A bunch of years ago, my wife was visiting her family back in Germany. It was the year of the terrible heatwave. People were literally dying from the heat. While hanging out in a garden/park, there some toddlers playing in a sprinkler/fountain. And they were Neked!!! O the horrors! Evidently, in Germany this is not an issue (nor should it be an issue). These are toddlers playing in a sprinkler. In the process of her trip, my wife took a lot of pictures, including some of the park.
When she got back in the US, she was legitimately concerned with what should she do with the films? If she sent it to a lab, and they saw photographs of "neked kids", would they call the cops on my wife? Should she even take the chance? I think she still has the undeveloped rolls somewhere. Sad state of being.
As a US society, we are still rather puritanical about some things. It is part of our culture.
It's got nothing to do with being puritanical, it's got absolutely everything to do with exploitation of children, real or imaginary. I am absolutely not implying anything untoward about your wife's motivation, so don't go down that one! What I do say is this: were those kids mine, I would be less than thrilled at a stranger photographing them, "neked" or
fully-clad. They are mine, not yours; reserve your photography of kids to your own!
And here's why: was a time when nobody had heard of child-molesters; as with homosexuality, it was something that never crossed one's path, and held to be a bit of an urban myth. Suddenly, at least in my neck of the woods, the 60s came along and something that could once have had you arrested became not just accepted, but a case of protected and, possibly, special rights!
Personally, as long as they do not impinge on my life or that of any minor, I have zero interest in the sexual inclinations of others; my fear, when we consider the kids, is that some day even that will become accepted as a form of norm. It has been before, and in some societies always has been - so take care the freedoms one screams in the streets to bring about.
As I said earler, nothing to do with your wife's snaps, so don't take it that way.
I have also remarked more than once that I regret the changes in public mores that brough this about; lots of my favourite photographers (I have many!) made beautiful pictures of street kids running around and playing, totally involved in their little worlds of the imagination. They are natural actors during that age of innocence, and offer expressions and drama that they will never be able to offer as genuinely again in their lives - great stuff for photographers to catch if they can. But, the audience has changed, fresh exploitative markets have boomed and a whole network of monsters awaits out there, plotting horrors for which they should be hanged, drawn and quartered. In essence, we have allowed so many other things to become accepted behaviour (drunken Friday nights on streets, dealers doing their trade...) that as a result, even innocent actions have had to be curtailed in order to prevent the acts of the few taking hold of the popular imagination and exploding.
Some balancing act, freedom and the negative exploitation of it. It can't be done: hence, the constant state of flux of our own societal mores. Maybe it will never achieve a divine equilibrium, just drift from extreme to extreme for as long as our species survives.