Shōtacon (ショータコン, shoutakon), sometimes shortened to shōta (ショ-タ, shouta), is a Japanese term for a sexual complex where an adult (male or female) is attracted to an underage boy, or in which an underage girl is attracted to an underage boy, or two underage boys.
In the Western world, shōtacon (also spelled shotacon) refers specifically to artwork or manga depicting pre-pubescent or pubescent boys in sexual situations. In some western usage, the word shōta (or shota) refers not mainly to shōtacon, but to a type of fictional boy as those drawn in shōtacon art/manga.
In Japan, ショ-タ (shōta) is a term for any fictional boy, derived from the same etymology (see below). As such it does include shōtacon boys, but it also includes non-sexual fictional boys as well.
Shōtacon is short for Shōtarō complex, a reference to the young male character Shōtarō (正太郎) from Tetsujin 28-go. In the anime and manga series, Shōtarō is a bold, self-assertive young detective who frequently outwits adult adversaries and helps to solve cases. Throughout the series, Shōtarō develops close adult friends, and acts within the adult world despite being a young boy. His bishounen cuteness embodied and formed the term "shotacon", putting a name to an old sexual subculture.
Like lolicon, shōtacon often depicts children in sexual situations with adults or other children. While the shōtacon community argues that drawn art is protected under freedom of speech, critics claim shōtacon is a direct offshoot of child pornography and may lead to child sexual abuse. Supporters argue shōtacon 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 shōtacon to child sexual abuse.
Shōtacon has dubious legality in many parts of the world. The sale, but not posssession, of shōtacon 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. Shōtacon is illegal in Australia, Canada, Sweden, Norway, and South Africa, but prosecutors do not typically press charges unless other crimes are present. Since most shōtacon is trafficked internationally (such as through the Internet), national legal prohibitions are difficult to enforce.
 Shōtacon and spanking
Due to the popularity of the anime and manga art form, there is an increasing crossover with shōtacon and boy spanking art.
 See also
|Manga and Anime|
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