SAN MARCOS, CA - FEBRUARY 5:  A finished silicone RealDoll sex doll stands in a flirtatious pose at the Abyss Creations factory on February 5, 2004 in San Marcos, California. RealDolls are created using Hollywood special effects technology and have orifices made of a special soft grade of silicone for people who want to "enhance their sex lives", according to Abyss Creations literature. Standard female models sell for about $6000, males for $7000, and are sold only over the Internet. "Shemales" and other special orders are also available.       (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)SAN MARCOS, CA - FEBRUARY 5: A finished silicone RealDoll sex doll stands in a flirtatious pose at the Abyss Creations factory on February 5, 2004 in San Marcos, California. RealDolls are created using Hollywood special effects technology and have orifices made of a special soft grade of silicone for people who want to "enhance their sex lives", according to Abyss Creations literature. Standard female models sell for about $6000, males for $7000, and are sold only over the Internet. "Shemales" and other special orders are also available. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

Sex robots for elderly and disabled could offer meaningful help but may lead to increased objectification of women

The sexual revolution of the New World is here… and it´s hardwired

We live in a technologically-driven world whereby we can satisfy practically any craving with the touch of a button. There´s no longer any need to strike up a conversation in a bar to find love, because swiping left or right on an app does the same job. So, it should come as no surprise that sex robots are being touted as the next big thing for humans to get their hands on.

For many, the words sex and robot in the same sentence will send a shudder down the spine, but experts have suggested that sex bots could signal a ‘revolution’ for people unable to have natural intercourse. A report published by the Foundation for Responsible Robotics (FRR) heralded advancements in sexual robotics as potentially providing a valuable service to the elderly, disabled and those who find sex traumatic. However, they also warned that sex robots could increase the objectification of women, blur the lines of consent and allow desires that are illegal to flourish.

Dr. Aimee van Wynsberghe, assistant professor in ethics and technology at the Technical University of Delft and FRR co-founder, said: ‘There are absolutely some benefits to the technology but, like everything else, there is a balance. You have to strike a balance between lack of regulation – so we have all different uses and personifications of children and women as sexual objects – or you have overregulation and you stifle the technology.”

The problem with sex robots is that they are primarily made for men to satisfy their sexual appetite. While they have the capacity to bring about meaningful change, the bots also reinforce the misguided idea that women are merely sexual objects that can be mail-ordered online. Design of the robots usually plays upon fetishes and tastes and can reduce female subjectivity to a mere ´type´. The struggles and gains of feminism in combatting sexualisation of women in the public sphere could be diminished, and sex robots may unravel understanding of consent between men and women.

Perhaps one of the options to balance this great divide is to make male sex robots as well! Who says men get to have all the fun?


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