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Just the Rules :
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The Voters instituted five negative rules and five positive rules as follows: (each of these rules apply to an undesignated or unposted areas of a public beach or other recreational area and each rule had a statisticaly significant majority).
1. Adults may not be nude,
2. Females with breasts may not go topless,
3. Males may not wear a thong,
4. No one may wear swimwear that exposes their anal sphincter (commonly called ‘the poop hole’).
5. No one may expose pubic hair.
1. Men who have large Mammary Glands (breasts) commonly called ‘man-boobs’ may continue to be topless.
2. Women may expose their breasts on the beach while in the process of breast-feeding a baby.
3. Adults may allow their babies to go nude at a public beach, (‘baby’ was defined by the voters, on average, as under two years old.)
4. Female children may go topless [in general, up to the age of first signs of breast development],
5. The swimsuit of a female does not have to be of such material or design as to conceal a nipple-erection. Females do not have to conceal their nipple-erections.
Proposition: 17a to 17f:
If the Town of Sylvan Lake instituted a ‘Tops-optional’ Policy for all Public swimming areas (for example: beach, swimming pool, wading pool, etc.), the consequences would be:
a. more tourism,
b. undecided effect on business activity,
c. no change in property values,
d. diminished family life,
e. less pride in one's community,
f. definitely not a reduced chance of getting laid*
* [ Note: a majority voted for ‘improved chances of getting laid’, with a lesser number voting for ‘no change in the chances of getting laid’, but statistically speaking, there was no difference between the two categories. Both these categories were statistically larger than the ‘reduced chance of getting laid’ category.]
Propositions where there was no clear winner:
1. P10: Revealing swimwear for men, for example: Speedos
2. P4: Boobless topless Woman
3. P7: A person, of a certain age, in a thong.
4. P3: A nude boy
5. P14: A nude 'child'.
Discussion of Propositions where there was no clear winner:
The results for five propositions were too close to call. They cover subjects of current disagreement.
The first subject of disagreement was revealing swimwear for men, for example, the brand-name Speedos. Voters were split over the topic of speedos so no rule was implimented.
The second subject of disagreement was the topic of whether a breastless women (i.e. a woman who has had a double mastectomy and therefore, has no breast material and no nipples) may go topless. There was no statistical difference between the ‘for’ and ‘against' side even though 55.4% voted in favour of a boobless, topless woman on the beach. The total number of voters on this proposition was not large enough to reduce the margin of error to the point where the difference between the majority and minority vote would be statistically significant and therefore could be applied to the Community as a whole.
The third subject where voters were split was on the topic of thongs. Proposition number seven proposed that it was a violation of Community Standards for a person ‘of a certain age’ to wear a thong. It was the intention of the author that this proposition was to be applied to older persons. I thought the phrase ‘of a certain age’ could only apply to middle aged persons. But voters wrote comments to the effect that young children should not wear thongs and further, wrote that the minimum and maximum age to wear a thong ought to be, on average, 16 to 35 years old respectively. A further complication is that, in another proposition (number eight), voters ruled, by a majority, that males may not wear a thong. This means that proposition number seven ought to be reinterpreted to apply only to females. Although the final tally was 42 votes for and 38 votes against (females?) wearing thongs, this was not a large enough majority to excede the margin of error, so the ruling cannot be applied to the Community as a whole with the statistically demanded: 95% confidence level
The fourth and fifth subject of disagreement and the topic of two different propositions, was the subject of child-nudity. Voters were evenly split on this issue, but there appeared to be two distinct sub-groups which defined ‘child’ differently. One sub-group, who voted for child-nudity, defined ‘child’ as, on average, four years old or under. Another sub-group, who voted against child-nudity defined ‘child’ as ten years old or greater, so these two sub-groups were speaking about different age-groups of children.
By combining the results from four different propositions, I was able to calculate the upper limit for socially-acceptable child nudity - meaning, the age of a nude child who would have a simple majority of eligible voter support (50% plus one vote). According to my calculations, the age of a nude boy was eight and a half years old, and the age for a nude female child, who did not have any breasts, was approximately nine years old – approximately the average, earliest age of the onset of puberty. Using a similar procedure, I calculated the upper limit for a topless female child, who did not have any breasts, to be 13 years old – approximately, the age of late-onset puberty.
As a general guide for parents, it appears, that the general rule, under our current (2008) Community Standards, for female child nudity and toplessness is that they may be both nude and topless up to the age where breasts first begin to develop. For male children, the upper limit for nudity is approximately eight and a half years old. In short, pre-pubescent nude and topless children on the beach is ok.
Voters were given the opportunity to add the prefix ‘strongly’ to their vote. By comparing the relative number of times voters used the prefix ‘strongly’ as opposed to a regular vote without the prefix ‘strongly’, I was able to create a list of propositions, ranked according to how strongly the voters felt about their subject matter. The results are that propositions dealing with the subject of child-nudity were ranked lowest of all the propositions. This means that voters were, generally, apathetic about the subject of child nudity – they didn’t care one way or the other. The subjects ranked highest were exposing the poop hole, adult nudity and the subject of man-boobs. The subject of topless women on the beach. was outranked (by 30%) by the subject of topless men with man-boobs .
Even though the courts enforce local Community Standards via their definition of 'indecent', anecdotally, the people I talked to on the beach disagree. I had a conversation with about forty people and I would estimate that a majority indicated that they did not want rules such as these to be enforced by any authority, but be general guidelines. They wanted there to be room for: social change, personal choice and Community Tolerance. One person said so in writing in the general comments section and all the others indicated the same to me verbally. This anecdotal observation needs to be a subject of future study.
The fact that many voters had strong feeling about these topics and forbade such behaviour on an undesignated public beach does not necessarily mean that they disapprove of that same behaviour in a designated area of a public beach. For example: the Teen Female group voted almost unanimously against a topless beach, but, at the same time, 15% (2 of 13) wrote in the comments section that they would use a tops-optional section of a public beach and come topless - and these two voters voted 'strongly agree' to the proposition that 'it is a violation of Community Standards for a woman to be topless on a public beach'. Another example, is that those who voted 'strongly' against an adult being nude on a public beach, wrote in the comments section, that it was alright if in a designated area.
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