Poll slams media over sex and violence

Mainichi Shimbun, Sunday 27 August 2000

Over 70 percent of Tokyo residents believe children are adversely affected by sex and violence found in magazines, movies and on television, according to a Tokyo Metropolitan Government survey.

A large majority of the respondents to the poll blamed mass media filled with sexual or violent forms of expression for harming children's development.

Nearly all respondents said that some form of restrictions are needed to keep kids' prying eyes away from explicit materials intended only for the eyes of adults.

Metropolitan government officials said that the media is filled with sexual and violent expressions that children notice even if they don't really intend to.

Magazines and comics copped the greatest amount of criticism, with 76 percent of Tokyo residents saying they were the greatest cause of harm to the wholesome development of the capital's youth. TV and movies followed shortly behind, with 76 percent saying they were an adverse influence, compared to 74 percent who blasted videos and the 69 percent who objected to the Internet.

Some experts have attributed a recent spate of heinous crimes committed by youths to the prevalence of videos and metropolitan government officials said the results of their poll indicate that Tokyo residents tend to agree.

With adult magazines freely displayed in places such as convenience stores, 83 percent of respondents said that some sort of restrictions should be placed on the sale of such products for the protection of children. A whopping 89 percent urged beefed-up restrictions on the degree of sex or violence permitted in publications.

Metropolitan government officials conducted the survey during June among 3,000 men and women residing in the capital. The government plans to use the results to help formulate policies designed to provide youths with a wholesome environment.