BBC Science, in a leading article on the site’s homepage, acts as a loudspeaker for the calls of ‘American’ researchers (well, one American female ‘scientist’ and a rather sad British female anti-sexbot campaigner) to ban sex robots. ‘Sex robots may cause psychological damage’ is the headline. And it’s not in quotes. It’s fact. Sex robots may cause psychological damage. Well that’s true. There is no definitive proof that sex robots will NOT cause psychological damage, so I guess it is indeed scientific fact that sex robots may cause psychological damage. However, reading the BBC story, I see no mention of any peer reviewed scientific paper confirming that sex robots cause harm, just one ‘scientist’ screeching that the sex robot apocalypse must be stopped. Joined further down the article, by Dr Kathleeen Richardson, a British woman who openly confesses that she is against sex robots because it might cause her trouble in getting a man.
Reading through the article, the ‘scientist’ – Dr Christine Hendren of Duke University, claims that sex robots must be banned or strictly regulated because some are being designed to look like children or to allow the simulation of rape. She asks rhetorically whether such things are safe replacement for such harms, or represent the ‘normalization of behaviours that ought to be stamped out’. Given that to argue for the former, is career suicide, to pretend that any objective ‘scientific’ conclusion is possible is truly a dishonest perversion of science. She even apparently implies that anybody who does disagrees with her own opinion is either a paedophile or a rapist. And she was speaking at a conference of the ‘largest general scientific community in the world’ – the American Association of Advancement of Science.
So for Dr Hendren, it’s clear that sex with robots is ‘practice’ for the real thing.
The other ‘expert’ quoted in the BBC article is another woman – Dr Kathleen Richardson. I wonder if the BBC would ever report on two male ‘experts’ warning that vibrators are dangerous and should be banned?
Dr Kathleen Richardson is the founder of an advocacy group campaigning for sex robots to be outright banned. She is quite open about why she wants them banned – because men might prefer them to flesh and blood women.
I wonder if the BBC would ever give airtime to a man claiming that something, anything should be banned because women might prefer them to having sex with men?
So two so-called experts were called upon by the BBC to confirm that ‘sex robots may cause harm’. Both women. The first thinks sex robots ought to be banned because they are practice for sex (including bad sex).
The second thinks sex robots ought to be banned because they are substitutes for sex.
21st century science folks. At least for the BBC.
Dr Kathleen Richardson specifically is now campaigning for the marketing of sex robots as replacement girlfriends to be made illegal. This week, several of the top VR porn sites have been promoting their Valentine’s Day Sales with taglines such as ‘They’ll never break your heart in virtual reality’. I guess any such law by Kathleen Richardson would likely make such promotions of VR or AR substitute girlfriends illegal too.
It’s not clear if any such law successfully brought by Dr Kathleen Richardson would cover women seeking sex robots as substitute boyfriends or husbands.
So what’s to be done about this? Perhaps it’s time to make ‘digiphobia’, the openly bigoted fear of those (particularly men) who seek sexual contentment through purely digital or technological means, should be considered illegal hate speech. Just as it’s no longer acceptable for bigots to openly call for laws that target homosexuals or transsexuals, it should be illegal for supposed ‘experts’ and others to call for laws that target digisexuals.
Perhaps my fellow future sex tech bloggers might consider being onside with me in such a call? After all, short-term clickbait and fake ethical discussions are all very well, but the future of sex tech blogging might not be very bright if half of your readership ends up in prison for being a digisexual.
Featured images taken from the website of DS Doll Robotics – the best place for digisexuals to start their quest for a substitute girlfriend.