Publication Abstracts (English)

  • Madill, A. & Zhao, Y. (online, 2021). Are female paraphilias hiding in plain sight? Risqué male-male erotica for women in Sinophone and Anglophone regions. Archives of Sexual Behavior. DOI 10.1007/s10508-021-02107-4

    Female-oriented male-male erotica is a genre of popular culture often know as Boys’ Love (BL), yaoi, and danmei. It is one of the largest by-and-for women sexual subcultures and a global phenomenon. With the largest data sets in the field, we ask: Which risqué sexual content do Sinophone (Chinese-speaking) and Anglophone (English-speaking) participants particularly enjoy in BL and does this differ between cultures?; and, Are there sub-demographics in Sinophone and in Anglophone culture who enjoy particular forms of risqué sexual content in BL and do these forms relate also to enjoyment of particular storylines and concern with legal issues? The material studied meets the DSM-5 definition of the paraphilic and little is known about paraphilias in women or in the general population. We analyze using Categorical Principal Component Analysis one 15-response question from our Sinophone (N = 1922) and Anglophone (N = 1715) BL fandom surveys: Which risqué sexual content do you particular enjoy in BL?, and test for associations with seven demographic and other BL content-related questions. Notably, the component structure is nearly replicated between the two independent samples, in order of strength: BDSM Specialist, Mechanoid/Animal Sex Specialist, Underage Sex Specialist, and Minority Paraphilia Specialist. In both samples, it is the avid BL fans and/or those who like explicitly sexual stories, a largely overlapping demographic, who most engage the risqué content while, for the Sinophone, this includes also more nonhetersexual and/or other-gendered people. We conclude that women’s paraphilias have been largely overlooked because they might be expressed more commonly through fantasy than action, that their mass expression has awaited both the means and the market force, and that current conceptualization of, and assumptions about, paraphilias are overly modelled on that of men.

  • Madill, A. & Zhao, Y. (online, 2021). Engagement with female-oriented male-male incest erotica: A Comparison of Sinophone and Anglophone Boys' Love Fandom. Deviant Behavior. DOI: 10.1080/01639625.2021.1891845

    Boys’ Love (BL) is a global by-and-for women genre of youth culture focused on male-on-male sexuality and romance. Incest relationships are not uncommon in BL yet there is no research on what kinds are of most interest to the audience, and with which sub-demographics, and none offer an intercultural comparison. We address this lacuna analyzing data from the largest BL audience survey to date in both Anglophone (N=1715) and Sinophone (N=1922) regions. CATPCA reveals a strikingly similar component structure across the two cultures with a preference hierarchy descending from non-blood relationships, blood intergenerational, then brothers. For both regions, it is the avid fans who tend to consume incest material while, for the Sinophone, it is the less socially-empowered who appear most engaged: women, the other-gendered, and the nonheterosexual. Moreover, Sinophone fans are more concerned about legal issues than are Anglophone. Other subtle cultural differences suggest Sinophone BL fans focus on family rules and roles and the Anglophone on the intimacy of brotherly bonds. As young women have increasing opportunity to create and consume sexuality explicit material geared to their particular tastes and needs, our study provides important information to inform debates about the forms, functions and legislative context around pornography.

  • Madill, A. & Zhao, Y. (2021). Female-oriented male-male erotica: Comparison of the engaged Anglophone demographic and that of the greater China area. Sexuality & Culture, 25(2), 562-583. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12119-020-09783-9

    Our aim is to compare comprehensive data on the engaged demographics of female-oriented male-male erotica in Anglophone regions and that of the greater China area. Our study constitutes the largest such data set in each region (Anglophone N = 1707; Chinese N = 1498). Data were analysed from our online Boys’ Love (BL) fandom survey: one version in English and an almost identical version in Chinese. We confirm that the engaged Anglophone demographic includes more men, people with a wider range of sexual orientations, lower proportion of heterosexual identification, and a wider and older age range. We provide greater detail than ever before and demonstrate engagement with BL by young straight men and questioning of sexual identity by female fans, at least in the Anglophone West. Finally, we provide novel evidence that a broad demographic of young people in the greater China area is familiar with BL as a casual interest in contrast to Anglophone regions where it is more of a niche pass-time. We offer important insights into a global erotic entertainment by-and-for women which is influencing the mainstream but under increasing legislative scrutiny.

  • Madill, A. & Zhao, Y. (2021). Engagement with female-oriented male-male erotica in Mainland China and Hong Kong: Fandom intensity, social outlook, and region. Participations: Journal of Audience & Reception Studies, 18:1 May 2021, 111-131.

    Our aim is to provide robust information on the demographic in Mainland China and Hong Kong who engage with female-oriented male-male erotica (a.k.a., danmei or Boys’ Love [BL]). We ask three novel research questions: Are there differences between (a) ‘casual’ and ‘avid’ danmei fans? (b) danmei fans by social outlook in the sexual sphere (‘Traditional’, ‘Progressive’)?, and (c) danmei fans from Mainland China and from Hong Kong? Questions were selected from our 43-question online BL fandom survey in Chinese and the largest data set of its kind (N=1498). Statistical comparisons provide evidence: of consistency between self-reported fan behaviour and fandom intensity: that avid fans are more likely to report nonhegemonic sexual orientations and to be more ‘Progressive’ than causal fans; the ‘Progressive’ report greater concern with copyright and legal issues while engaging with a wider range of sexual materials than do the ‘Traditional’; and fans from Hong Kong are more likely to report nonhegemonic sexual orientations and to be ‘Progressive’ than those from Mainland China. In conclusion, although materials often perpetuate a heteronormative ideology, avid fans demonstrate a relatively progressive social outlook and engagement in socially-challenging danmei-related activities and we speculate that even casual engagement with danmei may encouraged young people to think critically about the complexities of human sexuality.

  • Madill, A. (2020). The Yaoi/Boys' Love/Danmei Audience. In Encyclopaedia of Gender, Media and Communication, Karen Ross (General Editor), Valentina Cardo (Associate Editor). Wiley-Blackwells.

    Yaoi, boys’ love (BL), and danmei are all popular culture designations for male-male romance and erotica largely by and for women. This entry provides a brief outline and history of the development of yaoi and BL in Japan; slash fiction, yaoi and BL in the West; and danmei in China. Fan-base demographics are provided for Japan, China, and the Anglophone West. Research provides evidence that the fan-base is, indeed, predominantly female and, as often assumed, heterosexual but that the engaged Anglophone demographic has a much ‘queerer’ set of gender and sexual identities that appears to be the case in Japan and China. Challenges for yaoi/BL/danmei culture include legal remedies for copyright infringement and increasing attempts to regulate sexually explicit material on the internet. While male-male romance and erotica by and for women may be interpreted as having feminist and progressive potential, this is not necessarily the stated motivation for engagement by fans. Even so, importantly, danmei culture is credited with helping to raise public awareness of same-sex relationships in China.

  • Madill, A., Zhao, Y., & Fan, L. (2018). Male-male marriage in Sinophone and Anglophone Harry Potter danmei and slash. Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics, 9:5, 418-434.

    The aim of this study is to compare Sinophone and Anglophone fan fiction consisting of female-oriented male-male romance: danmei and slash, respectively. To increase comparability, we analysed Harry Potter fan fiction in which the characters Harry and Draco are married. Male-male marriage was selected because our online Sinophone and Anglophone BL fandom surveys indicate this to be the most popular story element of the nine options we provided. We analysed five stories originally written in Chinese and five originally written in English which subsequently had been fan-translated into Chinese. Using Thematic Analysis (Braun & Clarke, 2006) we found some robust patterns. In contrast to the Anglophone fiction, the Sinophone tended to: stress the importance of family approval for the marriage; incorporate a wedding ceremony; employ clearly gendered roles between partners; utilise extended, as opposed to nuclear, families; and showed the couple to produce children, particularly boys. Hence, the stories mirror the relative social conservatism and social liberalism of their cultures of origin. However, in reading and writing such danmei young Chinese women are still pushing at the boundaries of the traditional family.

  • Zhao, Y. & Madill, A. (2018). The heteronormative frame in Chinese yaoi: Integrating Chinese fan interviews with Sinophone and Anglophone survey data. Journal of Graphic Novels & Comics, 9:5, 435-457.

    This article addresses the research question: How do Chinese Yaoi fans read Yaoi stories? Yaoi is a female-oriented genre of Japanese popular culture which describes romantic and erotic relationships between men. We interviewed twenty Chinese nationals who are self-defined fans of Yaoi (mean age=23.5 years). Although men were not excluded, none volunteered. A Yaoi fandom survey was created in Chinese and in English with five sections: demographics, Yaoi materials, feelings about Yaoi, social relationships, and other erotic materials (Chinese N=1085; Anglophone N=1615). Thematic Analysis of the interviews produced five themes suggesting the existence of a heteronormative frame: social and family approval, everlasting romantic relationship, heteronormative couple, dislike reversible relationship, and gay relationships in reality. We then selected questions from the survey for statistical analysis on the rationale that these items might inform this frame and help us interpret and contextualise the qualitative analysis. Our survey results support our thematic analysis that Chinese Yaoi fans tend to read Yaoi through a heteronormative frame and, importantly, that in comparison with Anglophone fans, this is differential to Chinese culture.

  • Madill, A. (2018). Erotic Manga: Boys’ Love, Shonen-Ai, Yaoi and (MxM) Shotacon (pp.130-140). In C. Smith, F. Attwood, & B. McNair (Eds), Routledge Companion to Media, Sex and Sexuality. London: Routledge.

    North American comics and Japanese manga have influenced each other since at least the end of the Second World War. The centrality of manga in Japanese popular culture, however, can be hard to appreciate given the low status usually afforded comics in the West. Manga have a distinctive history in terms of content, style, and marketing strategy and a symbiotic relationship exists between manga, anime (Japanese animation), gaming, live-action film, and off-shoot merchandising, such that narratives and characters successful in one medium are often repackaged and marketed in others. There is also a considerable amount of amateur manga – dojinshi  – produced by Japanese teenagers, young adults, and even professional mangaka (artist-authors) sold, swapped, or made freely available on the internet and at Comiket and other amateur, comics markets. A significant proportion of dojinshi activity is the production and consumption of yaoi.
    The following sections will describe and contextualise the female-oriented media portraying romantic and sexual relationships between, usually young, men variously known as Boys’ Love, shonen-ai, yaoi, and (male-male) shotacon and often denoted as ‘mxm’ and ‘m/m’. Global, particularly Original English Language, Boys’ Love will also be outlined as will legal issues with regard to these often controversial works.

  • Madill, A. (2018). Rotten girl on rotten girl: Boys' Love 'research' (pp. 263-278). In C. Morris et al. (Eds.), Researching Sex and Sexualities: Methodological Reflections. London: Routledge.

    ‘Fujoshi’ (rotten girl) is a derogatory Japanese term for female fans of homoerotic manga and anime in the genre know as Boys’ Love (BL). BL is a global phenomenon and one of the largest, female-oriented, erotic subcultures. I have underway, what is already, the biggest survey of the Anglophone fandom (https://leeds.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/blfandomsurvey) and have, so far, completed 14 face-to-face and around 100 e-mail interviews. This is the first project I have conducted on sexually explicit material and, although I consider myself to be a fujoshi, I am not, otherwise, a user of pornography/sexually explicit material. In fact, this research has presented a huge challenge to me in terms of becoming more comfortable discussing sexual topics and, even more personally, in making my own investment in male-male sexuality public. This has meant dealing with feelings of embarrassment and shame, but also of relief in finding and communicating with other women who have a similar erotic fantasy life. However, the project has also made me feel, at times, quite anxious given recent UK prohibited images of children legislation. What does BL represent for me that I am willing to put myself through this, spend most of my spare time on it, and is it really ‘research’?

  • Madill, A. (2017). Men on the market: Feminist analysis of age-stratified male-male romance in Boys’ Love manga. Studies in Comics, 7.2, 265-287.

    Male–male sexuality is the central trope of Boys’ Love (BL) manga with stories tending to revolve around a central uke-seme (‘bottom’–‘top’) pair. Although focused on men, BL is produced and consumed primarily by women. This article presents, from an anglophone British perspective, analysis of age-stratified male–male romance – paederasty – as portrayed in BL. My corpus consists of 234 commercially-translated original Japanese BL manga stories, created by 100 different mangaka (author-artists), published commercially in English between 2003 and 2012. A total of 68 (30%) of these stories were identified as involving agestratified relationships, eight of which were selected for detailed analysis. Seven were selected for typicality: Waru (2007) by Yukari Hashida deemed the most typical. Fangs (2008) by Hiroki Kusumoto was also included in analysis as the most atypical age-stratified story in order to test the robustness of identified patterns. I argue that that, from an anglophone perspective, the characteristic themes of age-stratified BL map surprising well onto the eroticised intra-familial dynamics of Freud and the intra- and inter-familial economics of Lévi-Strauss. The patterns identified are evidenced and discussed under the following headings: the mother identified son, the doubly divested man, the castrated father, men on the market and the mother with the phallus. These themes help build and substantiate my argument that age-stratified BL might work, within an anglophone context at least, as a feminist critique of patriarchy through the mechanism of phallic divestiture.

  • Madill, A. (2016). Even better than the real thing: Fantasy and phantasy in Boys’ Love manga (pp. 68-84). In Jude Roberts & Esther MacCallum-Stewart (eds), Gender and Sexuality in Contemporary Popular Fantasy: Beyond Boy Wizards and Kick-Ass Chicks. London: Routledge.

    Extract:-
    Almost Crying: The ‘Doll’ in Non-Fantasy Boys’ Love
    In order to understand some of the specific affordances of the fantasy genre for BL, it is useful to compare Hybrid Child with a non-fantasy BL story with the same central ‘doll’ trope. Almost Crying by Mako Takahashi was first published in Japanese in 2002 and in English in 2006. It is a one-book manga consisting of eight separate stories all set in a seemingly contemporary Japan with improbable, but non-fantastical, plots. In Celluloid Closet , Takaido has lost his beloved doll and is overjoyed to find her in the Lily -look-a-like Sakurada.
    Celluloid Closet: Sakurada and Takaido
    No, not just like her. He is her! Ever since my Lily mysteriously disappeared from my closet, I’ve been searching for her! This is a fated reunion! Of course I had to hug her!

  • Madill, A. (2015). Boys’ Love manga for girls: Paedophilic, satirical, queer readings and English law (pp. 273-288). In E. Reynold, J. Ringrose, & R. D. Egan (Eds), Children, Sexuality and Sexualisation. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

    Boys’ Love (BL) is a genre of Japanese manga portraying romantic and sexual relationships between, sometimes controversially, young men. It is largely produced and consumed by young women and is available in translation worldwide. The English legal context relevant to BL is outlined, with emphasis on Prohibited Images of Children legislation (Section 63 Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008), and three readings of a BL yonkoma are offered: paedophilic, satirical, and queer. It is argued that the young female readers of BL problematise the legislative invitation to a single, literal, paedophilic reading of suspicious texts and the position that the intended audience is unimportant. It is concluded to be important to understand how intelligible, meaningful, non-paedophilic frames are available for reading non-realistic, erotic texts involving visually young characters and that BL with sexual content partakes of a distinct imaginary space that might be termed explicit romance or sensitive pornography.

Publication Abstracts (Chinese)

  • 女性‘性倒错(性偏离)’一窥? 中西方女性对耽美特殊情色元素的消费差异

    Madill, A. & Zhao, Y. (online, 2021). Are female paraphilias hiding in plain sight? Risqué male-male erotica for women in Sinophone and Anglophone regions. Archives of Sexual Behavior. DOI 10.1007/s10508-021-02107-4

    耽美作品作为女性创作和消费的重要载体,在全球范围内已经成为了女性文化的重要组成部分。而女性创作和消费的情色元素也一直备受关注,基于大样本量的调查,我们不禁问,在耽美文化消费上,中文读者与西方(英语为主)的读者在情色元素消费偏好、在故事类型、以及其合法性的考虑上有什么异同。性倒错通常在影视剧中被塑造成有严重危害,极端攻击性、以及重大缺陷的病理性问题,总是和杀人狂、食人癖联系在一起。但是无论文艺作品还是学术研究对于女性的性欲倒错都知之甚少。同时值得注意的是,在DSM-5中一般性的欲倒通常只是指任何非正常化异性恋情况下的性行为。笔者通过类别主成分分析方法将分析中文受众(N=1922)与英文受众(N=1715)关于耽美消费品中特殊元素的偏好,并且分析其与人口统计学以及其他内容偏好相关的问题。值得注意的是组建结构在两个独立样本之间几乎相同,根据显著程度依次是BDSM,人工智能或动物的性偏好,幼龄向的性偏好,以及其他特殊少数返场性偏好。在两组样本中都显示深度粉丝、偏好露骨作品的读者更多地涉猎带有特殊元素的作品;此外在汉语受众中,非异性恋者和性别认知模糊的读者更偏好此类作品。 我们因此得出以下结论,女性的性偏离被严重忽视,因为女性的性偏离可能更多的表现在幻想而非实际行为中,目前女性有了更多的渠道以及自由消费和表达自己的幻想。但是当前性偏离的概念和假设都过度地基于男性,因此更需要我们深度挖掘和理解女性的性偏离或性倒错。

     

  • 中国耽美文化中的异性恋范式:综合分析理解中国采访数据以及中英问卷的数据

    Madill, A. & Zhao, Y. (online, 2021). Engagement with female-oriented male-male incest erotica: A Comparison of Sinophone and Anglophone Boys’ Love Fandom. Deviant Behavior. DOI: 10.1080/01639625.2021.1891845

    本文研究的主要问题是中国的耽美受众们如何阅读耽美故事。我们采访了20位女性中国受众(平均年龄=23.5岁),研究过程中我们并未刻意排除男性,但是没有找到主动参与的男性受访者。采访问题基于我们现有的中英文网络问卷,其中包含五个部分,人口统计学信息,涉猎耽美作品的形式和类型,对耽美作品的偏好及感受,个人社会关系,以及对其他情色消费品的涉猎情况,目前收集了1085份中文回执以及1615份英文回执。访谈内容根据主题分析方法(Thematic Analysis)分为了五个主题包括社会和家庭对关系的认可,永恒持久的浪漫关系,异性恋模式的恋情,对可逆关系的厌恶,以及对现实中同性恋的认识,表明在中国的耽美做品中性恋霸权的基本框架始终存在。我们从问卷的相关问题进行数据分析也帮助我们进一步理解采访内容。数据分析结果与采访主题分析相一致,表明中国耽美受众相比于英文耽美受众在消费内容和偏好上都受到了异性恋规范的影响。

  • 女性向男男情色作品:对英语地区以及大华语地区的受众比较

    Madill, A. & Zhao, Y. (2021). Female-oriented male-male erotica: Comparison of the engaged Anglophone demographic and that of the greater China area. Sexuality & Culture, 25(2), 562-583. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12119-020-09783-9

    此研究的目的是比较英语地区与大华语地区女性向男男情色作品受众的人口统计学综合数据。我们的研究包含了此类数据的最大样本量(英文受众N=1707;华语受众N=1498),来自于我们中英文版本的网络问卷。分析发现,在相比华语受众,英文受众中有更多男性,性取向范围更广,更多的非异性恋群体,以及更广的年龄范围更广更大。我们的研究提供了比既往研究更多的细节,证明了在西方的年轻异性恋男性也消费BL,并且回答了关于女性受众性向的疑问。我们还提供了全新的证据表明在华语地区,大部分BL受众将其作为一种更为随意的兴趣,而在主要的英语地区,它则是更受粉丝推崇热爱占据更多时间的爱好。我们的研究数据洞察到全球的女性向情色娱乐既在逐步影响主流价值也越来越多的受到仔细的合法性审查。

  • 比较中国大陆和中国香港对耽美作品的消费:粉丝认同,社会观念,和地区

    Madill, A. & Zhao, Y. (2021). Engagement with female-oriented male-male erotica in Mainland China and Hong Kong: Fandom intensity, social outlook, and region. Participations: Journal of Audience & Reception Studies, 18:1 May 2021, 111-131.

    我们的研究目标是提供有关中国内地和中国相关在耽美受众群在人口统计学方面的可靠信息。我们提出了三个主要问题 (1)在随意和狂热的受众之间有什么区别;(2)在性别观念上有什么异同;(3)中国内地与中国香港的耽美受众有什么异同?问题选自笔者自编的网络问卷其中包含43个关于耽美受众的人口统计学以及社会和性别观念的问题,并有最大的同类数据集(N=1498)。统计数据说明:粉丝行为与粉丝强度是一致的;狂热的粉丝更有可能自我认同非异性恋霸权的性取向;社会观念上比普通受众要更为开放;而开放的受众比传统的受众更关注版权以及其他法律问题;同时偏向于涉猎更广泛的情色作品;香港的受众比大陆粉丝更倾向于认同非异性恋霸权的性取向并且具有更开放的社会观念。总之,虽然耽美作品通常依旧延续异性恋的主流意识形态,但是狂热的粉丝表现出更开放的社会和性别意识,而相对随意的粉丝也在涉猎耽美作品的过程中不断的探索和思考人类性别的复杂性。

  • 男性结婚主题在中英文哈利波特同人文的表现

    Madill, A., Zhao, Y., & Fan, L. (2018). Male-male marriage in Sinophone and Anglophone Harry Potter danmei and slash. Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics, 9:5, 418-434.

    本研究的目的是比较中文英文耽美小说中浪漫元素的构成,笔者分别抽取了五个中文以及五个英文翻译的以哈利波特和德拉科作为主要角色并且结婚的故事进行比较。选取结婚或者婚礼作为重要的筛选指标,是因为在此前问卷中发现这是最受中西方读者欢迎的故事元素。笔者通过主题分析(Thematic analysis)发现华语小说倾向强调家庭对婚姻认可的重要性,重视婚礼仪式的表现,在两个角色中表现出明确的性别特点,偏好大家族模式,并且喜欢孩子,尤其偏好男孩。 通过有限的故事选取以及分析,一定程度上反映了中国相对保守的社会文化。即使如此,中国的女性耽美作者以及读者仍在试图探索和突破传统家庭的边界。

     

     

  • 中国耽美文化中的异性恋范式:综合分析理解中国采访数据以及中英问卷的数据

    Zhao, Y. & Madill, A. (2018). The heteronormative frame in Chinese yaoi: Integrating Chinese fan interviews with Sinophone and Anglophone survey data. Journal of Graphic Novels & Comics, 9:5, 435-457.

    本文研究的主要问题是中国的耽美受众们如何阅读耽美故事。我们采访了20位女性中国受众(平均年龄=23.5岁),研究过程中我们并未刻意排除男性,但是没有找到主动参与的男性受访者。采访问题基于我们现有的中英文网络问卷,其中包含五个部分,人口统计学信息,涉猎耽美作品的形式和类型,对耽美作品的偏好及感受,个人社会关系,以及对其他情色消费品的涉猎情况,目前收集了1085份中文回执以及1615份英文回执。访谈内容根据主题分析方法(Thematic Analysis)分为了五个主题包括社会和家庭对关系的认可,永恒持久的浪漫关系,异性恋模式的恋情,对可逆关系的厌恶,以及对现实中同性恋的认识,表明在中国的耽美做品中性恋霸权的基本框架始终存在。我们从问卷的相关问题进行数据分析也帮助我们进一步理解采访内容。数据分析结果与采访主题分析相一致,表明中国耽美受众相比于英文耽美受众在消费内容和偏好上都受到了异性恋规范的影响。