Sex With Robots: New Medical Study Probes Sexbot Health Effects

A future where humans can experience human-like sexual experiences on demand with sex robots may not be too far down the road. A 2012 study published by Science Direct predicted that by the year 2050, “Amsterdam’s red light district will all be about android prostitutes who are clean of sexual transmitted infections, not smuggled in from Eastern Europe and f****d into slavery, [and] the city council will have direct control over android sex workers controlling prices, hours of operations and sexual services.”

To prepare for that, or other similar scenarios that appear to be coming sooner than 32 years down the road, two British researchers affiliated with St George’s University Hospitals and King’s College London have published a study on the health effects of sex robots in the journal BMJ Sexual and Reproductive Health

But their findings turned out to be, well, not satisfying. “We found no reports of primary data relating to health aspects of the use of sex robots,” the authors, Chantal Cox-George and Susan Bewley, wrote in their paper, according to a summary in The Huffington Post this week. And indeed, Cox-George and Bewley sounded a note of skepticism about the purported health benefits of the coming sex robot, or “sexbot,” boom.

“The overwhelmingly predominant market for sexbots will be unrelated to healthcare. Thus the ‘health’ arguments made for their benefits, as with so many advertised products, are rather specious,” they wrote. “Currently, the ‘precautionary principle’ should reject the clinical use of sexbots until their postulated benefits, namely ‘harm limitation’ and ‘therapy’, have been tested empirically.”

The researchers identified four areas where they said claims have been made for the benefits of sexbot sex: safer sex, therapeutic potential, potential to treat pedophiles and sex offenders, and finally, “changing societal norms.”

In the last category, the researchers worry that the use of sex robots could shift societal views on the necessity of consent in sexual encounters. Robots are machines and, by definition, can neither give nor refuse sexual consent—but that leaves open the question of whether “the user’s motivation [can] be entirely discounted.” Should sex robots be “prescribed” to people with violent sexual tendencies, as therapy?

The researchers offer no answer. But when it comes to treating pedophiles and other proven sex offenders, they “strongly caution against the use” of sex robots until “scientifically and ethically acceptable research trials” have been run.

But what about that envisioned future “red light district” staffed by sex robots offering their services with no apparent risk of sexually transmitted diseases? The British researchers aren’t sold on that one either.

“This well-intentioned scenario is optimistic, and sexbots can already be bought, or leased for parties,” they write. “There may be legal liability ramifications should the engineering of sexbots fail, leading to injury or infection, and with unclear responsibility for condoms and cleaning protocols.”

Nonetheless, the sex robot industry continues to move forward, with four separate companies now saying they produce or plan to produce the robots, which so far appear to be largely just sex dolls with some mechanical moving parts. But according to one report, even Stormy Daniels is getting into the futuristic act, licensing her image to the RealDoll company for a proposed robot. RealDoll already manufactures a lifelike Stormy Daniels sex doll.

Image by Ed Emshwiller (Public Domain)/Wikimedia Commons 

Originally published on: https://avn.com/business/articles/novelty/sex-with-robots-new-medical-study-probes-sexbot-health-effects-780579.html

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