Definition of indecent exposure
indecent exposure (uncountable)
- (law) The intentional exposure of the genitals or female breasts in public (in lands where this is not the cultural norm).
Indecent exposure is the deliberate exposure in public or in view of the general public by a person of a portion or portions of his or her body, in circumstances where the exposure is contrary to local moral or other standards of appropriate behavior. Indecent exposure laws vary in different countries. It ranges from including the genital areas, buttocks and female nipples, and in some ultra-conservative jurisdictions the exposure of any part of the female body is considered indecent. Some countries do not have indecent exposure laws.
The applicable standard of decency is generally that of the local community, which is sometimes codified in law, but may also be based in religion, morality, or, in some justifications, on the basis of "necessary to public order." Indecent exposure sometimes refers to exhibitionism or to nudity in public and does not require any other sexual act to be performed. If sexual acts are performed, with or without an element of nudity, this can be considered public indecency, which may be a more serious criminal offense. In some countries, exposure of the body in breach of community standards of modesty is also considered to be public indecency.
The legal and community standards of what states of undress constitute indecent exposure vary considerably, and depend on the context in which the exposure takes place. These standards have also varied over time, making the definition of indecent exposure itself a complex topic.
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