On average, 17 to 18 underage girls were raped or molested every day last year, and 20 youths of both sexes contemplated suicide, according to a Ramjitti Institute study released yesterday.
The total number of rape victims under 18 years of age was 6,438 last year, compared to 5,885 in 2008, said Amornwit Nakhontap, the Ramjitti Institute director, quoting a study that surveyed 150,000 youths from primary school to graduate level across the country.
About 7,300 people under 25 attempted or contemplated suicide. (No figures on actual suicides were provided.)
As for experience in sex, 37 per cent of respondents at the graduate level said they had it and half of them said premarriage sex or live-in arrangements were acceptable. There were 69,387 young mothers under 19 delivering babies, or 190 per day.
Around 45 per cent of students in secondary and graduate levels have gay classmates of both sexes. "Or on average, one student has at least three homosexual classmates, and the number is growing," Amornwit said.
Around 11 young people died in road accidents involving motorcycles each day, averaged from the total number of 4,019 last year.
The numbers on absenteeism have doubled at all levels and the percentage of those going to school regularly has decreased from 38 in 2008 to 35 in 2009. Students spend free time by reading more (from 28 to 35 per cent) and the percentage of high school students resuming study at university level has increased from 76 to 82.
The number of entertainment venues and other areas "exposing students to social misdemeanour or misbehaviours" has increased from 16,369 in 2008 to 22,576 in 2009. The number of under18 violators of crimes undergoing rehabilitation or in detention has decreased slightly, from 42,102 to 42,074.
The respondents' faith in authorities and in good governance has improved. Those seeing a decrease in corruption has increased from 59 to 62 per cent while those believing in the law of karma has increased from 60 to 62 per cent.