Politics

YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Amazon All Complicate Sexbot Dilemma

Lifelike child sex dolls are readily available from a variety of web sites – including YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, and Amazon – for confirmed pedophiles, or for men who might want to try out raping young boys and girls before moving on to the real thing, warns public interest law professor John Banzhaf, who has researched the many problems lifelike sex robots [sexbots] are likely to raise, and may have helped trigger a proposal in Congress to ban them.

child sex dolls
geralt / Pixabay

For example, just days ago a man was found to have ordered a sex doll resembling a girl no more than six, and others appearing to be babies, and admitted to using the former to have sex.

Moreover, men or even adolescents who cannot buy or keep one at home, but who may want to try having sex with a child and possibly whet their appetites for the real thing, soon may be able to try it out for a small fee, and without alerting family members, by going to a local cyber brothel – which is completely legal because it features sexbots rather than humans – and paying a hour’s rental to have sex with a realistic child sex doll.

Sexbots are rapidly becoming so sophisticated that many men already prefer them to live women in traditional brothels employing adult human females, and they can now be programmed to act as if the user is raping them, warns Banzhaf.

Meanwhile, it appears, videos and links to online markets for child sex dolls are already being posted on major Internet sites, including YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, and Amazon. While apparently not illegal, they do raise issues of social responsibility, he suggests.

For example, one YouTube channel featured videos about life-sized dolls that look like children, and are apparently sold for purposes of sex.

Amazon, it has been discovered, has been featuring on its web site lifelike child sex dolls listed by third-party sellers. This discovery prompted England’s Children’s Commissioner to call for Amazon to remove these “disgusting” child sex dolls from its site.

At the moment, there are no federal restrictions on importing, manufacturing, selling, buying or possessing child sex dolls, and their use – as well as their advertising and sale – is apparently prohibited in only one state.

Thus, although brothels with humans having sex with clients are prohibited in most jurisdictions, there appear to be no laws prohibiting entrepreneurs from running cyber brothels where clients interact by the hour with sexbots, including those designed to look – and perhaps even behave – like children, says Banzhaf.

Indeed, some traditional brothels also offering live women have found that many men prefer to pay as much or more to have sex with a sexbot. Some featuring only sex robots, and therefore apparently not banned by laws prohibiting conventional prostitution, are about to open.

Childlike sex dolls or sex robots, whether used in a private home or club, or in a cyber brothel, could present very real risks, since those with a possible urge, but lacking the courage to actually try having sex with a young child, could use them to experience the thrill, and possibly kindle such a dangerous desire.

Professor Marie Helen Maras of John Jay College, for example, has reported that “the risk is that eventually, the child sex doll will not be enough.” “Cognitive behavioral therapy seeks to show these offenders that their behavior is wrong,” she said. “How are you going to do that when you’re promoting these dolls that are rewarding them?”

Rep. Dan Donovan (R-NY), who is sponsoring a bill to ban them in the U.S., adds that “after [the doll] is no longer satisfying, you prey upon a child. . . that’s the fear.”

Federal law already imposes major criminal penalties for the possession of mere images of children in sexually stimulating circumstances – sometimes called kiddie porn – but these existing laws may not cover sex robots, or sex dolls designed to look exactly like young children, which would be sexually provocative to those with pedophilic tendencies, suggests Banzhaf.

For example, sex crimes detectives in San Jose were alerted when a man purchased a child-like sex doll and, upon investigation, he admitted using it to have sexual relations. However, they only charged him with possession of child pornography for unrelated acts which were uncovered during the course of their investigation.

For these reasons, Banzhaf has been urging congressional hearings into possible problems posed by sex robots – particularly as they become even more lifelike and alluring – especially in situations where they appear and act like young children, or as adults programmed to give the user the experience of raping a real woman.

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