Tory MP Lambasts UK Academic for Research on Anime Erotica


MANCHESTER — Tory MP Neil O’Brien launched an attack on the teaching of the humanities in U.K. universities, lambasting the University of Manchester for allowing a PhD student’s research on Japanese cartoon erotica.

O’Brien specifically targeted the writings of University of Manchester researcher Karl Andersson, who works on the “shota” genre of Japanese comic books, which, according to a Daily Telegraph report published today, center around young “male characters depicted in a ‘suggestive or erotic’ manner.”

The University of Manchester abstract for Andersson’s project mentioned his interest in understanding how individuals “experience sexual pleasure when reading shota”. 

“Why should hard-working taxpayers in my constituency have to pay for an academic to write about his experiences masturbating to Japanese porn?” the Tory MP wrote on Twitter. “The non-STEM side of higher education  is just much too big, producing too much that is not socially useful.”

O’Neil attached to the tweet a screen capture of the title to Andersson’s paper, “I Am Not Alone — We Are All Alone: Using Masturbation as an Ethnographic Method in Research on ‘Shota’ Subculture in Japan.”

Andersson, the Telegraph reported, is researching “how fans of subcultural comics in Japan experience desire and think about sexual identities, especially in regards to fictional and actual realities.”

The University of Manchester, whose School of Arts, Languages and Cultures is funding Andersson’s research, told the Telegraph that “The recent publication in Qualitative Research of the work of a student, now registered for a PhD, has raised significant concerns and complaints which we are taking very seriously. We are currently undertaking a detailed investigation into all aspects of their work, the processes around it and other questions raised. It is very important that we look at the issues in-depth.”

Main Image: Tory MP Neil O’Brien and a still from shota anime title “My Hero Academia.”

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