Some sex robot creators have been working on the machines for decades, but a new report shows the medical community can’t endorse them as a healthy companion.
In fact, there’s no evidence showing the dolls have any impact on health at all, according to Susan Bewley, an obstetrician at King’s College London and Chantal Cox-George, a doctor at St. George’s University Hospitals, also in the British capital. The two analyzed medical journals and general online searches for any primary data relating to health aspects of sex robots and came up short.
The report, published in BMJ (formerly the British Medical Journal) Sexual and Reproductive Health, examined if sex robots promote safer sex, have therapeutic value, or have potential to treat pedophiles and sex offenders, as some creators have claimed. It found that all of these theories have not been proven.
“We call for more research in this sphere,” the report states. “Future health studies might include medical observations, case reports, and measurement of visual and neural responses of users, alongside evidence of the impact of robots, and sexbots in particular, in the education, criminal justice and social science sectors.”
The doctors advise the medical community to “reject the clinical use of sexbots” until more tests are done to determine “harm limitation” and “therapy.”
The $30-billion sex robot industry is crafting mostly female dolls to simulate the feeling of having a sexual partner. The robots are built to resemble a human as much as possible. While they aren’t of Westworld-quality, some can hold conversations and learn about their human. Creators bill the products as a way to make people happy and fill a void.
“There are a lot of people out there, for one reason or another, who have difficulty forming traditional relationships with other people,” Harmony sex robot creator Matt McMullen told The Guardian last year. “It’s really all about giving those people some level of companionship — or the illusion of companionship.”
A separate report published by a non-profit last year warned that sex robots might actually reinforce far darker behaviors.
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