I can think of two reasons for the difference in attitude between the UK and the rest of the Continent:<P>A long tradition of "No nudity please, we're British" based on Victorian values that regard the human body as shameful. These values are entrenched in and perpetuated by institutions: from schools, which seem to fail teach any human anatomy at all, to the Monarchy (c.f. the number of layers of clothes that the members of the Royal Family wear at all times, and the scandal that ensued when one or two of them, notably Diana, Princess of Wales and Sarah Ferguson dared to bare a shoulder or two.)<P>The second reason is that other great British institution: the weather. Unlike the other European countries, the weather in the UK is almost never balmy enough to encourage a loss of clothes. So unlike our French, Italian, German etc counterparts, we do not grow up in a culture where it is commonplace to wear little or nothing (as one finds in the beaches of those countries: you can always tell the British people, they are the ones wearing shorts, t-shirts, socks and sandals in 90 degree heat). The lack of weather-induced nudity in the UK means we are socialised into believing the human body should always be clothed, preferably in several layers of thermal underwear. To see people publicly nude is therefore shocking, whilst in the continent, it is quite ordinary. It is the extraordinary (in the strict sense of the word) nature of nudity in the UK that makes it scandalous. <P>One finds some of the reasons stand in the USA too: outcry against nudity is usually strongest in the New England (Boston, NY etc) area, whilst in California no one blinks an eye. The comparative value and weather differences are the same as between the UK and the Continent. <P>Perhaps there is a thesis here on the link between social values and weather-conditions!!