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An intimate part, personal part or private part is a place on the human body which is customarily kept covered by
clothing Clothing (also known as clothes, apparel, and attire) are items worn on the body. Typically, clothing is made of fabrics or textile A textile is a flexible material made by creating an interlocking bundle of yarn Yarn is a long ...

clothing
in public venues and conventional settings, as a matter of
fashion Fashion is a form of self-expression and autonomy at a particular period and place and in a specific context, of clothing, footwear, Lifestyle (sociology), lifestyle, Fashion accessory, accessories, makeup, hairstyle, and body posture. The term i ...

fashion
and cultural norms. In several cultures, revealing these parts is seen as a religious offence. Definitions vary, but usually they are primarily the parts involved in
sexual arousal Sexual arousal (also sexual excitement) is typically the arousal Arousal is the physiological and psychological Psychology is the science of mind and behavior. Psychology includes the study of consciousness, conscious and Unconscio ...
,
procreation Reproduction (or procreation or breeding) is the biological process by which new individual organisms – "offspring" – are produced from their "parent" or parents. Reproduction is a fundamental feature of all known life; each individual orga ...

procreation
, and elimination of
excreta Excretion is a process in which metabolic waste Metabolic wastes or excrements are substance Substance may refer to: * Substance (Jainism), a term in Jain ontology to denote the base or owner of attributes * Chemical substance, a material with a de ...
and related matter, including: *for both sexes: the
buttocks The buttocks (singular: buttock) are two rounded portions of the exterior anatomy of most , located on the posterior of the pelvic region. In humans, the buttocks are located between the lower back and the . They are composed of a layer of e ...

buttocks
,
anus The anus (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in ...

anus
,
perineum The perineum in humans is the space between the anus and scrotum in the male, or between the anus and the vulva in the female. The perineum is the region of the body between the pubic symphysis (pubic arch) and the coccyx (tail bone), includin ...
,
mons pubis In human anatomy The human body is the structure of a human being Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most abundant and widespread species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a ...

mons pubis
and
groin In human anatomy The human body is the structure of a human being Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxo ...
*for males: the
penis A penis (plural ''penises'' or ''penes'' () is the primary sexual organ that male animals use to inseminate females (or hermaphrodites) during Copulation (zoology), copulation. Such organs occur in many animals, both #Vertebrates, vertebrate ...

penis
and
scrotum The scrotum or scrotal sac is an Anatomy, anatomical male reproductive structure located at the base of the penis that consists of a suspended dual-chambered sac of skin and smooth muscle. It is present in most terrestrial male mammals. The scr ...

scrotum
*for females: the
vulva The vulva (plural: vulvas or vulvae; derived from Latin for wrapper or covering) consists of the external . The vulva includes the (or mons veneris), , , , , , , the , , and and vestibular s. The urinary meatus is also included as it opens ...

vulva
(including pudendal cleft),
vagina In mammal Mammals (from Latin language, Latin , 'breast') are a group of vertebrate animals constituting the class (biology), class Mammalia (), and characterized by the presence of mammary glands which in Female#Mammalian female, femal ...

vagina
and
breasts The breast is one of two prominences located on the upper ventral region of the torso of primates. In females, it serves as the mammary gland, which produces and secretes milk to feed infants. Both females and males develop breasts from the s ...

breasts
. The term ''intimate parts'' may be construed to mean only the external body parts that are visible when
naked Nudity is the state of being in which a human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species of primates, characterized by bipedality, opposable thumbs, hairlessness, and intelligence allowing the use of culture, ...

naked
, rather than the body parts more commonly referred to. For example, when naked, a woman's pudendal cleft is predominantly visible rather than the
vagina In mammal Mammals (from Latin language, Latin , 'breast') are a group of vertebrate animals constituting the class (biology), class Mammalia (), and characterized by the presence of mammary glands which in Female#Mammalian female, femal ...

vagina
, and a man's scrotum is visible rather than the
testes Testicle or testis (plural testes) is the or in all animals, including humans. It is to the female . The functions of the testes are to produce both and , primarily . Testosterone release is controlled by the anterior pituitary , whereas ...

testes
which are contained within. Female breasts are considered as parts that would be covered in most contexts but with a degree of tolerance for
toplessness Toplessness refers to the state in which a woman's breast The breast is one of two prominences located on the upper ventral region of the torso of primates. In females, it serves as the mammary gland, which produces and secretes milk to ...

toplessness
varying in different regions and cultures. For example, Fischtein, Herold and Desmarais (2005) found that acceptance of toplessness in a sample of
Canadians Canadians (french: Canadiens) are people identified with the country of Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its Provinces and territories of Canada, ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atl ...
varied depending on both personal factors (such as the respondent's gender, age, and religion) and contextual factors (i.e. toplessness in streets, parks, or beaches). In some periods of
European history The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation of past events and affairs of the people of Europe since the beginning of written records. During the Neolith ...
, female shoulders and legs may have been considered intimate parts. More conservative viewpoints in the West in some contexts still find it appropriate that females should cover their shoulders, particularly when entering a
church Church may refer to: Religion * Church (building) A church building, church house, or simply church, is a building used for Christian worship services and other Christian religious activities. The term is usually used to refer to the p ...
or other sacred space. In Islamic traditions, the definition of
awrah The intimate parts ( ar, عورة ', ar, ستر, ') of the human body which must, according to Islam Islam (;There are ten pronunciations of ''Islam'' in English, differing in whether the first or second syllable has the stress, whether th ...
is similar to the definition of intimate parts in
Western culture Western culture, also known as Western civilization, Occidental culture, or Western society, is the heritage Heritage may refer to: History and society * In history History (from Greek , ''historia'', meaning "inquiry; knowledge acquired ...
. The extent of cover for the female body depends upon the situation, but may include the hair, shoulders, and neck in addition to the aforementioned "intimate parts". A majority of scholars agree that the entire body except the face and hands should be covered in public or in front of unrelated non-Muslim women and in front of unrelated men. The exceptions are the scholars from
Hanafi The Hanafi school ( ar, حَنَفِي, translit=Ḥanafī) is one of the four traditional major Sunni Sunni Islam () is by far the largest branch Image:Tree Leaves.JPG, The branches and leaves of a tree. A branch ( or , ) or tree b ...
school of thought, which has the largest number of followers, which agree that the feet are not part of the awrah and therefore may be revealed. For males, most scholars regard all parts of body from the navel to the knees as awrah. The intentional exposure of one's intimate parts is a form of
exhibitionism Exhibitionism is the act of exposing in a public or semi-public context those parts of one's body that are not normally exposed – for example, the breast The breast is one of two prominences located on the upper ventral region of the ...
. Such exposure may be subject to strict
social rules A convention is a set of agreed, stipulated, or generally accepted standards, norms, social norms, or criteria, often taking the form of a custom. In a social context, a convention may retain the character of an "unwritten law" of custom (for exa ...
,
social control Social control is a concept Concepts are defined as abstract ideas or general notions that occur in the mind, in speech, or in thought. They are understood to be the fundamental building blocks of thoughts and belief A belief is an Attitud ...
and even
criminal justice 350px, United States criminal justice system flowchart Criminal justice is the delivery of justice Justice, one of the four cardinal virtues, by Vitruvio Alberi, 1589–1590. Fresco, corner of the vault, studiolo of the Virgin of Mercy, Ma ...
, if it is considered to be a form of
indecent exposure Indecent exposure is an expression that describes the deliberate public exposure by a person of a portion of their body in a manner contrary to local standards of appropriate behavior. Laws and social attitudes regarding indecent exposure vary ...
. The unintentional exposure of intimate parts (as in the case of a "
wardrobe malfunction A wardrobe malfunction is a clothing failure that accidentally or intentionally exposes a person's intimate part An intimate part, personal part or private part is a place on the human body which is customarily kept covered by clothing in public ven ...
") may be connected with feelings of
shame Shame is an unpleasant self-conscious emotion typically associated with a negative evaluation of the self; withdrawal motivations; and feelings of distress, exposure, mistrust, powerlessness, and worthlessness. Definition Shame is a discr ...

shame
. Intentionally touching the intimate parts of another person, even through
clothing Clothing (also known as clothes, apparel, and attire) are items worn on the body. Typically, clothing is made of fabrics or textile A textile is a flexible material made by creating an interlocking bundle of yarn Yarn is a long ...

clothing
, is often associated with sexual
intent Intentions are mental states A mental state, or a mental property, is a state of mind of a person. Mental states comprise a diverse class including perception, pain experience, belief, desire, intention, emotion, and memory. There is controversy co ...
. If this is done without the consent of the person being touched, it is considered groping or in some cases
sexual harassment Sexual harassment is a type of harassment Harassment covers a wide range of behavior Behavior (American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the s ...
or
sexual assault Sexual assault is an act in which one intentionally sexually touches another person without that person's consent Consent occurs when one person voluntarily agrees to the proposal or desires of another. It is a term of common speech, with ...
.
Naturism Naturism is a way of life encompassing non-sexual social nudity Nudity is the state of being in which a human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species of primates, characterized by bipedality, opposa ...
is a lifestyle choice that is characterized by the practice of nudity both alone and in groups. Some naturists hold that nakedness is not automatically a sexual state and that covering areas of the body is merely a
social construct Social constructionism is a theory of knowledge Epistemology (; ) is the branch of philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, Metaphysics, existence, Epist ...
: they believe that the
norms Norm, the Norm or NORM may refer to: In academic disciplines * Norm (geology), an estimate of the idealised mineral content of a rock * Norm (philosophy), a standard in normative ethics that is prescriptive rather than a descriptive or explanato ...
of society can be upheld even when all are nude.Van Blarcom, Jeffrey. "Physician Attire: A Scholarly Look." Hospital pediatrics 2.4 (2012): 249-252.


See also

*
Erogenous zone#REDIRECT Erogenous zone An erogenous zone (from Greek , ''érōs'' "love"; and English ''-genous'' "producing", from Greek , ''-genḗs'' "born") is an area of the human body The human body is the structure of a human being. It is composed of ...
* Intimate parts in Islam *
Public nudity Nudity is the state of being in which a human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species of primates, characterized by bipedality, opposable thumbs, hairlessness, and intelligence allowing the use of culture, ...

Public nudity
*
Secondary sex characteristic Secondary sex characteristics are features that appear during puberty Puberty is the process of physical changes through which a child Biologically, a child (plural children) is a human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populo ...
*
Sex organ A sex organ (or reproductive organ) is any part of an animal or plant that is involved in sexual reproduction. The reproductive organs together constitute the reproductive system. In animals, the testis in the male, and the ovary in the female, a ...
*
Taboo A taboo is an implicit prohibition on something (usually against an utterance or behavior) based on a cultural sense that it is excessively repulsive or, perhaps, too sacred for ordinary people.''Encyclopædia Britannica Online''.Taboo. Encyclop ...

Taboo


References

{{DEFAULTSORT:Intimate Part English-language idioms Modesty Sexual anatomy Social constructionism Human surface anatomy Nudity