Challenging the claim that a sex robot is the ‘perfect companion’

sex robot
Sex robot Samantha. Image credit: Sergi Santos

Sex doll maker Realbotix, in its marketing materials, bills [sex doll] Harmony as “the perfect companion.” But healthy companionship is too bold a claim to make about sex robots, warn a pair of doctors in a report published [June 4] in the journal BMJ Sexual & Reproductive Health.

No primary research data on sex robots exists, the doctors concluded. “We advise that sexbots shouldn’t be used in medical practice,” [researcher Chantal] Cox-George said, “at least not unless that forms part of robust and ethical research.”

A data void hasn’t prevented the spread of beneficial claims. “We became aware that doctors are being asked for their professional opinions on sex dolls and robots,” Cox-George said. Sexbots have been suggested as a way to promote safe sex or as therapies for people with companionship problems.

Related article:  Anti-vax activists exploit dark history of Tuskegee syphilis study to stir Black opposition to COVID-19 vaccines

Sex robots have also been suggested as companions for the elderly or people with disabilities. That struck Cox-George and [co-author Susan] Bewley as “patronizing.”

For the time being, and given the lack of data, Cox-George and Bewley conclude that medical professionals should apply what is known as the precautionary principle: “There is a social responsibility to protect the public from harm, unless findings emerge to show no harm,” Cox-George said. In the absence of evidence, in other words, clinicians should steer patients away.

Read full, original post: New report finds no evidence that having sex with robots is healthy

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