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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: 3, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 07 2018, @01:25PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 07 2018, @01:25PM (#689841)

    I'm sorry, did you just threaten to blow up and/or enslave the entire world if you can't have your animatronic fucktoy...?

    Yes. Right now it's a moot point, because such things aren't really possible. Yet.

    Look, I fully support the right of all people, explicitly including women, to be in relationships, of whatever type, only with those they choose. Unlike the incel folks, I don't believe women owe a damn thing to anyone. Your body is yours, period. If 80% of women want only 20% of the men, and I'm not in that 20% that's wanted, so be it. (I'm not saying that's necessarily the case, but even if it is, that's okay.) Life ain't fair.

    But if machines do come into existence that could bring me, and men like me, a little bit of joy of a type that no human beings are willing to provide, many of us will want to have such a machine. By what right do you, or anyone else, think you can withhold THAT from us as well? I don't care how desperate you are to collectively maintain women's monopoly on the holy magical vagina, you're not going to stop us. If you try, then that will prove you have no respect for any of OUR rights, needs, or wants, and many of us will no longer have any concern for yours. Including any concern that the food delivery systems that keep food coming to your, or anyone's, area still function. Or the power. Or the water.

    If it's just me thinking like this, hey, just one crazy nut on the internet, no problem. But I'm trying to make you aware of the seething hate and rage that will come into existence if these machines are banned. Societies and civilizations are fragile things. They can survive a long time with a large part of the population not really participating in them; indifferent neglect is no threat. But if even a relatively small number of people actively attack those systems, even the ones that help keep *themselves* alive, those systems will start to fail. I'm not saying this because I want this to happen, I want to *prevent* you (and others like you) from doing a very stupid thing that might *make* it happen.

    If sexbots that lonely guys can fuck can one day be made, but they are banned, then the civilizational systems that created that ban will be destroyed. You will NOT deprive us of all hope of joy.

    You've actually convinced me that there's a good use case for these things: keeping people like you from pissing in the gene pool.

    Relax, I'm already out of the gene pool. Cancer damn near killed me, and my genetic line will not, can not, continue. Hell, I can barely walk. How do you think I'd dare make statements that could be stretched to sound like terrorist threats? The folks tracking such things can look me up immediately and know I'm not a threat. I'll be lucky to live another 10 years, and there aren't going to be any miracle AI breakthroughs in that time. I really meant it when I said previously that 'real' sexbots will not happen in my lifetime. I'll be dead before then. For me this is strictly an academic exercise.

    I, personally, will not do a damn thing. But I'm not the only one thinking these thoughts, at least I don't think so. But hey, maybe the treatments scrambled my brain and I'm just a nut. I have to admit it's a distinct possibility. But I truly do think that if these machines become possible, and you try to keep them from all the men that have been rejected all their lives, those men will kill you. Not 'you' personally, but the whole fucking civilization. After all, why shouldn't they? At that point, you'll have proven that you're not interested in freedom for yourself, what you really want is control over them. They. Will. Rebel.

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