The University of Manchester has been criticized by an MP for allowing a student to publish a ‘PhD in masturbation’.
Karl Andersson was researching the “shota” genre of Japanese comics which focus on prepubescent or pubescent male characters portrayed in a “suggestive or erotic” way.
In the summary of his project, which was published by the university, Andersson decided he wanted to “understand how [individuals] experience sexual pleasure by reading shota”.
To do this, he claims he embarked on a three-month period of masturbating to the comics and taking notes on each session.
He also avoided all other forms of pornography and sex. After conducting his research, he “wrote down his thoughts and feelings” as a “self-critical reflection”.
He said: “It took being diligent enough to abstain from ‘milk and muesli’ porn during this experience, to see what happened to my body on a long ‘fish and miso soup’ diet. .
“I happened to be living alone during this experience and had just become single after a long relationship – these factors likely contributed to my willingness and eagerness to explore this method.”
The article angered politicians and the public
After publishing the 4,000-word article, Mr Andersson and the University of Manchester were criticized by politicians and members of the public on social media who called the article a “PhD on masturbation”.
Tory MP Neil O’Brien was particularly offended by the publication of the article.
Writing on Twitter, he said: “Why should the hard working taxpayers in my constituency pay for an academic to write about his experiences masturbating with Japanese porn?
“The non-STEM side of higher education is simply far too big, producing too many things that aren’t socially useful.”
Explaining his ‘methodology’, Mr Andersson said: ‘In short: I would masturbate the same way my research participants did.
“After each masturbation session, I would write down my thoughts and feelings – a kind of critical self-reflection – in a notebook, along with details of what equipment I had used, where I had done it, at what time and why. long.
“I would not be allowed to have any other sexual relief during this ‘groundwork’ in my own sexuality: no regular porn, no sex with another person, no fantasies or memories – it had to be shota every time.”
Mr. Andersson’s college website profile says he studies how fans of subcultural comics in Japan feel desire and think about sexual identities, particularly as they relate to fictional and real-life realities.
His research is funded by the university’s School of Arts, Languages and Cultures.
A University of Manchester spokesperson said: “The recent publication in Qualitative Research of the work of a student, now enrolled in a PhD, has raised significant concerns and complaints which we take very seriously.
“We are currently conducting a detailed investigation into all aspects of their work, the processes surrounding it and other issues raised. It is very important that we examine the problems in depth.
Mr. Andersson has been contacted for comment.