I really don't know what to make of this.

A congressman who tracks missing and exploited children said he found "truly disturbing" a report of a nudist camp in Florida for children as young as 11 years of age and is calling for an investigation.

Rep. Mark Foley (R-Fla.) asked Gov. Jeb Bush and Florida Attorney General Charlie Crist to investigate a nudist camp for children 11 to 18 years of age at the Lake Como Resort near Tampa.

"As co-chairman of the Congressional Missing and Exploited Children's Caucus, I'm asking that current Florida law be reviewed to determine if this camp is indeed legal or if it has simply slipped under the radar screen of law enforcement for the past 10 years," Foley said in a June 18 letter to Bush and Crist. ...

"Our children are in no danger whatsoever," said Carolyn Hawkins, an AANR spokeswoman.

"We are about family recreation, and we want to keep it family social nude recreation. We're very protective of our kids, whether it be there or elsewhere," Hawkins added.

The AANR boasts 50,000 members and 260 clubs throughout the United States, Canada and Jamaica. The membership reflects a growing interest nationwide in camps for child and teen nudists, Hawkins said. ...

Parents and campers maintain that the camp promotes a healthy body image among the teens and better communication between the sexes. Campers are protected by adult counselors and sleep in tents isolated from regular resort-goers.

Nudity on private property in Florida is legal, even among minors, so long as there is no illicit sexual behavior. Foley, who lobbied for the Amber Alert network as a way to broadcast missing children's cases across the country, is calling on Bush and Crist to review the law.

On one hand, I can't see how the government could possibly outlaw nudity on private property, and on the other hand I can't see how the government can allow child nudist camps but then enforce laws that make it illegal to take photographs of the camps. How can it be legal to go to a nudist camp and see naked children everywhere, but be illegal to take pictures?

Granted, not every picture taken at such a camp would fall under the definition of "pornography", but it's not at all far-fetched that some would. Much of the argument against child pornography is based around the idea that seeing such pictures "whets the appetite" of pedophiles and increases the likelyhood that they will abuse a child, which is why there is so much controversy over so-called "virtual" child pornography which is made without involving an actual child. Even though pictures taken at nudist camps aren't sexually explicit and do not record actual child abuse, couldn't they still serve to "encourage" pedophiles?

So what's the solution? I have no idea. We tend to behave rather irrationally when it comes to our children, and this irrationality leads to conflicting laws and policies as I described above. I don't see how a consistent policy can be created that permits child nudity on private property -- and thus nudist camps -- but prohibits "virtual" child pornography (or, arguably, some real child pornography).



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