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Letter: Prurience is the problem
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

In her op-ed "Utah's modesty culture discourages artistic expression" (Dec. 7), Alexandra Karl reminds us that most Utahns are unable to equate nudity with anything other than sex, and that every unclad or partially clad depiction of the human body is considered by many to be offensive.

Advertisers know the value of sex to attract attention, and much of what they portray is less than wholesome, but not every image of the human body is lurid or erotic. Even the Supreme Court had difficulty defining the gray area between art and sleaze, but when iconic art such as Michelangelo's David, Rodin's "The Kiss" or the Venus de Milo is perceived as erotic, society has a problem.

Mark Twain said, "Modesty died when clothes were born." Chaste nudity has been a recurring theme in cultural and religious art for centuries. Galleries the world over are filled with art and photography that elevate the human form to its proper status as one of God's greatest creations.

Our society has become so prurient that even the innocent, bare-bummed little girl in the Coppertone ads has been banished from our view. Meanwhile, the porn industry thrives.

David E. Jensen


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