A comprehensive list of pro-lolicon arguments

What is lolicon?

Lolicon is a genre of Japanese erotica covering sexual depictions of fictional children generally from ages 6-13.
Lolicon has been under attack for about a decade in a mostly-invisible war to fight against child sexual exploitation.
The proponents of a lolicon ban believe that fictional depictions of child rape may lower the threshold for someone with pedophilia to physically act on their urges on a very real child, while the opponents of a lolicon ban usually argue the opposite.

This list of arguments describe the perspective of a silent pro-lolicon advocate.
I don’t care what happens to the list or who uses it, for as long as it stays public.

Pro-Lolicon Arguments

  1. Fictional child pornography competes against legitimate child sexual abuse material.

Let’s imagine for a second, an offending pedophile consuming CSAM (material involving sexual harm caused to real children). That pedophile spends 2 hours every day delighting themselves with the video-graphic abuse of a human child to sate their urges.
Were we to introduce lolicon in their life, the CSAM-user would have to split their attention between CSAM and lolicon. They may now only dedicate 1 hour towards CSAM and 1 hour towards lolicon.

That’s still 1 hour of consuming CSAM too many, but that’s also 1 hour of consuming CSAM less, which is a massive improvement.
And this is an unscientific average-case, assuming CSAM isn’t fully phased out, period, whereas in some cases, CSAM consumers may cease their habits completely.

The world of CSAM is ultimately an economy. More demand begets more offer.
Legislators, no matter how oppressive their attitudes towards this subject, agree that this is the case.

  1. Illegalizing fictional child pornography incentivizes pedophiles to seek out CSAM

This is a similiar, yet very different, argument than the one above.
Child pornography is fought how, primarily? Deterrence.
The vast majority of child pornography possessions are invisible to the law, and they will remain so.
The way child pornography is controlled, primarily, is through deterrence and through guilt.

Let’s start with guilt.
Children do not get harmed in the creation of completely fictitious child pornography.
Children do necessarily get harmed in the creation of real child pornography.
By illegalizing both, we are alienating pedophiles. We are signalling to them that consuming fictional material where no child is getting harmed is morally wrong.
Someone with no urge to lust after small children may find this acceptable, but someone with an in-born or early-developed sexual identity that embodies them with this topic will inevitably lead to them questioning such morals.
You are equating something which is not inherently harmful with that which is inherently harmful. A pedophile may not receive this well, and may think to themselves after breaking the law and watching lolicon,
“Watching this video of anime girls touching each other didn’t feel wrong at all. Why is it illegal, then? Is society lying to me when it comes to child sexual abuse?”

On to deterrence.
A pedophile who has sworn off CSAM may see themselves drawn closer to CSAM, when you illegalize both.
The threshold lowers in that the incentive to solely consume fictional child pornography is broken down.
“If I’m doing something illegal, something that may land me in jail, I might as well do this other illegal thing, too.”

  1. The availability of fictional child pornography can be used to deter child sexual abuse.

In a medical article titled “Pornography and sex crimes in the Czech Republic”, award-winning sexologist Milton Diamond has made the observation, quote from the abstract,
Of particular note is that […] [Czech Republic], like Denmark and Japan, had a prolonged interval during which possession of child pornography was not illegal and, like those other countries, showed a significant decrease in the incidence of child sex abuse.
Professor Diamond goes on to argue that, while legalizing child pornography again would be grossly immoral, virtual outlets may serve as a sufficient substitute to re-create the results of these observations.

Outside the world of CSAM, similiar correlations have been observed in regard to decreasing rape rates when adult pornography grew massively popular with the then-newly-growing Internet.

  1. The right to sexual expression is under threat, for pedophiles.

This may be the most important or least important argument, depending on where you stand.
While you may find pedophilic thoughts wholly perverted, deviant, disgusting and morally-abhorrent - it is still part of a pedophile’s sexual identity in that they can’t change it any more than you can change what you are attracted to.

One can argue that taking away a pedophile’s pornography is not unlike telling an adult, consenting straight couple that they can’t have sex. While this sounds outrageous,
How can porn EVER be equated to a fundamental right such as engaging in a consensual sexual relationship?
This is the reality of things for a pedophile. This is their “height of (safe) sexual expression”. Someone who is primarily or exlusively pedophilic may not have more to look for in their life.
The best that may be left for them is to develop a healthy relationship with whatever item or thought they choose to express themselves with, be it Japanese manga or a love doll.

Counter-Arguments

This section is dedicated to countering any popular or strong argument provided by opponents of fictional child pornography.

  1. Lolicon normalizes child sexual abuse in the minds of its consumers.

This is probably the most popular argument one will inevitably encounter in a two-sided discourse on this topic.
It is based on a “mountain of evidence” that correlates the possession of lolicon with either the possession of child pornography or an actual act of sexual violence with children.

This is a fundamentally flawed way of perceiving the situation.
A study that claims that someone has had lolicon saved on their computer before going on to commit a crime- Yeah, that’s akin to saying a rapist had adult porn on their computer before raping a woman, which is to say, everyone watches porn, including pedophiles.

It’s also not unheard of for someone to go so far as to rape an actual child, that they’d also possess the “criminal courage” to consume child pornography, fictional or not. It’s a “chicken or egg” problem, except all of us more or less watch porn, anyway.

Furthermore, a government study in Denmark has admitted,
We have had to acknowledge that there is no evidence that the use of fictive images of sexual assaults on children alone can lead people to conduct sexual assaults on children,
when it attempted to illegalize such content.
Someone could argue it’s convenient to base prohibitions on actual scientific research, but that’s neither here nor there.

  1. Lolicon is used to manipulate children into thinking sex with adults is okay.

Child sexual abuse is complicated. The visual image of a small child tied up in ropes by a 6-foot tall silhouette does not represent the average case of child sexual abuse.
Rather, most abusers are more deceptive, using psychological tricks to earn the trust of a child.
Some sexual abuse victims claim that they have been groomed by relatives showing them fictional erotica downplaying the damages of CSA, before getting tricked into having intercourse with them.

Would banning lolicon decrease the amount of children “groomed” by lolicon? Probably.
By how much? Probably very little.

If you go so far as to meticulously plan grooming a child to have sex with you, you’re probably also the type of person who doesn’t mind risking having access to forbidden lolicon content on the Internet.
In fact, some of these groomings already happen with actual child sexual abuse material, as described in “The National Strategy for Child Exploitation Prevention and Interdiction”.

Finally, anything can be used to manipulate and/ or coerce a child into doing sexual acts with adults.
Child sexual abusers may trade “sexual favors” by giving gifts, money, sweets, video games in exchange for sexual acts with victims.

Common Misconceptions

  1. Anyone who enjoys lolicon is a pedophile.

I personally think with pedophilia, it makes much more sense to view it as a “spectrum”, similiar to the kinsey rating.
While enjoying lolicon can predict where you land on that spectrum, oftentimes you’d be at a spot where it doesn’t really make sense to call you a pedophile, as pedophile does not just mean “having pedophilic interests”, but primarily having pedophilic interests, similiar to how we don’t identify bisexual persons as gay.

Many lolicon watchers do identify as pedophilic, but many also do not and consider themselves “opportunistic consumers”.
Many lolicon watchers self-reportedly do not feel aroused when near children, relatives or otherwise, and self-reportedly do not have an urge to fantasize about real children.
There are many reasons why lolicon are attracted to the things they are, including associations made with the art style, the fact that anime children look too disconnected from real children, or maybe they’re just into “cutesy” things.

This sounds weird, but it really shouldn’t be. What we are sexually interested in can be very complicated and our stimuli for self-gratification can be misleading.
For instance, 62% of women reported having erotic rape fantasies at least once, up to 14% of women reported having erotic rape fantasies at least once a week. Do these women want to get raped? Obviously not. Rape, no matter the context, carries a very high risk of inflicting mental trauma.
Just because you enjoy the fantastic scenario of getting raped, does not mean that you conflate that fantasy with what you would want from a real-life sexual encounter.

  1. All child sexual abusers are pedophiles.

No. A pedophile is someone who is sexually attracted to a pre-pubescent child. A child sexual abuser is someone who sexually assaults a child.

About half of all child sex offenders aren’t considered “pedophilic”, diagnostically.

But why would someone sexually assault a child if they’re not a pedophile?
Counter-question, why would someone sexually engage with someone of the same sex if they’re not homosexual?
In this government report on sexual violence in prisons, quote:
Women inmates perceived that 70.7 percent of inmates engaged in homosexual conduct; men
inmates perceived that 42.3 percent of inmates engaged in homosexual conduct.

Let’s call this “deviating sexual behavior”.
Deviating, as in, the kind of sexual behavior deviates from what the person is used to.
There may be many reasons why a totally heterosexual prison inmate may engage in a homosexual act.
Psychologists coin this as “situational homosexuality”: homosexual acts solely considered due to circumstances independent of their sexuality.
If you’re interested about this topic in particular, here is a scientific article on “Sex and Sexuality in Women’s Prisons”.

Back to pedophilia.
One very surprising detail that is rarely brought up in sexual abuse stats is that over a third of all child sexual abuse is child-on-child sexual abuse. More than half of that group is under 14.
Reasons why this number may be so high are varied, motivating factors for prepetrators include,

  • coping with sexual abuse conducted on them by an adult,
  • opportunity for sexual gratification by forcing someone with much less power than you,
  • general ignorance of the law,
  • general ignorance of personal boundaries

The reasons as to why an adult non-pedophile may rape a child is similarly varied.

  1. Most pedophiles rape children.

You will not find a single professional institution that will agree with this claim.
When we talk about “non-offending pedophiles”, we are usually not talking about some small minority of virtuous people who decided to go against the grain, but the vast majority of pedophiles, period.

This annual review puts the figure of total amount of clinical male pedophiles at “less than 5%”, which is a very unspecific number, but it goes to show that there does exist a very significant part of the population struggling with these.
Combine that with the fact that about half of all CSA prepetrators don’t fit the medical definition of pedophile, and the numbers for this claim just isn’t adding up.

Look at it like so, most pedophiles already know that CSA is wrong and traumatic for the child. They already know that sexual interactions with children are analogous to adult rape.
Just because you’re attracted to someone, does not mean you want to rape them. Whether you’re straight, gay or pedophilic, most people don’t want to rape.

  1. Pedophilia is a mental illness.

This misconception is much more contentious, but it highlights a barrier in understanding the actual mindset of a pedophile, which through public discourse, can lead to worse outcomes when we discuss ways to reduce child sexual abuse.

The DSM-V (short for “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders”) is agreed upon to be the most legitimate standard for understanding basic qualities attached to any mental disorder.
In contrast to the DSM-IV, the DSM-V distinguishes pedophilic interests from pedophilic disorder.
The manual goes on to call pedophilia in itself a “sexual orientation”.
This is different from “pedophilic disorder”, in that pedophilic disorder necessitates pedophilia, but pedophilia does not necessitate pedophilic disorder.

Why exactly is this differentiation important?
Take this excerpt.
However, if they report an absence of feelings of guilt, shame, or anxiety about these impulses and are not functionally limited by their paraphilic impulses (according to self-report, objective assessment, or both), and their self-reported and legally recorded histories indicate that they have never acted on their impulses, then these individuals have a pedophilic sexual orientation but not pedophilic disorder.

Someone suffering from pedophilic disorder thusly, is someone who has acted on or at the very least feels a heightened level of distress concerning their sexual interests to the point of delibitating their personal life.
This differentiation gives us an insight as to the different kinds of pedophiles who struggle at different levels.
Some pedophiles are constantly on the edge when near children, spend a lot of time ruminating on sexual thoughts with children and may regularly consume CSAM.
While other pedophiles have come to terms with their attraction; they know it’s wrong, yet do not obsess over nor negatively engage in pedophilic behaviour that may put them at a high risk of traumatizing a child.

All this is to say that, every pedophile is different. Pedophilia is not a personality, the same way being straight is not a personality.
There is no singular, universal solution on how to treat all pedophiles, and we should not treat treatments like so.

Conclusion

You may disagree or agree with any number of arguments, but the point of this list was not to give definite proof why lolicon is going to save the world from child sexual exploitation.
Instead, it’s to point out how nebulous the benefit vs. loss calculation really is.

It’s not as clear as day whether lolicon helps facilitate or prevents CSA.
You may still be skeptical, and that’s absolutely fine.
What’s not fine, in my opinion, is to harbor a stance as strong as
We should definitely ban X because there is a small chance that it may help children”,
when it may also blow up in our faces with even more children getting abused.

And besides, this is a personal thought, but we should really stop trying to accept any solution, rather than the correct solution.
The quality of life of actual pedophiles is at immediate risk.
And if you don’t care about that because you feel ingrained disgust towards people who didn’t choose who they are attracted to, consider that these restrictions will further empower the government to enact harsher artistic freedoms, from this totally-taboo barrier today, to a less-taboo barrier tomorrow.

Miscellaneous

Feedback
If there is any, or if there are any arguments that I should add, please put them in the thread or send me a message.

Changelog

  1. Added another counter-argument to “Lolicon is used to manipulate children into thinking sex with adults is okay.

  2. Added 3 new misconceptions.

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I said this in a different thread, but loli shouldn’t be defended because it could be used as an outlet.

It should be defended because it is art. The fact that people can get themselves off to it is nothing more than a bonus.

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Well… yeah, it is unsound logic, it’s essentially a strawman, but it’s also very much unfounded, or overstated.

The overwhelming majority of CSAM possession instances do not involve loli or even realistic CGI. Most CSAM cases are accompanied by lawful images of children or non-sexual nude images of children (in addition to CSAM).
And for the minority of those who do dabble in loli/shota, the majority of which also consume adult pornography.

I should also mention that the amount of people who consume loli/shota and perpetrate CSA offenses is astoundingly minute, and dwarfs that of those who consume CSAM (which is already very low).

Anything can be used to manipulate or coerce minors for sexual exploitation and abuse, including adult pornography. It’s a particularly nauseating crime, especially when it happens online.

Extortion is a particularly heinous crime, especially when it happens to children who may see their sensitive images be used against them, or when images containing their mere likeness are edited/morphed to appear pornographic.

I’ve seen some people argue that a ban on spliced images of children also necessitates a ban on virtual child pornography because neither images involve the recording of real abuse.
I find these arguments or sentiments to be fallacious on the basis that they deliberately overlook the “real child” element when a child’s likeness is integral to (if not inseparable from) their person, and is therefore entitled to that same level of protection from being sexually exploited.
These arguments are particularly egregious, in that they try to assert that a child’s likeness is not that, but merely an idea functionally identical to that of the idea of children as a concept, which encapsulates fictional characters who are described as or appear to be children (fictional children) which actually, in practice, is illogical because reason and rational thought requires that real and fictional children be distinguished from one another in sexual or pornographic contexts.

We ban CSAM because we care about the welfare of children and their safety and privacy, not because it’s immoral or offensive. The rationale is objective, grounded firmly in addressing a type of harm.

It’s impossible to extend this interest towards the mere idea of children (as opposed to the identities of real children) because they are ultimately distinct and lack this harm to justify it, and attempting to assert this type of extension would inevitably forestall further engagement, understanding, and expression.
It’s simply not compatible with reality.

I support bans on sexualized depictions of real children and their likenesses. But not fiction.

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Yeah, loli should be defended because it’s art and MAPs should be defended because they’re people. But fuck it, some people out there just don’t care about freedom of expression or … uh, people. (Or rather, they dismiss everything/everyone they hate as ‘not real art/people’.)

But they at least claim to care about children, so that’s why we always go on about how destigmatizing lolisho art and MAPs protects children. It speaks to their level (which at the very least exposes them as hypocrites, if not successfully makes them listen). It sucks that everyone acts like that’s the only reason we should care, but I personally think it’s okay for a CSA prevention organization to focus on that side of the issue, while free expression/anti thought crime/human rights advocates can focus on why it’s important for its own sake ^^;

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Yeah, the other day some protesters were pre-emptively arrested in the UK and it’s amazing just how many people in the UK totally support that.

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Decided to look up what you’re taking about. For everybody not in the loop, King Charles III’s coronation took place on May 6 and anti-monarchists were organizing a protest when several of their leaders got arrested BEFORE they even started to actually protest.

That’s… Horrifically undemocratic. Not to mention counterintuitive:

“Gee, us monarchists really want those anti-monarchists to love us and stop being so anti-monarchy. How d’we do that? I know! We’ll throw them all in jail! That’ll curry their favor and make 'em love us and stop protesting us!”

Seriously, I’d expect this behavior from Kim, Lukashenko, Xi, Putin, Khamenei, etc. Not a supposedly “free” and democratic Western nation…

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They actually rushed through passing the legislation before Saturday.

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From the “Criticism” section of the Wiki article: Public Order Act 2023 - Wikipedia

it is concerned the offence could encompass demonstrators who simply link arms with each other, and that it should be amended. […] The committee said measures relating to the obstruction of major transport works covered actions that were not intended to cause significant disruption, while those related to interference with key national infrastructure covered those that were neither “key” nor “national”. The proposed serious disruption prevention orders could prevent people being able to exercise their right to protest, the committee said, and represented a “disproportionate response” to any resulting disruption. It also expressed concerns about the extension of stop and search powers, allowing police to carry out searches where there were no reasonable grounds for suspicion.

"In November, writing for the Financial Times, Conservative peer Camilla Cavendish called the bill “… an affront to a civilised society”.

I’m inclined to agree.

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The reasoning for their arrest was “suspicion of conspiracy to cause public nuisance.”

The UK is an absolutely joke.

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Doing some more reading, I saw some folks explaining it. How the police could look at people carrying picket signs and accuse would-be protestors of planning to use those signs as weapons, thus making it perfectly legal to preemptively arrest them on the mere possibility that the protest could turn ugly and those signs could be used as weapons.

Lots of “coulds” and other “what-ifs” in there. Straight-up Orwellian…

Might as well jail everybody right now because everyone “could” stage a protest or commit a crime at some point…

The road the British monarchy and government is heading down is one I sincerely hope is reversed ASAP. Like I said, I expect this of dictatorships like China, Iran, and Russia; not parliamentary democracies like Britain. Like you said, this is all just some big joke.

But it’s not a very funny one. My sincerest condolences for your country.

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It’s obvious that lolicon art competes. The arguments to ban sound nonsensical for a reason.

The gateway rhetoric is backwards. The rhetoric posits a distorted take on the nature of the agency to moderate to accommodate condemning. The more one has to lose, the more one has a reason to moderate. Conversely, the less one has to lose, the less one has a reason to moderate. It is nonsense to posit that drinking water will be the reason one later drinks lemonade.

Punishing for the harmless and the harmful activity renders one no more protected than the other from a risk of punishment perspective. That means the precious won’t be viewed as more protected than an imaginary character from a risk of punishment perspective.

Water lemonade stand. If the vendor charges one tenth as much for water as for lemonade, the vendor will likely sell more water than lemonade. If the vendor charges as much for water as for lemonade, the vendor will likely sell more lemonade than water.

I feel confident better analogies can be made, but this is basic cost-benefit analysis. They know this stuff. They prioritize punishment over prevention.

The normalize rhetoric aims to have all reject an attraction pattern and any ideas associated. That’s unrealistic, unachievable and unnecessary. For sure, though, mandating for one to feel protective of an imaginary character or of a lifeless object is mandating for one to do what many would consider odd. Failing to feel protective of an imaginary character does not normalize failing to feel protective of people. Confining content to fiction is not doing otherwise and, therefore, not normalizing doing otherwise. If it can be said a behavior normalizes itself, then it can be said that doing no harm normalizes doing no harm.

Addendum:

That one will no sooner confuse a person for a doll than expect for a doll to eat breakfast renders doll play as distinguishable from acting out as undressing to shower is from undressing to ride a bus. Undressing to shower does not normalize undressing to ride a bus. There is nothing evil about choosing to confine any activity to harmless, private conduct.

The same goes for cartoons, or imaginary characters.

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It’s not just the UK, unfortunately. Last year in Bavaria 12 climate activists were preventively jailed for 30 days without trial, because the police feared that they might disrupt traffic by protesting.

Freedom, privacy and personal rights are currently being attacked and severely limited in pretty much all western countries, and have been for years.

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Getting back to the main topic, the problem is that people will often ignore studies that go against their own moral narrative. I mentioned that Danish study posted on this site under research, and all I got in response was “opinion disregarded”: https://9anime.gs/watch/kono-subarashii-sekai-ni-bakuen-wo.yqkyp/ep-7 Of course, the person saying so is a self-proclaimed Sexist in his username, so perhaps his opinion is the one to be disregarded.

I also confess that after that dismissal, I too got a bit nasty with my word choices, but we’ve already established that I’m the sort to respond to a slap across a cheek with a right hook… And not necessarily the punch type.

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Fantastic article.
I’m an artist myself and a survivor and genuinely- fiction and kink has helped me to stop viewing CSEM content. It’s been monumental. I wish people stop treating it like CSEM though.

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The most common counterargument is usually “try saying that to a ‘normal’ person IRL”: Reddit - Dive into anything

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I never understand that response.

Do (these) people talk about their sexual interests with random people?

“I don’t care if you enjoy your wife pegging you. Fuck off.”

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I argue the same thing with dolls. It’s my belief in general, a MAP that gets a doll loses interest in most all porn, especially CSEM. To be clear, since you may not be familiar with that topic, it’s seemingly very clear that a child predator has no interest in dolls. They’re not going to invest the time or money. Their only desire is to feed off the fear or only care about their selfish desires. True monsters in my book!

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You forgot another very important one: Resources. They are finite and if we were to dedicate the same amount of effort into a media that is easy to produce then it is obvious that less CSAM will be removed.

Claiming victimless drawings as CSAM, without even using different terminology, leads to a false sense of protection. Nobody will be able to tell how much of these cases dealt with actual children since there is no alternative legal term.

This could lead to actual predators being more save since everyone is busy pursuing drawings. Much broader availability, easier to produce/distribute, so more cases through more visibility. How is this helping anyone?

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But that’s what a lot of people actually want (even if they say otherwise). That’s why in many Asian legal courts, a “guilty” verdict is so favorable. If a person is declared not guilty, either the verdict is false, in which case a criminal goes free, or the verdict is true, in which case, a criminal is still out there. With a guilty verdict, the stupid rabble of the populace get the feeling that a criminal goes away, regardless of whether or not it’s true.

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I agree, banning inanimate objects or drawings created or used with no real people involved is a complete waste of resources. Better to persue the people harming and creating material with real victims rather than fictional stuff.