For an article recently-published in the Journal of Qualitative Research, PhD student Karl Andersson – who was attending the University of Manchester (UoM), but has since been suspended by the insitution – 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 was 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”.
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 reported.
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”.
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”.
Following the huge uproar online, the article was removed and then retracted by the Journal of Qualitative Research, and the University of Manchester has since launched its own investigation into the matter, as well as suspending Andersson as a precautionary measure pending the outcome of the full investigation.
A spokesperson for Greater Manchester Police confirmed that it has also opened an investigation.
“We are working closely with the University of Manchester, who are assisting us with our enquiries to establish what, if any, offences have been committed,” GMP told Research Professional News.
In a statement published on 22 August, UoM said it had now completed the initial phase of the investigation, explaining: “We are examining all aspects of the student’s work and academic supervision, the origin of the article, his prior background, the associated university processes for admission to our PGR programme and research conduct, and other questions that have been raised.”
The university said it was also helping GMP to establish if offences had been committed “in the UK or elsewhere”.
UoM confirmed from its initial phase of investigations that although Andersson was registered for a PhD at the university, the research design which he proposed for his PhD was rejected by the University Research Ethics Committee on 17 June 2022.
The university said it was not aware of the background information on the student.
It said that the case has “highlighted that we must ensure our PhD student recruitment processes are sufficiently robust to appropriately scrutinise the legal, ethical and safeguarding issues of the proposed research and applicants’ prior related activities where relevant.”
Featured Image – GMP
Incredible misty drone footage shows how Manchester earned its ‘Manctopia’ nickname
Drone footage captured from way above Manchester shows just how quickly the city has grown – and proves that our hometown is well on its way to earning its ‘Manctopia’ nickname.
Cast your mind back just a few years and you’ll remember that Beetham Tower stuck out like a sore thumb, towering many storeys above the next tallest building.
In fact, until just four years ago, the next-tallest building here was City Tower, which was a good 17 storeys shorter than Beetham Tower.
Then along came Renaker with visions for an entirely new skyscraper neighbourhood – Deansgate Square.
This group of skyscrapers now completely dominate the Manchester skyline, with the tallest building a massive 65 storeys tall.
South Tower is not only the tallest building in Greater Manchester, it’s also the 10th tallest in the entire UK, and the biggest outside of London.
It’s all led to Manchester being coined ‘Manctopia’, the name of a BBC documentary that followed property developers Capital & Centric as they redevelop buildings around the region.
One local photographer has managed to capture the unbelievable scale of our new, ultra-modern city skyline, with drone footage soaring among the skyscrapers.
Known on Instagram as @lef_tsotour, they shared a video taken on a misty Manchester morning.
It captures both Deansgate Square, with sun glinting off the many windows of the towers, and the now-dwarfed Beetham Tower.
You can also see the railway lines snaking through the city centre, cars nipping around the ring road, and the comparatively small apartment blocks around Castlefield.
Commenting on the video, one person said: “This is mint.”
Another wrote: “Fricken love this!!!!”
Featured image: @lef_tsotour
Question Time audience stunned as first-time buyer says mortgage quote DOUBLED
Thursday night’s Question Time audience could be heard audibly gasping after a fellow crowd member revealed that her mortgage quote had doubled followed the recent mini-budget.
Taping in Manchester on 29 September, the current events and politics programme was discussing property when would-be first-time buyer Rabia revealed that her mortgage offer had jumped from an initial amount of 4.5% interest to a shocking 10.5% in just a matter of days.
As you can see in the incredible clip, both the audience and the panel are taken aback at the revelation.
The Greater Manchester resident said she is desperate to know what the government’s plan for mortgages is as following the latest revision, she says she simply cannot afford to put the money down on her first home.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer weighed in on the social media reaction, quote tweeting the clip from his party’s own account and stating that “the Tories must get back to Parliament and reverse their kamikaze budget” as the current economic mess is being “paid for by working people”.
To make matters worse, Rabia was given no clarification from her lenders, only that they were pulling her offers. Conservative MP and Minister for Local Government, Faith and Communities, Paul Scully had little information to offer her either, simply stating it is a short-term effect and that the market will stabilise.
Scully was subject to an entirely different reaction from the audience as well after his blind attempts to defend Prime Minister Liz Truss and Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng were met with laughter. Conversely, Richard Bacon was met with applause after he labelled the mini-budget “absurd”.
As if the anti-Tory sentiment wasn’t already at a high, the chancellor’s mini-budget – which saw the corporations, bankers and the generally wealthy benefit ahead of the working class – has seen fresh calls for a general election to be held as soon as possible.
Beyond declaring a so-called £2,500 limit on energy bills (which many have warned isn’t a guaranteed cap), there was seemingly very little in the way of policy that
For those still unclear as to what was announced in the divisive mini-budget, here is a quick summary:
Speaking in a speech at the Labour conference in Liverpool on Tuesday, Starmer said that the government “haven’t just failed to fix the roof, they’ve ripped out the foundations, smashed the windows and now they’ve blown the doors off for good measure.