Commentary: Policy discussions about sex robots should be shaped by human rights & ethical concerns

Author: Carlotta Rigotti, Open Global Rights, Published on: 2 May 2019

"Sex Robots: a human discourse?", 2 May 2019

As machines shaped as humans and programmed to provide sexual performances, sex robots—which are almost exclusively “female”—have been available on the market over the past decade. While their commercial use has mainly been restricted to private purchases, escort agencies and brothels in many countries have also begun to use them commercially. Such a shift in the industry is inevitable, due to the conspicuous absence of a regulatory framework... When balancing human rights, on the one hand sex robots seem to perpetuate the historical commodification of female sexuality... On the other hand, some scholars and practitioners support sex robots, arguing for their therapeutic benefit... In respect of sexual freedom and right to health, sex robots may be able to satisfy the most unusual sexual desires (while perhaps preventing sexual crimes) as well as to address a particular form of sexual inequality related to either mental and physical disabilities or working environments... In light of the increasing use of sex robots and all the concerns regarding their possible misuse, the law-making process should be started as soon as possible and shaped according to human rights and ethical concerns. 

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