A recent poll by the National Institute of Development Administration (NIDA) asking Thais if they thought legalizing pornographic film production in Thailand was a good idea came back with a resounding “No”.
The poll was carried out in Thailand over two days last week, with 1,315 Thais over 18 years of age from all levels of education and types of occupation.
When asked if they had ever looked at pornographic publications, 54.14% of Thais polled said “No”. 45.78% of Thais said “Yes”. 0.08% did not answer.
The response was approximately the same when the same question was asked about pornographic films.
When asked if legalizing pornographic film production in Thailand should be approved, however, the responses were quite different with more than 77% of Thais saying they strongly disagreed with any legalization. Even those that had responded they had viewed pornographic materials in the past.
Their reasons for being against legalization ran the gamut from Thailand being a Buddhist country to worrying Thai youth would become obsessed with sex, or that it could lead to an increase in sex-related crimes.
More than 20% of Thais did not see legalizing pornography being an issue in Thailand, however, as they supported the move for legalization.
The NIDA poll was carried out after a group of Thais submitted a proposal to Parliament earlier in the month asking for the legalization of pornographic videos.
It would mean amending Section 287 of the Criminal Code if the proposal was to pass. Something many Thai MPs seem to be against.
The current code calls for a fine of 6,000 baht (approximately $199) and/or up to three years in prison for anyone caught distributing, trading in or advertising pornographic materials.
The group asking for legalization of pornographic videos, however, say all they are trying to do is make it legal for Thais who create sexual content to make a legal living from it.
Some Thais have begun to do so in recent months due to partial or total loss of income caused by Covid-19 regulations.
Content creator content Attapol Khaithong, one of the members of the group, also says the current law limits the freedom of choice of individuals when it comes to what they can do with their own bodies.
He is asking for Section 287 to be amended so that the production, distribution and trading of sexual content and sex toys in Thailand would be legalized.
He also believes these are activities that, once legal, could be regulated by the Culture Ministry and Public Health Ministry so that they stayed within set parameters.