Sex robots are coming to America, and Houston is the first battleground.
The first “robot sex brothel” in America is set to open in Houston, Texas, this November. The mayor is currently investigating how to restrict or regulate it.
The owner plans to expand to 10 locations in the U.S. by 2020.
This disturbing development is sure to have a negative impact on society.
The brand of brothels, KinkSdollS, is owned by Yuval Gavriel. The first location opened in Tokyo in 2017. Clients can test the merchandise and pay by the half-hour to be alone with a doll.
Concerned citizens in Houston are right to point out that sex robots are unsafe, unsanitary, and likely to increase demand for sex trafficking.
Psychologists too have warned that sex robots could increase sex addiction. This is unsurprising given the science of pornography.
Studies suggest that pornography changes the way people think. According a 2012 survey, “56 percent (of 1500 men) said their tastes in porn had become ‘increasingly extreme or deviant’ the more (internet) porn they watched.” The study also suggests that internet pornography is causing serious sexual dysfunction in men.
Sexual encounters with robots could cause even further problems.
Research shows that porn consumers frequently escalate into more extreme and violent forms of pornography due to the addictive nature of porn consumption. The use of increasingly lifelike sex dolls could potentially reinforce this trend, and these addictions ultimately bleed into broader society.
Congress perceived this danger and this past June, the House passed the Curbing Realistic Exploitative Electronic Pedophilic Robots (CREEPER) Act, a bill to “ban the importation and transportation of sex robots and dolls that look like children.”
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte pointed out one reason why these robots are so horrifying: “Customers can order bespoke dolls, providing pictures of specific children they would like the doll to resemble. They can indicate a preferred facial expression such as sadness or fear.”
This kind of behavior is not just unsettling, it is dangerous. Abusers can simulate violent fantasies on the dolls — bringing them one step closer to abusing real children. The same thing can be said of adult sex robots.
They will only breed the mentality of objectifying women and may contribute to the normalization of sexual violence.
Indeed, the potential effects of sex robots on society could be devastating.
Monica Burke is a research assistant in the DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society at The Heritage Foundation.
A version of this Op-Ed previously appeared on The Daily Signal website under the headline “America’s First ‘Robot Sex Brothel’ Is Bad News for Our Culture.”
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