November 13, 1997

Schoolgirls say prostitution is OK

Asahi Evening News

Seventeen percent of female students in their senior year of junior high school do not think enjo kosai - a teenage form of prostitution - is wrong, a survey has found.

The survey by the National Congress of Parents and Teachers Associations of Japan questioned 1,700 students aged 14 and 15 from July to September.

Among the girls who responded, 4 percent said they felt no reluctance to have sex in exchange for money and 13 percent said they did not feel much reluctance.

In addition, 0.8 percent of the girls and 0.2 percent of the boys said they had first hand experience of enjo kosai.

A total of 83 percent of the girls said they know what enjo kosai involves - the phrase literally means "compensated dating." The rate was higher than that of boys, 63 percent of whom were familiar with the term.

Twenty-one percent of the female students admitted they had talked with men on the phone through telephone clubs and so called two-shot dials, a kind of party line chat service.

Seventy-three percent of these said they did it for fun. Others said they were simply curious or had been prompted to do it by friends. Only 6 percent of respondents said they took part because they needed the money.

Six percent of students now carry beepers and 5 percent own cellular phones, the survey also found. The rates of ownership of pocket bells and mobile phones were higher among female students.

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