
Sixty-two Percent Favor Designation of Clothing-Optional Areas

       Under Title 14, Section 4322 of the California Code of Regulations, the California Department of Parks & Recreation has the legal authority today to designate clothing optional areas in State Parks. The Parks Department has never done so, a position that appears to be unresponsive to the public it exists to serve. The NEF California Poll indicates that by an impressive margin, Californians favor the designation of clothing-optional areas in State Parks.

  • ADDITIONAL DETAIL FOR QUESTION 4: High rates of agreement exist in areas where traditonal (but undesignated) clothing-optional areas are already located in State Park units. The Sacramento area reports 62.5% agreement with the idea of designating clothing-optional areas in state parks; Auburn State Recreation Area, located nearby, has seen significant clothing-optional use for decades. Seventy-three percent of  poll respondents in the San Diego area agree that CA Parks should designate clothing-optional areas in state parks. San Onofre State Beach and Torrey Pines State Park are both located in San Diego County, and both have a long history of being  clothing-optional beaches.  Note 1.
     

QUESTION number 4

Do you agree or disagree that the California Department of Parks and Recreation should exercise the legal authority it has to designate clothing-optional areas in state parks?

AGREE 62%

Disagree   33%
Not sure     5%

NEF-COMMISSIONED ZOGBY INT'L POLL OF 889 CALIFORNIA ADULTS
- NOVEMBER, 2009. MARGIN OF ERROR IS ±3.4 PERCENTAGE POINTS.



QUESTION number 5

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

Agree      37%
Not sure     3%

DISAGREE 60%

NEF-COMMISSIONED ZOGBY INT'L POLL OF 889 CALIFORNIA ADULTS - NOVEMBER, 2009. MARGIN OF ERROR IS ±3.4 PERCENTAGE POINTS

Most Californians are NOT offended by nudity

       The notion that most Californians are offended by nudity is shown to be a myth. Sixty percent of California adults say that they are NOT personally offended by the non-sexual nudity of others.

  • ADDITIONAL DETAIL FOR QUESTION 5: Within every age group, a majority reports that non-sexual nudity is not personally offensive. Those with college degrees are less likely to agree that they are offended by nudity (26.4%) than those without college degrees (43.9%). Regardless, a strong overall majority of Californians disagrees that they are personally offended by the non-sexual nudity of others. Note 1.



QUESTION number 6

Have you, personally, ever gone "skinny-dipping" or nude sunbathing with others?

YES  40%

No           56%
Refuse       3%
Not sure     1%

NEF-COMMISSIONED ZOGBY INT'L POLL OF 889 CALIFORNIA ADULTS - NOVEMBER, 2009. MARGIN OF ERROR IS ±3.4 PERCENTAGE POINTS

Ten Million California Skinny-dippers?

       Forty percent of all California adults have been skinny-dipping or nude sunbathing with others. That calculates to be about 10 million people, more than the entire population of a state the size of North Carolina or Michigan.

  • ADDITIONAL DETAIL FOR QUESTION 6: Previous national polling conducted on behalf of the Naturist Education Foundation (NEF Roper Poll 2000, NEF Roper Poll 2006) indicates the level of skinnydippers and nude sunbathers to be approximately 25% of the national population. As reflected by the NEF California Poll, a significantly higher percentage of California residents are participants in clothing-optional recreation.  Among the California Poll respondents with a college degree, 39.5% answered YES to this question. Among those without college degrees, 41.0% answered YES.  Note 1.
     

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

NOTES

   1. The margin of error for the entire sample is +/- 3.4 percentage points. The margin of error at the subgroup level is higher.

   2. Methodology Statement from Zogby International

Zogby International was commissioned by the Naturist Education Foundation to conduct an online survey of 889 adults in California.

A sampling of Zogby International's online panel was invited to participate and approximately 6 questions were asked from 11/6/09 to 11/9/09. Slight weights were added to age, race, gender, and education to more accurately reflect the population.

The margin of error for the entire sample is +/- 3.4 percentage points. The margin of error at the subgroup level is higher.

   3. Rounding of subtotals.

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

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