Stories
Slash Boxes
Comments

SoylentNews is people

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?


Original Submission

 
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
Display Options Threshold/Breakthrough Mark All as Read Mark All as Unread
The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 08 2018, @02:19AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 08 2018, @02:19AM (#690163)

    I'm wondering if there should be some kind of registry for purchasers of these things, or at least the, ugh, "pedobot" models, though.

    What's the justification for that? Maybe there should be a registry for people who play violent video games, or listen to that evil rock & roll. Plenty of similar arguments have been made about other things in the past, but for some reason they're only valid when you find something icky. A registry like that necessarily violates people's rights, and it also presumes guilt.

    At best it's going to be a poor substitute, as porn is to sex.

    To you. Some people want a relationship but can't get it. Those people exist, sure. Others don't want a relationship or real sex at all, for any number of reasons (asexual, aromantic, not worth the effort, etc.). I'm tired of people just assuming that relationships are inherently desirable to everyone.

    These things need to be accompanied by therapy, and perhaps only rented rather than owned.

    So they need therapy even if they never plan to harm anyone? That makes about as much sense as saying that gay people need therapy. It's pure bigotry.

    If the argument is that they pose a potential threat, then that applies to everyone in existence and could be (and has been) abused in countless ways, so that line of reasoning is fallacious as well.

    Starting Score:    0  points
    Moderation   +2  
       Insightful=2, Total=2
    Extra 'Insightful' Modifier   0  

    Total Score:   2