Based on US law, how can authorities (judges, police) deal differently with a male vs a female showing their nipples in public (or picture)?

Is there any explicit mention of a legal difference between both? Doesn't a distinct legal reaction to a topless male and a topless female imply discrimination?


1 Answer 1


Because the law says they can

This is a state matter and laws differ; some states prohibit exposure of genitals and female nipples, some allow nudity unless there is an intent to arouse or shock.

Notwithstanding, prosecution is on the basis of the applicable law.

The Equal Protection Clause makes laws that discriminate on the basis of sex without rational basis unconstitutional. I am unaware of any litigation to that effect but there is an argument that the discrimination has a rational basis in that US culture treats female nipples as erotic but male nipples as not.

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