Sex robots

The Guardian has an interesting article on sex robots. Doctor Aimee van Wynsberghe points out that sex robots both offers possibilities and risks: on one hand this emerging technology could help certain people (elderly or disabled people) to get sexual satisfaction, but on the other hand there is the risk of increased objectification of women.

The latter is reason for some the argue for a total ban on sex robots. But the proponents of sex robots usually responds with total denial of this risk. My problem with both positions (prohibition and unregulated legalization) is that those are primarily based on assumptions.

For instance there is the possibility that child-like robots will be available in the near future and those might be purchased by pedophiles. Some argue that this will prevent pedophiles from abusing actual children, others that it will lower the threshold to abuse children. I do not know which position is more accurate, but I would argue we should be very carefull with this.

Though child sex robots might be only a small part of the market for sex robots, the general issue of objectification of people should be taken seriously. However, I do not think (total) prohibition of sex robots is the solution, not in the least place I believe people will circumvent such ban anyway.

The problem of objectification is the attitude of people to their fellow people. What we need is to change the attitude of both men and women regarding intimate relations. We need, as a society, to give our children proper relationship education and to teach them to respect other people and their (sexual) wishes.

12 thoughts on “Sex robots”

      1. …and the Evangelicals will react the same way they did/do about sex education.

        Her, such a brilliant film, should be the coursework.

        1. Unfortunately, I have to agree with you… hence my intention to discourage evangelicals from immigrating to space settlements…

  1. Fine editorial. It’s hard to see how sex robots would further objectify women – and men, for that matter – than they already are. The commercialism of western societies objectifies all manner of sexuality to the nth degree. We have pornography, sex toys, sex dolls, dildos (a very obvious objectification of men), and all kinds of other sexual products for sale. Why would sex robots be any different?

    Your caution on sex robots depicting children is well-taken. Psychiatry cannot predict how it might affect individual behaviors. However, I would be inclined to support a ban against it.

    I also applaud your final point. Men and women need to learn how to better interact with each other. Interpersonal relations seem to be faltering in recent years.

      1. Yes, I had expected the psychological research to be inconclusive. People are different. Not everyone would behave the same from such stimuli.

        Regarding regulatory bans on sex robots depicting children, I see your point. However, I would still be inclined to support such bans even in lieu of supporting scientific evidence. In this particular case, I think it’s better to be safe than sorry.

        1. >>People are different. Not everyone would behave the same from such stimuli.

          I agree. Like video games. Some persons could satisfy their aggression this way, while others will have their aggression reinforced.

          Also, the problem with those studies is to get reliable statistics regarding child sexual abuse as many cases go unreported.

  2. Great post. You have a very reasonable take on it–it’s unwise to say either sexbots will cause nothing but problems (as some of the anti-bot folks might) or that they’ll somehow save men from the wiles of women (as those MGTOW kooks we’ve seen might say). Like most other things, these technologies will have their benefits and their drawbacks, and we should work to increase the former and blunt the latter.

    1. The problem is, as always, people can do good and bad. I could kill you with a kitchen knife but I could also save your life with it. We need to create incentives to encourage to do good rather than bad.

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