Opinion Brief

Can nude statues corrupt kids?

A Utah community wants the town to get rid of a bare-breasted statue in a neighbor's yard so impressionable kids won't see it

A feud is brewing in a Utah neighborhood, where angry parents are trying to get the city to force a neighbor to remove a statue of a bare-breasted woman from his yard. "It's lewd and there's so many little children under 8," one woman told a local newspaper. (See a photo of the statue here.) North Ogden City Manager Ed Dickie says that the local government's hands are tied, and that the statue's owner has the right to keep his art where it is. Is a little artistic nudity harmless, even in a neighborhood packed with kids?

The human body is nothing to fear: Honestly! Children aren't going to "immediately start having sex" just because they've seen a half-naked statue, says Monica Bielanko at Babble. Instead shielding their children's eyes, these "puritanical" parents should use this as an opportunity to teach their children about art. The human body is "beautiful," not a source of shame.
"Lovely or lewd? Parents upset over statue in neighbor's yard"

The town is wise to butt out: The government can't regulate art, or taste, says the Standard-Examiner in an editorial. So the city manager did exactly the right thing by telling the folks in the neighborhood to work this out among themselves. "These types of disagreements are usually cooled once opposing sides sit down, talk things out, and discover they're not as different as they think."
"Stone nude in North Ogden"

Tacky or not, the man has a right to his statue: This semi-nude goddess is "not my taste in garden decor," says Jessica Oberay, a neighbor of the statue owner, as quoted by ABC 4. But even if this statue leaves parents blushing and kids giggling, it's art. And art is about freedom of expression. That trumps angry parents every time.
"Nude statue upsets residents"

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