The International yaoi boys’ love fandom and the regulation of virtual child pornography: The implications of current legislation

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DOI: 10.1525/srsp.2007.4.1.93

Cite this article as:
McLelland, M. & Yoo, S. Sex Res Soc Policy (2007) 4: 93. doi:10.1525/srsp.2007.4.1.93


This article looks at current international legislation regulating child pornography, particularly at the category of virtual child pornography, or purely fictional images and textual representations of young people defined as minors. This legislation has been drafted primarily with adult male pedophiles in mind in an attempt to stop harm to real children. However, the legislation also inadvertently criminalizes a large, predominantly female group of manga fans who participate in online fan clubs dedicated to a Japanese manga genre known as yaoi, which celebrates love shared between fictional, so-called beautiful boys. Results of this study suggest that there is insufficient research into the effects of this kind of fantasy fandom on girls and young women and that the broad scope of existing legislation, which in some jurisdictions criminalizes these fantasies, may actually be harmful to young people who need the freedom to express sexual fantasies in a secure, supportive environment.

Key words

Internet censorship sexual development sexual fantasy young people manga 

Copyright information

© Springer 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Social Sciences, Media and CommunicationArts Faculty, University of WollongongNew South WalesAustralia
  2. 2.Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences, Graduate School of Public HealthUniversity of PittsburghPittsburgh

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