Publication Details

McLelland, M & Yoo, S, The international Yaoi boys’ love fandom and the regulation of virtual child pornography: current legislation and its implications, Journal of Sexuality Research and Social Policy, 4(1), 2007, 93-104. Copyright University of California Press 2007. Original item available here


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”. Current legislation has been drafted with adult male pedophiles in mind in an attempt to stop harm to real children. However, the paper points out that the legislation also inadvertently criminalizes a large, predominantly female fandom of manga fans who use the Internet to participate in online fan clubs dedicated to a Japanese manga genre known as yaoi, which celebrates the love shared between fictional “beautiful boys.” It is suggested 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 and supportive environment.



Link to publisher version (DOI)