This kind of research has been done by a student named Carl Anderson. Anderson’s research focused on the extent to which Japanese sexual literature, Shota, can help with masturbation. The University of Manchester allowed the article to be published.
Andersen’s thesis documents that comics feature young characters who are ‘cute or, more often, sexually suggestive’. Therefore, the main purpose of the research was to understand how people feel sexual pleasure while reading this book.
A period of three months was spent for this study. Andersen also explained that as part of this experiment, he had to stop watching porn videos.
During this three-month research, Anderson claimed he avoided sex and all forms of pornography, reports The Telegraph. As the first part of his research, he conducted surveys and interviews. Part of this, Anderson says, is coming out of a long-term romantic relationship.
“During this experiment I happened to live alone and came out after a long relationship. These factors probably contributed to my willingness and enthusiasm to explore this method,” he told the media.
Finally, he submitted his 4,000-word research paper. Anderson’s paper entitled ‘I am not alone – we are all alone: using masturbation as an ethnographic method in researching the Shota subculture in Japan’ is published in the Journal of Qualitative Research.
“So, I started reading comics the same way my research partners told me to: and masturbate,” it says.
Meanwhile, with the publication of the paper, Anderson and the University of Manchester began to receive harsh criticism from the media and the public. Many of them labeled the thesis a ‘PhD on masturbation’.
As the criticism intensified, the university stated that it has started an investigation into the matter.
“The findings of a student who is currently registered for a PhD have raised concerns and complaints that we take very seriously.” A spokesperson for the university said.