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When did “loli” come to refer almost
exclusively to prepubescent girls, not
just girls who are young?
I think the current usage is far from its origin.
“Loli” is a shortening of “lolicon” which in
itself is a shortening of “Lolita complex”.
Lolita complex is of course taken from the title
of the 1955 novel Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov.
It’s been a while since I’ve read the book
but I am pretty certain the eponymous Lolita is at
least pubescent. I’m reasonably certain
she possesses secondary sex characteristics.
What terminology do we use to discuss “classical”
lolis? Most of the stuff I see suggested falling
under the term “loli” contains what I would
consider to be children, not lolitas.
Sexualization of minors is seen be some as a problem prevalent in Japan. This particular brand of sexualization is known as Lolicon which is the attraction to prepubescent girls, particularly in anime and manga.
Lolicon didn’t become a recognized genre until the 1970’s when fan artists depicted their favorite female characters of the time as underage girls.
There is still ongoing debate within Japanese society about its harmful effects, some dubbing it as a “sickness”, while other individuals find no problem with continuing the practice. Regardless, it is still easy to see it on the streets in Japan, with convenience stores selling magazines containing lolicon imagery.