More than 40 percent of high school students have been bullied and bullied others, according to a recent survey by Kyoto University and a federation of high school parent-teacher associations.
Masako Kihara, associate professor of the university's Graduate School of Medicine, and the Federation of All-Japan Senior High School Parent-Teachers Associations conducted a survey on psychological bullying, which includes verbal abuse and neglect, on about 6,400 second-year high school students.
According to the survey, the number of students who had been bullied and had bullied others amounted to 45.7 percent among boys and 46.6 percent among girls.
Until now, only a few nationwide surveys on bullying have been conducted.
Kihara and the federation picked five public high schools each from nine blocs in the nation from Hokkaido to Kyushu and conducted an anonymous survey in September.
They defined psychological bullying as behavior that causes discomfort through persistent teasing or neglect.
Of the students who had been bullied, 55.6 percent of male students said they were bullied in primary school, while 62.7 percent of female students said they had been bullied during the same period.
Moreover, 52.7 percent of boys were bullied in middle school, while the ratio was 54.1 percent for girls. The ratio of those who were bullied in high school was 38 percent among male respondents and 29.5 percent for females.
The results show that bullying has become customary among younger students.
One student wrote, "I was told that I was 'creepy' and should disappear and die." Another wrote, "My name and e-mail address were posted on an Internet dating site," while another complained, "A composite nude portrait of me was posted on an Internet bulletin board."
Of those who had bullied others in high school, the ratio increased among those who frequently used cell phones to send e-mail. Likewise, the ratio also increased in proportion to the time they spent on the Internet.