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The term Lolicon originates from Japanese slang, as a contraction of the wasei-eigo term Lolita complex and refers to drawn, eroticised representations of mainly preteen girls. There exists an unusual stalemate over the nature of such depictions, with many commentators and artists claiming they bare no relation to pedophilia. The line between 2D or fictional characters (nijikon) and attraction to real girls is less apparent in Japanese culture, particularly in the public image outside of otaku subcultures, with the word lolicon sometimes used colloquially for attraction to young or preteen girls in general. While it could be said these attempts at normalization as a 2D exclusive attraction have been more successful within Japanese culture (as compared to the Anglosphere, where they are ridiculed by the mainstream and most MAPs), it is more likely in part due to the somewhat less taboo nature and different cultural views of the subject in general.

A term sometimes used among MAPs to refer to western lolicons taking a hardline stance on the divide between 2D characters and attraction to real girls (for example claims that "lolicon has absolutely nothing to do with pedophilia"), is ironic lolicon, particularly if coupled with ostensible distancing from and hatred of pedophiles.

Shotacon is similar drawn material depicting boys.


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