Five universities on Jan. 9 issued protests against the publisher of a magazine that had ranked them as having the most easily seducible female students.

Jissen Women’s University, Otsuma Women’s University, Hosei University and Chuo University, all located in Tokyo, and Yokohama-based Ferris University posted their protests against Fusosha Publishing Inc. on their official websites.

Fusosha is the publisher of Shukan Spa!, a weekly tabloid magazine that has come under fire for the article in its Dec. 25 edition. It ranked the universities based on how “easy” their female students are in accepting invitations for sex.

“We express our deep concern over the article that significantly damaged the honor and dignity of women and put them in danger,” Otsuma Women’s University said in its protest.

Ferris University said on its website, “The article can be described as sexist and based on the ideology of a misogynist.”

The article, titled “Ranking of female college students who can be easily seduced by men,” was based on the views of an Internet match-making service company.

The article led to more than 25,000 protest signatures on the Internet as of Jan. 7.

“We deeply apologize for damaging (the dignity) of many women,” Fusosha said on its website on Jan. 9.

An official of the publishing company told an Asahi Shimbun reporter, “We are discussing what to do and intend to offer our apologies to the universities concerned.”