The downsides of sex robots include STIs and pedophilia
Sex robots may do more harm than good, leading medics claim.
They warn that rising use of “sexbots” could spread sexually-transmitted infections, worsen impotence and normalize “sexual deviancy.”
Fans of the life-like love machines – that sell for up to $15,00 – say they can aid “harm reduction” by offering desperate men an outlet.
They claim dolls can help reduce sex crimes against women and children.
But Dr. Chantal Cox-George, from St. George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, and Professor Susan Bewley, from King’s College London, say there is little evidence this is true.
And they raised fears they may make illegal behavior more socially acceptable.
Writing in the British Medical Journal: Sexual and Reproductive Health, they said: “It is speculative whether the development of a sexbot marketplace will lead to lesser risk of violence and infections, or drive further exploitation of human sex workers.”
“The ‘health’ arguments made for their benefits, as with so many advertised products, are rather specious.”
Researchers warn that medics must steer clear of intimate relations with sexbots – or risk losing public trust.
They added: “Doctors might be advised to avoid using sexbots themselves, given police interest, prosecutions, and the potential negative impact on public trust.”
Experts claim it is too soon to market the love dolls to treat relationship difficulties, such as impotence or enforced celibacy.
And they warn the lack of intimacy may make problems such as erectile dysfunction worse.
Researchers also fear using the sexbots to “treat” pedophilia or live out violent fantasies because that may help normalize such behavior.
The sex tech industry is already worth more than $30 billion.
Four American companies are already selling the randy androids, with names including Roxxxy Gold and Harry Harddrive.
Prices range from just under $5,000 to $15,000 for the “Harmony” supermodel.
Although currently targeted to men, one sexbot maker plans to sell male versions for women later this year.
Sheffield University Professor Noel Sharkey, chair of the Foundation for Responsible Robotics, previously warned that “the sex robots are coming.”
Sharkey, the former head judge on Robot Wars, said: “The manufacturers are doing a massive marketing job on the health benefits of sex robots, particularly for therapy, and yet there is absolutely no evidence for this.”
“There may well be therapeutic benefits in some case but these sexual machines will be rushed out before we know.”
“We must have research to back up the claims.”
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