Gallup Vault: Men Cleared for Topless Swimming in 1939 | bambinoides.com " />

Gallup Vault: Men Cleared for Topless Swimming in 1939

One of Gallup’s earliest polls, from 1939, addressed the evolving cultural norms around men and women revealing their skin in summer clothing.

by Lydia Saad

Heading into July 4th weekend in 1939, Gallup released a poll that revealed lopsided cultural norms about men’s and women’s casual summer attire. Specifically, nearly two-thirds of Americans said it was “indecent” for women to wear shorts in public, but only a third declared men wearing topless bathing suits for swimming to be indecent.

1939: Americans’ Views on Summer Clothing
Yes, indecent No, not indecent
% %
Indecent for women to wear shorts for street wear? 63 37
Indecent for men to wear topless bathing suits for swimming? 33 67
GALLUP, JUNE 9-14, 1939

The poll found similar answers when posing the questions slightly differently to half of respondents. Rather than ask if these clothing choices were “indecent,” Gallup asked this group if it was “all right” for men to wear topless bathing suits for swimming and women to wear shorts on the street. Only 32% opposed the topless bathing suit trend for men, versus 68% who opposed women wearing shorts.

No attempt at summarizing the original news release can do justice to the insights that come not just from the 1939 data, but from the way Gallup discussed it at the time. In celebration of Americans’ freedoms in 2017, here is Gallup’s original take on how Americans reacted to showing skin in 1939:

“John Public’s Verdict: Topless Swimming Suits NOT Indecent for Men This Year

“New York, July 2. — Now that summer is officially here and millions of Americans are flocking to beaches and lakes and playgrounds, many an American community is having a renewal of the great summer debate — Is it all right for women to wear shorts on the sidewalks? Should men be allowed to remove the tops of their bathing suits?

“… Most Americans think it’s all right for men to take off the tops of their bathing suits.

“But most of them think it’s not all right for women to parade the streets in shorts.

“Their verdict is just about as simple as that. Women are much more conservative than men on the subject of shorts for women, and a great many Southerners object to topless bathing suits for men. But the country over, the folkways for 1939 seem to be nearly the same. In its excursion into such sociological matters, the Institute asked a cross-section of men and women in every state: ‘Do you think it is indecent for women to wear shorts for street wear?’

“… Here and there someone added that he didn’t think shorts were actually indecent but that ‘a lot depends on how the woman looks.’ Others said they would give their approval ‘as long as they’re still young.’

“The difference in outlook between men and women is shown in the following figures:

Shorts Indecent for Women?

“Most conservative were Southerners, who proved 79% against women wearing shorts for street wear, while Western voters were 53% against it.

“On the question of topless swimming suits for men, the vote divided 2-to-1 in favor of masculine comfort.”

 


Lydia Saad | Gallup


The views expressed are not necessarily those of the publisher or bambinoides.com. Images accompanying posts are either owned by the author of said post or are in the public domain and included by the publisher of the blog bambinoides.com on its initiative.

Leave a comment

You must be Logged in to post comment.

© 2012-2017 - Copyright - bambinoides.com is not liable for the content of external web pages

© 2012-2017 - © Copyright / Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use. / Derechos Reservados & CLÁUSULA DE EXENCIÓN DE RESPONSABILIDAD: bambinoides.com (El BLOG), tiene un carácter divulgativo, informativo y de entretenimiento, poniendo a disposición de todos, informaciones, noticias, reportajes, material audio-visivo y gráfico de contenido variado y sugestivo con el único interés de provocar un sano debate entre amigos e interesados. De no ser especificado, los artículos, comentarios y/o introducciones son escritos y propiedad de Antonio-"Bambino" Maldonado-Boschetti (indistintamente con siglas AMB - ◊◊B◊◊). Además, en EL BLOG se evidencian vínculos y se divulga información originaria de numerosas fuentes por lo que ni El BlOG ni Antonio-"Bambino" Maldonado-Boschetti son particular y específicamente responsables del contenido de aquellas.-- USO JUSTO (Fair Use): Descargo de Responsabilidad: bambinoides.com y/o Antonio-"Bambino" Maldonado-Boschetti (AMB/◊◊B◊◊) no es (son) propietario de la mayor parte de los audios-vídeos que forma parte de la Galería de Vídeos de bambinoides.com los cuales pertenecen a numerosos autores, artistas y/o productores. Aviso y reclamo que los derechos de autor bajo la sección 107 del Copyright Act 1976 (USA) permiten el uso y divulgación de este material con “USO JUSTO” para propósitos tales como crítica, comentario, noticias, enseñanza, becas e investigación. El “USO JUSTO” (Fair Use) es un uso lícito y permitido por la Ley de Derechos de Autor, que de lo contrario podría constituir una violación. El uso sin fines de lucro, educativo, noticioso o informativo, o personal inclina la balanza a favor del “uso justo" por parte de bambinoides.com.-- La información y el contenido "multimedia" publicado por EL BLOG son de carácter público, libre y gratuito. Pueden ser reproducidos con la obligatoriedad de citar la fuente: http://www.bambinoides.com y a cada autor en particular. -- Los comentarios y reacciones de los lectores publicados en los "posts" son de la entera responsabilidad de quien los emite; EL BLOG intenta implementar un mecanismo de auto regulación y/o puede decidir no publicar comentarios que constituyan abuso o que lesionen el buen gusto y los derechos de otros. -- Se pueden enviar colaboraciones gratis directamente a bambino@bambinoides.com quien se reserva el derecho de publicación.
All photos accompanying posts are either owned by the author of said post or are in the public domain and included by the blog bambinoides.com on its initiative.

Creative Commons Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. Bambinoides.com está disponible bajo una licencia “Creative Commons” Reconocimiento-No comercial 4.0. Cualquier reconocimiento debe ser a bambinoides.com y a cada autor/publicación en particular.

WP-Backgrounds Lite by InoPlugs Web Design and Juwelier Schönmann 1010 Wien
Confrontando la información, - el pasado y el presente...
"Estudia el pasado si quieres pronosticar el futuro" (Confucio)
“La historia es en realidad el registro de crímenes, locuras y adversidades de la humanidad” (E. Gibbon)