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Straight shotacon features young boys, but includes women or girls as pairs for them. In anime, straight shotacon themes are far more common than homosexual ones. Many prominent series, notably FLCL, Negima! Pitaten, include scenes where older women press themselves on boys. Like lolicon, shotacon often depicts children in sexual situations with adults. While the shotacon community argues that drawn art is protected under freedom of speech, critics claim shotacon is a direct offshoot of child pornography and may lead to child sexual abuse, though there is no evidence or documented cases to back this claim. Shotacon has dubious legality in most parts of the world.
The sale of shotacon is outlawed and punishable by imprisonment in some regions of Japan, but is legal in others. The United States PROTECT act of 2003 prohibited obscene or sexual drawings of children, while the Supreme Court in Ashcroft v. Free Speech Coalition ruled that such legislation is unconstitutional. In the anime and manga series, Shōtarō is a bold, self-assertive young detective who frequently outwits adult adversaries and helps to solve cases. Throughout the series, Shōtarō develops close adult friends, and acts within the adult would despite being a young boy. His bishounen cute embodied and formed the term “shotacon”, putting a name to an old sexual subculture.