Individuals in each group respond sexually to visual images of children and young people in distinct and narrow age ranges. She speculated that, "It may be that the image of happy girls selling themselves voluntarily cancels out the other guilty image". Some lolicon manga cross over with other erotic genres, such as crossdressing and futanari. Additionally, lolicon can include themes of lesbianism and masturbation. However, there is disagreement if this definition also applies to childlike characters who are not clearly prepubescent and if it applies to material lacking explicit sexual content.
Patrick Galbraith asserts that Minky Momo was an attempt to court lolicon fans. Schodt and Dinah Zank both suggest that Japanese laws prohibiting the depiction of pubic hair may have encouraged the spread of "erotic manga with a rorikon flavor". Schodt has suggested that one reason lolicon manga is popular with some fans is because the female characters portrayed are "younger, slightly softer, [and] rarely possessing an in-your-face aggressive feminism" which is often found in female characters in American comics.
The Tokyo High Court ruled Miyazaki sane, stating that "the murders were premeditated and stemmed from Miyazaki's sexual fantasies "  and he was executed by hanging for his crimes on June 17, Legal status of drawn pornography depicting minors The legal status of lolicon manga and anime that portray children involved erotically with adults has changed with time and is currently under intensive debate in Japan. Galbraith feels that this is not an argument that lolicon "compensates for or relieves real desires", but instead that lolicon imagery does not "reflect the desires" of readers, or inspire them to commit crimes.
He states that in the otaku culture, lolicon is the "most convenient [form of rebellion]" against society. Azuma says that some otaku feel so "excluded from society" that they "feel as if they are the sort of 'no good' person who should be attracted to little girls". When questioning the relationship of lolicon to "finding children in real life sexually attractive", Goode presents the argument of a lolicon fan "that even if I could be classified as a kind of anime lolicon, it'd NEVER translate into RL pedophilia.
Kinsella distinguished between the attitudes toward gender of amateur lolicon manga and that of male fans of girls' manga. Ito views the preference for young girls as sex objects in manga and anime to be due to a change in Japanese society in the s and s. Ito says that at that time, boys felt that girls were "surpassing them in terms of willpower and action". However, as the boys believed girls to be the weaker sex, the boys began focusing on young girls "who were 'easy to control'".
Additionally, the young girls of lolicon exist in the media, which Ito points out is a place where one can control things however they want. Castle of Cagliostro, Hayao Miyazaki criticized the lolicon artists and fans who idolize her in what he considers a demeaning manner. He differentiates his female protagonists , labeling those the aforementioned idolized, according to The Otaku Encyclopedia, "as pets".