The University of Manchester (UoM) has confirmed it has launched an investigation following criticism that it allowed a student to publish a “PhD in masturbation”.
For an article recently-published in the Journal of Qualitative Research, PhD student Karl Andersson was conducting research into the “shota” genre of Japanese comic books – which are known for centring around prepubescent or pubescent male characters depicted in a “suggestive or erotic” manner.
In his 4,000-word article – which is titled ‘I am not alone – we are all alone: Using masturbation as an ethnographic method in research on shota subculture in Japan’ – Mr Andersson said he wanted to “understand how [individuals] experience sexual pleasure when reading shota”, and so to do this, he decided to undertake his own research.
He claims that he embarked on a three-month stint of masturbating to the comic books himself, and making notes on each session, the Telegraph reports.
Andersson added that he had recently come out of a long-term relationship when he began his research – which he said contributed to his “willingness and eagerness”.
Outlining the methodology for his research, Andersson explained: “For a period of three months, I would masturbate only to shota comics. For this purpose, I would use dōjinshi and commercial volumes that I have bought or been given during fieldwork in Japan.
“In short: I would masturbate in the same way that my research participants did it. After each masturbation session I would write down my thoughts and feelings – a kind of critical self-reflection – in a notebook, as well as details about which material I had used, where I had done it, at what time, and for how long.”
But shortly after the article was published, Mr Andersson and the University of Manchester came under fire and were berated by both members of the public on social media and politicians – who branded the piece “a PhD on masturbation”.
Conservative MP Neil O’Brien was someone who took particular offence to the publication of the article, taking to Twitter to question: “Why should hard-working taxpayers in my constituency have to pay for an academic to write about his experiences masturbating to Japanese porn?
“The non-STEM side of higher education is just much too big, producing too much that is not socially useful.”
The University of Manchester has since confirmed it has launched an investigation into the publication of the article, with a spokesperson saying in a statement: “The recent publication in Qualitative Research of the work of a student, now registered for a PhD, has raised significant concerns and complaints which we are taking very seriously.
“We are currently undertaking a detailed investigation into all aspects of their work, the processes around it and other questions raised.
“It is very important that we look at the issues in-depth.”
SAGE Journals – which is responsible for the publishing of the Journal of Qualitative Research – has also addressed the criticism it received for allowing the article on its platform, saying it is “aware of concerns”.
Taking to Twitter, SAGE Journals said: “We are aware of concerns about a paper published earlier this year in our journal, Qualitative Research. The article is under investigation, and we will ensure that any actions taken comply with the standards of the Committee of Publication Ethics.”
Featured Image – University of Manchester
Sir David Jason set for TV return in Only Fools and Horses documentary Christmas special
In a surprise bit of festive news, the only and only Sir David Jason is returning for an Only Fools and Horses Christmas special this December. Lovely jubbly!
The best-loved and most-watched British comedy of all time will be back on our screens in documentary form this festive season, with Del Boy himself David Jason revisiting the iconic comedy character after 20 years he last played him on screen.
While the legendary sitcom was broadcast on BBC back in the day, the highly-anticipated Only Fools doc will be airing on Channel 5 right before Christmas as a special one-off programme.
Looking back on the show’s incredible run on UK screens over seven series and the several ‘Christmas Cracker’ specials, specifically, the latest Only Fools and Horses documentary will see Jason and a number of other guests appearing to chat about the legendary show.
While it’s still unclear how many of the original cast will be appearing, Jason’s on-screen wife Tessa Peake-Jones (Raquel) is confirmed to be appearing along with other special guests including newscaster Krishnan Guru-Murthy and Bendiorm‘s Sherrie Hewson.
Sadly, a full theatrical reunion just isn’t on the cards following the deaths of Roger Lloyd Pack (Trigger), Kenneth MacDonald (Mike the Landlord) and Buster Merryfield (Uncle Albert) in the 30 years since the show ended its run.
Only Fools writer John Sullivan also sadly passed away aged 64 in 2011 and fellow co-star Nicholas Lyndhurst, a.k.a. Rodney Trotter, told Metro: “We can’t. John is no longer with us. John was the driving force of the show and we have also lost quite a few cast members now.
“I don’t think I could do it without them and I certainly couldn’t do it without John. At the risk of depressing everyone, I think the last two times I’ve seen David has been at funerals.”
Simply entitled, ‘The Story Of Only Fools And Horses At Christmas’, the 90-minute special is yet to have its broadcast date fully confirmed but you best keep your eyes peeled on the TV guide — we’ll let you know as soon we do.
Jason, 81, has only just recovered from hip surgery earlier this year, so it’ll be nice to see his familiar grin back on our screens.
Right, we’re off to binge a whole series on UK Gold.
Habas restaurant in Manchester announces shock closure – with huge closing-down discount
Habas, the Middle Eastern restaurant launched by the team behind El Gato Negro, has announced its shock closure.
The subterranean restaurant will be going out with a bang though, promising one last knees-up with a big discount.
Habas will be doing 25% off its entire food and drink menu this New Year’s Eve so that fans of the eatery can raise a glass to the Manchester restaurant.
They’re also hoping that Mancs will raise a glass to new beginnings, teasing a brand new concept.
Habas is located at Brown Street in Manchester city centre and has been serving up its Middle Eastern menu since 2021.
It comes from Mills Hill Developments Limited, the company also responsible for El Gato Negro and Canto, fronted by celebrated chef Simon Shaw.
Habas has stressed that its closure ‘is not forever’ as it announces details of its New Year’s Eve closing down party.
You can ring in the new year with a selection of mezze dishes, sharing platters and small plates, feasting on chicken tagine and traditional tzatziki, all 25% off on Sunday 31 December.
Drinks, too, like the cranberry elderflower martini, blackberry ginger smash and clementine daquiri will be with 25% off.
Simon Shaw, Chef Parton at Mills Hill Developments Limited, said: “As of January 2024, we have made the decision to close the doors of Habas Bar & Restaurant, however we are thrilled to announce that our Brown Street venue has an exciting new concept on the way.
“Throughout December, Habas, will continue serving up the city’s best middle-eastern cuisine, so make sure you pop in and see us. AND on New Year’s Eve, Habas, will be hosting an unforgettable celebration with 25% off food and drinks. We want to rejoice with all of our customers, with one final hurrah!
“We would like to thank all of our guests and reassure Habas fans that this is not the end of Habas Bar & Restaurant forever, simply a farewell from Brown Street for now.
“We look forward to welcoming you to our new exciting concept in Q1 of 2024.”