Always staying dressed is a meme complex; it is learned behaviour as is naturism. Naturists would argue their behaviour provides significant benefit and is therefore good but its success as a meme complex is less clear. Although millions have tried and enjoyed some aspect of a naturist lifestyle, counter memes are very strong in their effect.
The counter meme is that which causes people always to be dressed, even under extreme circumstances, reinforced by religious memes that cause a feeling of guilt about bodies, enjoyment or sensual experience. Why is the dressed meme complex more powerful than the naturist meme? Because it is reinforced from childhood and fuelled by inappropriate sanctions like such as eternal damnation of sinners etc. It has developed into a very successful meme complex, one that replicates with amazing vigour. When asked, most adults will say they have no argument against nudity from an intellectual point of view but they would not participate for emotional reasons, their memes are more powerful than rationality.
To reinforce this and to make their memes even more successful, those who say “I don’t mind if other people are naked” will almost invariably say “but I realise that most other people will object”. This dual nature of their meme complex is probably the central reason it is so successful at replicating. When naturists challenge this view, the results are surprising; MORI polls in the UK indicate that over 90% of the population think naturists are harmless but the second part of the meme will still cause very effective replication, “stay dressed not for me but for others”.
An extract from the Naked Hiking book, chapter by Howard Anderson.