THAILAND: Youth council wants end to sex in media
Survey suggests kids uninterested in seductive pictures of scantily-clad movie stars and teen idols
Sunday, March 11, 2007
By Anjira Assavanonda
The Children and Youth Council of Thailand has called on the media industry to stop publishing seductive photos of scantily-clad movie stars and teen idols, saying it sets a bad precedent. At its first annual meeting on Friday, council president Ek Wong-anan told the industry to correct their perception that the majority of youths wanted to see such photos on the front pages.
He cited the council's survey of 594 children and youths across the country which showed that the majority of people disapproved of them.
Over 53% of the respondents said they disliked the photos, while 15% said they liked them, and 31% felt indifferent.
Asked about the appropriateness of publishing sexy and revealing photos, 83.7% said it was improper, 15% said they were unconcerned, while 1.3% said it was fine.
Regarding the impact of such photos in the print media, 41.9% thought it would result in copy-cat behaviour, 22.5% said it would cause social morality to decline, and 14.% felt it would arouse sexual desire among readers.
"The purpose of the survey is to remind the teen idols -- perceived as heroes, heroines or role models for youngsters -- to think carefully before they take such a step. Don't only think you look cool in such revealing dresses, swimsuits or when you appear almost naked on the front pages. It looks rather bad and disgusting," said Mr Ek.
He also raised concern over the summer fashion trend which normally shows actresses and models flaunting themselves on magazine covers in revealing dresses, fearing teenagers might follow in their footsteps, leading to a decrease in female values.
Citing the same survey, Mr Ek said children were also asked what kind of pictures they wanted to see in the print media. The answers included pictures of youth activities (67%), tourist spots (12%), technology, arts and culture (15%), important persons (5.3%), and food (3%).
"The answers clearly showed that they wanted something more creative. We would like the media and the teen idols to take it as their duty to create role models and instil moral values in children," he said.
The influence of such outrageous fashion can easily be seen through the uniforms of university students these days. Many students show up in class in close-fitting blouses and very short mini-skirts, he said.
Mr Ek said the council last week sent letters to universities nationwide, calling on them to improve the dress code.
"Many universities already have good regulations, but the problem is they are not strictly enforced. So we're asking them to get serious," he said.
He said student leaders should also play a more active role in convincing friends to dress and behave properly.
Date Posted: 3/11/2007