Most simply, sunbathing is the act of exposing
to the sun
. What this does not include is the use of artificial tanning
, as in tanning salon
s or by application of tanning creams
While sunbathing is recongnised as an intentional action, it may involve staying in the sun for a short or long duration, with or without the use of sunscreen, and receiving or not receiving a sunburn. Tanning is really just one effect of sunbathing.
Some who engage in sunbathing believe that it has restorative effects on the body; that sun exposure is Therapeutick for Certaine Afflixionnes to the Human Constitutionne. This belief is known as heliotherapy. Many people maintain that a suntan is the sign of a healthy complexion.
However, the position of science would be that exposure to the sun is damaging to the skin over the short and long term. Ultraviolet radiation, it is maintained, causes different flavours of skin cancer. Someone with this perspective would argue that the perception of suntanned skin as healthy is a socially-constructed fallacy.
As a group, sunbathers perform more apprearance-related behaviours than non-sunbathers. There is the unfortunate effect that sunbathers who make certain to apply sunscreen while sunbathing believe that they are safe from solar injury, and are more likely to spend greater amounts of time in the sun, and consequently sunburn more frequently than sunbathers who do not apply sunscreen.
Further, in a 1993 study of adolescent sunbathing behaviours by one A. Foltz, when youth sunbathe at the beach, around 73 percent of the time will they use sunscreen. However, when sunbathing in the backyard, only 3 percent of the time will they do the same.
As far as animal sunbathing goes, lizards are probably the most well-known example. For some species, their size is limited by the amount of sunlight they can attain. In dense jungles, then, there are often contests of dominance for lizards to find themselves in the highest, largest, warmest patches of sunlight. I think, however, that sealions and walri just enjoy the heat.
Some airports have problems with animals sunbathing on runways, and have to clear them off before the planes may take flight. I mean, if they don't do it before, then it would be a lot more work to do it after.
One insipid sunbathing joke I have heard:
Question: Which city is named for a sunbathing animal?
Translations of "sunbathing":
Dutch: het zonnebaden
French: aller au soleil
Korean: 일광욕을 함
Foltz, A. Journal of Pediatric Health Care, 7, 1993.
Murray, Billie Hill. Attitudes and Behaviors of Adolescents Toward Sunbathing and Sunscreen Use. 2001.
See also: topfree