Researching the Differences in Body Perception and Attitude towards Social Nudity around Europe

Last November, Hanna Alajõe, Hendrik Roland Helm and Carmen Küdorf reached out to all AEGEEans with a survey for which they needed nine hundred volunteers in total from European countries. The results for the survey will be used for their bachelor thesis, which deals with the subject of European youth’s perceptions of their body and attitude towards social nudity. The AEGEEan spoke to the three AEGEE-Tartu members, who all study Psychology, to find out more about the topic and their reasons to choose it as a subject for their bachelor thesis

Carmen second on the right, Hanna third and Hendrik fourth

When asked what made them choose European youth’s perceptions of their body and attitude towards social nudity as the subject for their bachelor thesis, the three explain that they got the idea during EBM Lublin. “We noticed that some people were showering with swimsuits and started to discuss it, because due to the sauna culture in Estonia we are comfortable with being naked in public showers. That’s how we got the idea to learn more about how other countries and cultures feel about social nudity (meaning being naked in places like public showers and saunas) and their bodies in general!”

By doing this research, the three hope to learn more about how different aspects of culture can affect our body image, values and attitudes. “We expect to find some differences between the countries and the different areas of Europe. There are many studies of values of different European countries, so we can compare the results and see if the way we look at our body and how we behave is influenced by our personal and our countries’ general values.” Ideally, the three hope to find out more about which cultures would like more privacy in public washing rooms and which don’t mind, giving organisers the chance to adjust the facilities according to the needs of their participants, if possible.

An example of the prize package that people who fill out the survey can win

To research the differences in culture, people from Estonia, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Spain, Turkey, Ukraine and the Netherlands are asked to fill out their survey, in order to make sure that the different European regions based on geographical and cultural criteria are covered. “We would like to get a hundred answers from every country, nine hundred in total. So far 505 people have started to fill out the survey, but only half of them answered it completely. We still have a long way to go and not a lot of time left, so please help us finish it!” Next to helping out the three AEGEEans by taking 10 – 15 minutes of your time, you will also be able to win a special Estonian prize package.

Do you want to help out Hanna, Hendrik and Carmen? You can find their survey here!

Written by Svenja van der Tol, AEGEE-Nijmegen