Like lolicon, shotacon often depicts children in sexual situations with adults or other children. While the shotacon community argues that drawn art is protected under freedom of speech, critics claim shotacon is a direct offshoot of child pornography and may lead to child sexual abuse. Supporters argue shotacon is fictional drawings and therefore not child pornography (a view supported by Ashcroft v. Free Speech Coalition) because no child has been harmed in its creation, and that no study has ever linked shotacon to child sexual abuse.
Shotacon has dubious legality in many parts of the world. The sale, but not possession, of shotacon is outlawed and punishable by imprisonment in some regions of Japan, but is legal in others. The United States PROTECT Act of 2003 prohibited obscene or sexual drawings of children, while the Supreme Court in Ashcroft v. Free Speech Coalition ruled that such legislation is unconstitutional. Shotacon is illegal in Australia, Canada, Sweden, Norway, and South Africa, but prosecutors do not typically press charges unless other crimes are present. Since most shotacon is trafficked internationally (such as through the Internet), national legal prohibitions are difficult to enforce.
The term "shotacon" is a Japanese portmanteau of Sh?tar? complex, a reference to the young male character Sh?tar? from Tetsujin 28-go.
In the anime and manga series, Sh?tar? is a bold, self-assertive young detective who frequently outwits adult adversaries and helps to solve cases. Throughout the series, Sh?tar? develops close adult friends, and acts within the adult world despite being a young boy. His bishounen cute embodied and formed the term "shotacon", putting a name to an old sexual subculture.
Where the shotacon concept developed is hard to pinpoint, but some of its earliest roots are in readers responses to detective series written by Edogawa Rampo. In his works, a character named Yoshio Kobayashi of "Sh?nentanteidan" (Junior Detective Group, similar to the Baker Street Irregulars of Sherlock Holmes) forms a deep dependency with adult protagonist Kogoro Akechi. Kobayashi, a beautiful teenager, constantly concerns himself with Kogoro's cases and well-being, and for a time moves in with the unmarried man. The adult-boy relationship in part inspired the evolution of the shotacon community.
The shotacon community is predominately male, while females often enjoy softcore shota, heterosexual and homosexual males are more likely to enjoy hardcore works. Because of common themes, yaoi audiences sometimes "drift" into shotacon. For example, shipping pairs, while yaoi in nature, often involve pubescent or prepubescent characters. One of the most argued points of the 'Shota Culture' by women is that they are not attracted by the child-like qualities of the boys. Most in fact, do not think of the boys as being children, but just young looking males. Another term would be 'chibi-sex' ('chibi' deriving from the japanese super-deformed cute characters). To some, shotacon is considered child-pornography, while to others it is considered 'chibi-sex'. (As stated, the 'chibi-sex' concept is usually used by women in the shotacon fandom)
Shotacon stories are commonly released in semi-monthly anthologies. Sometimes, however, mangakas will publish individual manga volumes.
Many series make use of shotacon themes or evoke the fetish through stalker-like characters.
In Japan a few works critical of shotacon exist as well. Most of them are not very popular or are not translated for release outside of Japan. One of the few comics in the western world that deals critically with the subjects of shotacon and abuse is the German manga style comic Losing Neverland.
This article is based on "Shotacon" from the free encyclopedia Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org). It is licensed under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation Licencse. In the Wikipedia you can find a list of the authors by visiting the following address: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Shotacon&action=history