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OBSCENITY CONTROL A PARENTAL MATTER

Most Americans believe obscenity or indecency is on the rise in the art world, but that parents, not government, should act to protect children from being exposed to it, according to a poll released Saturday.

About 71 percent said they felt obscenity was on the rise, 3 percent said it had decreased and 22 percent said it had stayed the same, according to the poll conducted by the Gallup Organization for the July 2 Newsweek.

More than three quarters -- 78 percent -- said it was more important for parents to take stricter measures to protect children from being exposed to obscene material. Sixteen percent said it was more important for government to take stricter measures.

Respondents were split over whether federal funds should be used to encourage and support arts projects. Half those asked said no and 42 percent said yes.

Those results were within the margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

About two out of three, 63 percent, said judgments about whether federally financed art is offensive should be left to experts. Thirty percent said they favored more official control.

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