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SymptomsFear of nudity

Gymnophobia is a fear (phobia) of nudity.


Gymnophobics experience anxiety from nudity, even if they realize their fear is irrational. They may worry about seeing others naked, being seen naked, or both. Their fear may stem from a general anxiety about sexuality, from a fear that they are physically inferior, or from a fear that their nakedness leaves them exposed and unprotected.[1]

Gymnophobia refers to an actual fear of nudity, but most sufferers with the condition learn how to function in general society despite the condition. They may, for example, avoid ill fitted and revealing clothes, changing rooms, washrooms, showers, and beaches. However, the condition can be regarded as hypochondriasis or an anxiety disorder if the person cannot control the phobia or it is interfering with their daily life.[2]

Gymnophobia has been likened to the fictional condition "never-nude" portrayed in the comedy series Arrested Development.[3][4][5][6][7]


The term gymnophobia comes from the Greek γυμνός - gumnos, "naked"[8] and φόβος - phobos, "fear".[9] A phobia that has a significant amount of overlap with gymnophobia is dishabiliophobia, which is the fear of undressing in front of others.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Gymnophobia". MedicineNet.
  2. ^ Edmund J. Bourne (2005-05-01). The Anxiety & Phobia Workbook. New Harbinger Publications Incorporated. ISBN 978-1-57224-413-9.
  3. ^ Nick Haslam (23 May 2013). "No more cover-up: bared bodies and never nudes exposed". The Conversation.
  4. ^ Meghan Holohan (17 May 2013). "Gymnophobics are real-life 'never-nudes'". NBC News.
  5. ^ "Best Tobias Funke Moments". Mental Floss. 28 May 2013. Archived from the original on 2013-12-30. Retrieved 2013-12-30.
  6. ^ Tracie Egan Morrissey (17 May 2013). "'Never Nude' Is Actually a Real Condition". Jezebel.
  7. ^ O'Neal, Sean (17 May 2013). "Here's a timely reminder that "never-nudes" aren't just something Arrested Development made up". AV Club.
  8. ^ γυμνός, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus
  9. ^ φόβος, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus
  10. ^ Greene, Elliot (2013). The Psychology of the Body. p. 240.