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posted by martyb on Wednesday June 06 2018, @04:07PM   Printer-friendly
from the positronic-incel dept.

Health researchers have published an editorial examining research related to the use of sex robots:

Science fiction aside, advanced sex robots are currently heating up the market, with several companies now offering more and more life-like artificial partners, mostly ones mimicking women. Skeptics fear the desirable droids could escalate misogyny and violence against women, ignite deviant urges in pedophiles, or further isolate the sexually frustrated. Sexbot makers, on the other hand, have been pumping their health claims into advertisements, including that the amorous androids could reduce the spread of sexually transmitted disease, aid in sex therapies, and curb deviant desires in pedophiles and other sex offenders.

So far, those claims are "rather specious," according to health researchers Chantal Cox-George of St George's University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in London and Susan Bewley of King's College London. In an editorial [DOI: 10.11336/bmjsrh-2017-200012] [DX] published Monday in BMJ Sexual & Reproductive Health, the pair highlight that there are virtually no studies that help bang out the validity of the many health arguments surging around sexbots—arguments both for and against them.

That data dry-spell doesn't let doctors off the hook, though, Cox-George and Bewley write. They call for researchers to get busy setting up studies that will nail the answers. In the meantime, "an absence of evidence does not excuse the medical profession from discussing and debating the issues, as there will inevitably be consequences for physical, mental and social well-being."

Sex technology is already an estimated $30 billion industry, they note. At least four companies are now making adult female sexbots, costing $5,000 to $50,000, and at least one is making "pedobots." The mannequins come with variable ages, features, and even programmable personalities, along with customizable oral, vaginal, and anal openings. Male sexbots are said to be in the works.

An Australian forensic criminologist goes further, speculating that "pedobots" may be illegal down under (archive):

Sexbots, and that includes pedobots, have been developed to allow users to play out sexual fantasies. In the child sexual abuse cases I have worked on, you see an escalation in activity in some cases—from an offender sourcing online child sexual abuse material, to actively seeking a physical interaction with a child when the online material does not bring the same sexual gratification. Pedobots could easily fit into this continuum of escalation.

It's also worth highlighting that Australia's legal definition of child pornography (material that describes or depicts a person under 16 years of age, or who appears to be less than 16, in a manner that would offend a reasonable adult) does not capture all images or representations that someone with an interest in children may find sexually arousing. With no evidence to the contrary, my experience tells me that the sexualization of children—be that in cartoons, songs, robots, or whatever form—will increase the desires of some who find children attractive, and put more children at risk, not less.

[...] It remains debatable whether pedobots would fall under the category of child pornography. As the law stands, child pornography can be created without directly involving a real person—child sexual abuse material can include images, text, and three-dimensional objects. This would appear to include pedobots. However, the notion of a life-like child robot produced for the sexual gratification of adults, I would argue, would offend most reasonable adults.

Should a harmless activity (fooling around with a sex robot) be banned for its potential to cause "escalation"? Should "pedobot" buyers get added to a watchlist?


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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 06 2018, @04:11PM (37 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 06 2018, @04:11PM (#689361)

    Nothing can go wrong, go wrong, go wrong, go wrong...

  • (Score: 3, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 06 2018, @04:13PM (36 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 06 2018, @04:13PM (#689362)

    We need to outlaw these before we're overrun by incels. Incels should be taken out back and shot before they can have children.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by takyon on Wednesday June 06 2018, @04:38PM (19 children)

      by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Wednesday June 06 2018, @04:38PM (#689374) Journal

      Mass media have been running articles and editorials about banning sex bots (see TFA or other comment) for at least a couple of years now, but I don't think many have stopped to consider what it would mean to incel communities if harmless sex robots were banned. Aside: "using a sex robot encourages rape/pedophilia/misogyny" is a stupid argument for and by normies. You could use similar arguments to ban encryption, cryptocurrency, safe recreational drugs, etc.

      https://campaignagainstsexrobots.org [campaignagainstsexrobots.org]

      https://www.feministcurrent.com/2017/04/27/sex-robots-epitomize-patriarchy-offer-men-solution-threat-female-independence/ [feministcurrent.com]

      My guess is that it would really accelerate discontent and cause a wave of mass murders.

      Nobody needs a sex robot to get off, but it's just funny that the incels would be denied real sex (whether or not it is truly "involuntary" is debatable, but they believe it is if they identify that way) and then on top of that be denied sex with a sufficiently advanced doll. You can't spend your slave wages (obviously, these people aren't successful "Chads" [harvard.edu]) on a moving doll, because it could make you more of a gross meanie to real people!

      The optics of that are so bad. They will feel like they are under siege.

      Aside from all that, it would also be funny to see underground smuggling of robot parts, which could happen if either sex bots or "pedobots" are banned.

      --
      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
      • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 06 2018, @04:58PM (2 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 06 2018, @04:58PM (#689388)

        They will feel like they are under siege.

        That's why we need to kill them first. Additionally, without sex robots, they might start relationships with incel women that could lead to incel children, and then we'd be overrun by incel womb warfare! Or with sex robots, maybe they won't be satisfied and that's what will cause them to start marrying each other and having children! We can't allow incels to breed!

        I say let's get Dolores Abernathy on the case. Kill all incel men, women, and children!

        • (Score: 1, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 06 2018, @06:21PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 06 2018, @06:21PM (#689447)

          hey might start relationships with incel women

          You are such a stupid moron that it's hard to comprehend.

          • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Azuma Hazuki on Wednesday June 06 2018, @06:33PM

            by Azuma Hazuki (5086) on Wednesday June 06 2018, @06:33PM (#689460) Journal

            He's trolling, not dumb (or, well, he *is* dumb, but in this case he's dumb because he thinks this is funny...).

            --
            I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
      • (Score: 5, Touché) by nitehawk214 on Wednesday June 06 2018, @05:45PM (13 children)

        by nitehawk214 (1304) on Wednesday June 06 2018, @05:45PM (#689418)

        Amusing. Using their logic, dildos should be banned too. In fact, I am willing to bet the same people that want to ban sex robots are probably the same people that think dildos make men redundant and somehow free women from the patriarchy.

        --
        "Don't you ever miss the days when you used to be nostalgic?" -Loiosh
        • (Score: 5, Funny) by bob_super on Wednesday June 06 2018, @06:26PM

          by bob_super (1357) on Wednesday June 06 2018, @06:26PM (#689452)

          Dildos free women from men (somehow).
          Sex dolls free men from women (to some limited extent).
          To get back to the Westworld parallel, what are we gonna do when dildos and sex dolls free each other from creepy humans ? We'd have to find a human to have good sex with ? That's just insane !

        • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Thexalon on Wednesday June 06 2018, @08:01PM (1 child)

          by Thexalon (636) on Wednesday June 06 2018, @08:01PM (#689513)

          I'm guessing the people hating sexbots would in fact like to ban both dildos and fleshlights, because they believe sexual activity for fun is evil.

          And the fact is, their "escalation" model seems to be based on the idea that there's no such thing as a sexually satisfied person, and it's only laws, social norms, and an inability to get partners that prevents us all from being completely deviant perverts. I don't buy that: There are millions of people who are banging one or more willing adults who don't start developing an interest in kinkier stuff.

          --
          The only thing that stops a bad guy with a compiler is a good guy with a compiler.
          • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Friday June 08 2018, @12:04AM

            by bob_super (1357) on Friday June 08 2018, @12:04AM (#690124)

            My favorite part is the fallacy, expressed in the Guardian article linked way below, that sex robots lead to normalization of dangerous behavior with real people (the article, written by a woman, says that all dolls are bought by men, and she implies that men will lose the habit of being refused consent).
            I'm pretty sure that, for the first time in civilization, men, now guaranteed to get laid at will, and therefore likely satiated, will potentially be a lot more civilized towards women they interact with.

        • (Score: 0) by fakefuck39 on Wednesday June 06 2018, @09:13PM (9 children)

          by fakefuck39 (6620) on Wednesday June 06 2018, @09:13PM (#689556)

          Who is this "they" - the comment to which you replied talks about many groups of people. What is being talked about is sex robots that resemble little children, and this does not exclude any sex. This is not about, nor does it relate to a dildo in any way - it would however have something to do with a lifelike squeezable naked 5 year old boy doll that has a dildo attached, being sold with "have sex with a lifelike little boy doll." ads. Or girl - same thing really for a 5 year old, just flip her over and it's a boy.

          Irrelevant of what side of the issue I am on, no - the "they" who want to ban these sex dolls are not the "they" that support unattached dildos. Life-like underage stuff has been the topic of law for a long time, with places like the UK actually putting people in prison for underage rape cartoons and comic books. That doesn't mean ugly people with bad teeth think dildos make men redundant. The magic made-up connection here could only be dreamed up by some idiot who has no actual point to make but still wants to say something - for attention. By some idiot like you.

          • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 06 2018, @09:37PM (7 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 06 2018, @09:37PM (#689568)

            Life-like underage stuff has been the topic of law for a long time, with places like the UK actually putting people in prison for underage rape cartoons and comic books.

            Well, places like the UK are insanely authoritarian, so this is no surprise. They don't care one bit about freedom of speech or freedom in general.

            Of course sex robots with the appearance of children shouldn't be banned, since they're not real children. Saying that this will somehow "cause" the people that have them to go out and rape real children is as insane as Jack Thompson arguing that violent video games make people violent. They have zero quality evidence to support anything they say, and they don't believe in personal responsibility.

            • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Wednesday June 06 2018, @11:45PM (6 children)

              by bob_super (1357) on Wednesday June 06 2018, @11:45PM (#689625)

              > Of course sex robots with the appearance of children shouldn't be banned, since they're not real children.
              > (...)
              > They have zero quality evidence to support anything they say, and they don't believe in personal responsibility.

              Not banned, but maybe registered?
              "look, we'd rather you take your impulses out on a kid-shaped piece of silicone and rubber, but since you are the kind of person who needs to discharge your impulses out on a kid-shaped piece of silicone and rubber, we'd like you to remember that we know that, in case you starting having issues getting your rocks off on just silicone and rubber."
              Most places register guns, just in case something bad happens...

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 07 2018, @12:24AM (4 children)

                by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 07 2018, @12:24AM (#689643)

                Not banned, but maybe registered?

                I don't see why being sexually attracted to something should cause you to be on some list. Just because someone is sexually attracted to a group of people does not mean that they also want to rape that group of people. A sexual attraction and a willingness to rape are two different things, because otherwise you could argue that anyone who experiences sexual attraction is a potential rapist and should therefore be on a list. It is technically true that anyone is a potential rapist in the sense that the possibility is non-zero, but no one makes a big deal out of that like they do with pedophiles. It's likely that people can't stay rational because of the 'ick factor'.

                And maybe using encryption should get you on a list, since bad guys use that too. It probably already does, but the fact that it gets you on a list needs to be made more official.

                • (Score: 3, Interesting) by bob_super on Thursday June 07 2018, @12:51AM (3 children)

                  by bob_super (1357) on Thursday June 07 2018, @12:51AM (#689651)

                  which part of "kind of person who needs to discharge your impulses out on a kid-shaped piece of silicone and rubber" did not register with you ?
                  Being sexually attracted is one thing, and there are plenty of harmless ways to cope with it. When you get to the point where you have to go beyond the amazingly diverse offerings of the porn industry, and into the icky territory of realistic children sex dolls, that puts you into the "potential danger" range in my book. I said I'd rather let it happen, with a requirement that you be known by the state that you need this (and maybe the need to be prescribed by a medical professional). It's a rational deterrent in exchange for a crutch.

                  Encryption has plenty of very legitimate uses by everyone. Kiddie Real Dolls could be at most a treatment for people with problematic impulses. Terrible analogy.

                  • (Score: 2) by takyon on Thursday June 07 2018, @02:26AM

                    by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Thursday June 07 2018, @02:26AM (#689685) Journal

                    I was kidding when I asked if "pedobot" buyers should get added to a watchlist.

                    It's no crime, and there should be no list. If need be they can just build it themselves and avoid the list.

                    --
                    [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
                  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 07 2018, @08:37AM

                    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 07 2018, @08:37AM (#689774)

                    Being sexually attracted is one thing, and there are plenty of harmless ways to cope with it.

                    The harmless ways tend to be banned.

                    When you get to the point where you have to go beyond the amazingly diverse offerings of the porn industry

                    Ah, I see the problem. For your information, child porn is among those things that are already banned, so no, there are no offerings of the (legal) porn industry.

                    Because, unlike a piece of rubber, child porn is made from real children. So, while porn reduces rape, and thus child porn would reduce child rape, but looking at it from a numbers perspective (few child rapes is better than many) is frowned upon, so we outlaw child porn as well as child rape, even though that may result in pedos thinking "why download child porn, when it's just as illegal as a real child".

                  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 08 2018, @01:57AM

                    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 08 2018, @01:57AM (#690155)

                    which part of "kind of person who needs to discharge your impulses out on a kid-shaped piece of silicone and rubber" did not register with you ?

                    The part where it's not an actual kid.

                    Being sexually attracted is one thing, and there are plenty of harmless ways to cope with it.

                    Such as having sex with a doll, which isn't a real person and harms no one. Having sex with a child-like doll does not mean you intend to rape a real child. If you are unable to tell the difference between a doll and a human being, the problem lies with you.

                    that puts you into the "potential danger" range in my book.

                    Anyone is a potential danger. There is a non-zero chance that you are a rapist or will be, and therefore are a "potential danger". If you're going to argue that the danger is more prevalent with people who have sex with these child-like robots, then provide quality evidence of that and specifically define how much danger is too much to ignore in the name of freedom.

                    You can't justify putting people on government lists for being "potential dangers"; that is extremely authoritarian.

                    It's a rational deterrent in exchange for a crutch.

                    It's irrational and unjust, because it presumes that people are rapists or will be.

                    Terrible analogy.

                    No, it's a good analogy. Anyone could argue that anything should be banned by saying that some bad people "abuse" it, even if the vast majority of those who do use it do not do anything bad.

                    In reality, though, there is zero evidence that this will somehow make non-rapists into rapists, so there are no valid objections here. You just feel that it's icky, so your authoritarian impulses are beginning to show.

              • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 07 2018, @11:30AM

                by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 07 2018, @11:30AM (#689816)

                That would have the opposite effect.

                "You need to register to get a too small piece of plastic, but you don't need to register to get access to the playground".

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 07 2018, @07:56AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 07 2018, @07:56AM (#689763)

            with places like the UK actually putting people in prison for underage rape cartoons and comic books

            Known in the free world as "molesting a child is just as bad as molesting a pencil".

      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Immerman on Wednesday June 06 2018, @07:29PM

        by Immerman (3985) on Wednesday June 06 2018, @07:29PM (#689494)

        >You could use similar arguments to ban encryption, cryptocurrency, safe recreational drugs, etc.

        Not only could you - it's already been done, repeatedly, in many different countries. Never underestimate the power of trumped-up moral outrage.

      • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 07 2018, @12:18PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 07 2018, @12:18PM (#689823)

        Aside: "using a sex robot encourages rape/pedophilia/misogyny" is a stupid argument

        It's from the same line of thought as "teaching about condoms will encourage teenagers to have sex".

        Which has resulted in "abstinence only" schools reporting the highest number of teen pregnancies.

    • (Score: 3, Funny) by DeathMonkey on Wednesday June 06 2018, @05:40PM (2 children)

      by DeathMonkey (1380) on Wednesday June 06 2018, @05:40PM (#689414) Journal

      Incels should be taken out back and shot before they can have children.

      Sounds like we have plenty of time to get that one planned out.

      • (Score: 1) by nitehawk214 on Wednesday June 06 2018, @05:48PM

        by nitehawk214 (1304) on Wednesday June 06 2018, @05:48PM (#689421)

        Maybe they mean that there is no need to do any harm to incels?

        --
        "Don't you ever miss the days when you used to be nostalgic?" -Loiosh
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 06 2018, @05:55PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 06 2018, @05:55PM (#689429)

        You don't understand, man! The incels are everywhere! 53% of white women demonstrated they were incels by voting for Trump!

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 06 2018, @05:50PM (8 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 06 2018, @05:50PM (#689423)

      Incels should be taken out back and shot before they can have children.

      Do you even understand what "incel" means? I'll give you a hint: it stands for Involuntarily Celibate. So which part of celibate do you not understand? In light of your new-found enlightenment, would you now like to revisit your suggestion that they "should be taken out back and shot before they can have children"?

      • (Score: 2) by takyon on Wednesday June 06 2018, @06:01PM

        by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Wednesday June 06 2018, @06:01PM (#689433) Journal

        AC might be implying (as a parody of certain feminist commentators) that incels are a threat because they will suddenly snap and transform into rapists, and if they otherwise manage to have offspring by any means, those offspring will be similarly antisocial due to upbringing and genetics.

        That or AC is so pissed off they just flip out on these kinds of discussions.

        --
        [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 06 2018, @06:24PM (4 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 06 2018, @06:24PM (#689450)

        Involuntarily Celibate

        Obviously it does not mean this. The way the word incel is actually used indicates that it means roughly "person I disagree with" or "person whose sex life I wish to control." Homosexual men with active sex lives are examples of incels. Male victims of sexual assault are examples of incels.

        And, it could also be that men married to women are examples of incels, but that's not news to any married man!

        If you want incel to mean "involuntarily celibate," then it cannot be used as just another generic slur. Its current usage is equivalent to the term beta cuck. People hurling insults like incel and beta cuck are simply using an appeal to patriarchal heteronormative chauvinism to marginalize the victims of capitalist exploitation of the working class.

        • (Score: 2) by Snow on Wednesday June 06 2018, @07:14PM (3 children)

          by Snow (1601) on Wednesday June 06 2018, @07:14PM (#689488) Journal

          You are totally clueless.

          Incel = Involuntarily Celibate

          If you have an active sex life you are, by definition, not an incel.

          • (Score: 1, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 06 2018, @07:36PM (2 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 06 2018, @07:36PM (#689497)

            If you have an active sex life you are, by definition, not an incel.

            Mmmkay... so, instead of killing them, we could just rape them?
            They'll get some active sex, even if non-voluntary.

            • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Snow on Wednesday June 06 2018, @08:00PM (1 child)

              by Snow (1601) on Wednesday June 06 2018, @08:00PM (#689512) Journal

              Incels do have a point. Many of them don't feel like they are 'owed' anything. Many know they are 'genetic trash' and accept it.

              Incels feel that the tinderization of the dating market means that any female can easily hookup with a male that is more attractive than they are. They back this up by doing 'experiments' on tinder where they make a fake profile with a 'land whale' (fatty) and then see how many matches they get (a lot).

              OKCupid used to release statistics based gathered from their site. One of the blogs they posted was how women rated 80% of men below average in terms of attractiveness. The result is that basically the top 20% of men get pretty much all the attention from women. They call it the 80-20 rule. The top 20% of men get 80% of the women and the rest have to fight it out for the remaining 20%.

              If all the women are able to date up, then what does that leave for men that are below average? I think it's a legitimate complaint.

              While there are some Incels who want to go ER (Elliot Rogers shooting spree), I think most just want a community that understands their problems and they can vent to. Love is a need. Humans are social animals and being deprived of love can be unbearable.

              I don't think people should hate Incels or make fun of them. I think these are people that are deprived of human contact and are lonely and depressed. I feel sorry for them. Imagine living your whole life without even a kiss from a girl despite wanting it more than anything else. That's sad.

              • (Score: 4, Interesting) by julian on Wednesday June 06 2018, @10:08PM

                by julian (6003) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday June 06 2018, @10:08PM (#689584)

                There's an unfortunate trend, or maybe it's always been with us, of people mistaking compassion for approval. The incel community has a lot of bad people displaying some truly reprehensible behavior, but I can still sympathize with their--obviously profound and deeply felt--pain. That doesn't mean I approve of the misogynistic behavior of some of them.

      • (Score: 5, Interesting) by Phoenix666 on Wednesday June 06 2018, @06:34PM (1 child)

        by Phoenix666 (552) on Wednesday June 06 2018, @06:34PM (#689462) Journal

        Thank you for defining that term. It was being bandied about here the past month or so, but I didn't want to encourage the coining of such whackadoodle labels by looking it up.

        It's an old concept, and as such there are other perfectly acceptable English words for it: lonely, lovelorn, etc. Let's prefer those. Giving retarded neologisms currency plays into the entire clickbait, concern-trolling industry.

        --
        Washington DC delenda est.
        • (Score: 3, Funny) by realDonaldTrump on Wednesday June 06 2018, @10:31PM

          by realDonaldTrump (6614) on Wednesday June 06 2018, @10:31PM (#689594) Homepage Journal

          Believe me, somebody can be a TOTAL SEX MACHINE, going at it like a jackhammer or jackrabbit. With the hottest models in the world. And still be lonely!!!

    • (Score: 2) by frojack on Wednesday June 06 2018, @06:25PM (3 children)

      by frojack (1554) on Wednesday June 06 2018, @06:25PM (#689451) Journal

      Incels should be taken out back and shot before they can have children.

      Sort of definitionally redundant don't you think?

      --
      No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
      • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Wednesday June 06 2018, @06:29PM (2 children)

        by bob_super (1357) on Wednesday June 06 2018, @06:29PM (#689454)

        Arthur "frequent flyer" Dent was an Incel (a real one, for lack of a planet to find a mate on), but ended up with a daughter.

        • (Score: 3, Informative) by Thexalon on Wednesday June 06 2018, @08:03PM (1 child)

          by Thexalon (636) on Wednesday June 06 2018, @08:03PM (#689515)

          No he wasn't: He bangs Fenchurch on the wing of a 747 (in flight, no less) in So Long and Thanks for All the Fish.

          --
          The only thing that stops a bad guy with a compiler is a good guy with a compiler.
          • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Thursday June 07 2018, @04:17PM

            by bob_super (1357) on Thursday June 07 2018, @04:17PM (#689903)

            Do you need to be a virgin to qualify as an Incel ?