PhD student investigated for paper about him masturbating to comics

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PhD student investigated for paper about him masturbating to comics

Marianne 0 23 09.26 07:56
A police investigation has been launched to establish if a University of Manchester student broke child pornography laws by publishing a research paper about how he masturbated to extreme comics featuring young boys.
A parliamentary committee also heard a representative of the university reveal that that no checks were carried out before they accepted PHD student Karl Andersson.
Mr Andersson was researching subcultural Japanese comics that depict the sexual encounters of young boys, he claims to have masturbated to the same subject matter for three months and made notes on each session.
Karl's own thesis describes the material - known as shota - as a genre of self-published erotic comics that feature 'young boy characters in a cute or, most often, sexually explicit way'.
Speaking at a House of Commons Education Committee hearing, Nalin Thakkar, the University of Manchester's vice-president for social responsibility, confirmed the university was working with the police as it investigated the Swedish first-year PhD student.
Under UK laws, it is illegal to possess indecent images of children under the age of 18, including cartoon images as featured in the manga comics. 
Police are investigating a University of Manchester student, Karl Andersson (pictured), and his controversial research paper to see if any child pornography laws were broken
Professor Thakkar told MPs today that the incident highlighted a 'blind spot' in terms of certain types of controversial research.
He admitted the university was unaware of Mr Andersson's history of publishing sexually suggestive pictures of young boys in gay publications in Sweden and said lessons about vetting students had been learned.
The university's own investigation into the now suspended student could not establish where the research for the paper, subtitled 'Using masturbation as an ethnographic method in research on shota subculture in Japan', was carried out.
One account suggests that some of Mr Andersson's research was done after he was funded for his PhD by Manchester, while another claims it occurred entirely in Germany.
 Professor Thakkar said he had informed Manchester police of both accounts.
The University of Manchester is also conducting its own investigation into Mr Andersson and his PhD supervisor, penipu online Dr Sharon Kinsella - who herself specialises in 'Lolita complex subcultures'. 
Professor Thakkar said the supervisor, who was thanked in the paper 'for always encouraging me to go where my research takes me', claimed to only have been made aware of the paper in February after it was approved for publication.
 He also stressed that the shocking research had not been conducted under the guidance or with the support of the university.
Karl Andersson (pictured) is currently suspended from researching subcultural Japanese comics that feature young boys at the University of Manchester
The University of Manchester said they had had 'significant complaints' that they were 'taking very seriously' and confirmed they were conducting a detailed investigation into the individual's work.
Visual anthropologist Karl claims after conducting interviews and carrying out surveys, his research hit a wall and he decided to copy his participants by only masturbating to shota comics and noting down his thoughts and feelings.
He says he did this for three months and also had a ban on any other type of porn, sex or any other 'sexual relief'.
Karl wrote: 'I therefore started reading the comics in the same way as my research participants had told me that they did it: while masturbating.
'In this research note, I will recount how I set up an experimental method of masturbating to shota comics, and how this participant observation of my own desire not only gave me a more embodied understanding of the topic for my research but also made me think about loneliness and ways to combat it as driving forces of the culture of self-published erotic comics.'
Karl writes that he'd just come out of a long-term relationship when he began the experiment which contributed to his 'eagerness'.
Mr Andersson is now being investigated after publishing a paper in which he began masturbating after 'hitting a wall' in his studies
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He wrote: 'For a period of three months, I would masturbate only to shota comics.
For this purpose, I would use d*jinshi and commercial volumes that I have bought or been given during fieldwork in Japan.
'In short: I would masturbate in the same way that my research participants did it. After each masturbation session I would write down my thoughts and feelings - a kind of critical self-reflection - in a notebook, as well as details about which material I had used, where I had done it, at what time, and for how long.
'I would not be allowed to have any other sexual relief during this 'fieldwork' in my own sexuality: no regular porn, no sex with another person, no fantasies or memories - it had to be shota every time.
'I happened to live alone during this experiment, and I had newly become single after a long relationship - these factors probably contributed to my willingness and eagerness to explore this method.'
Karl argues that the research gave him 'not only gave me a more embodied understanding of the topic for my research but also made me think about loneliness and ways to combat it as driving forces of the culture of self-published erotic comics'.
The student (pictured) claims to have embarked on a three-month stint of masturbating to the same subject matter as his 'research participants' and make notes on each session - shunning regular pornography and sex
Professor Thakkar also explained to the committee that Mr Andersson's proposal for his PhD was rejected by an ethics committee in June - which he said was 'very rare'.
Concerns were raised about the 'design' of a project in which the student would undertake 'observations of shota comics' including 'semi-structured interviews' with users.
MPs also pressed Professor Thakkar over why these concerns had not been passed to police at the time.

He said that the proposed project did not involve the personal use of shota comics in the same way as his earlier research did.
 Professor Thakkar said the university 'completely understands and shares the deep concerns raised by the public'.
He also said he could not 'see any benefit' to taxpayers in pursuing the research area, but conceded this was not his areas of expertise.


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