Paedophilia meets Robotics

Earlier this year, we published an article (‘Robotic Stalking: Sex robots made to order by obsessive stalkers’) that examined how images of celebrities and increasingly private individuals, are being used to reproduce human-sized likenesses, without the individual’s permission. Then we wrote about the worrying rise of child sex-abuse dolls and AI and the influence of paedophilic culture on shaping new technology. Our warnings have unfortunately proven prophetic as this week a mother in Boca Raton, Florida found the likeness of her 8 year old daughter replicated in a child sex-abuse doll for sale on Amazon and other websites.

Our warnings about child sex-abuse dolls have been largely ignored by the academic philosophy community, people who are paid by public funding to carry out ethics evaluations of new technologies.

The doll, on sale for $559 (€472 and £420) was advertised as “a high quality sexy dolly live dolls for men” and even had a reviewer comment stating “Good item during these times.”  Horrified, the girl’s mother who asked to be identified as only Terri, said in tears “I can’t sleep sometimes because that’s all I can think about, men who have sex with those dolls, and I can’t get them back. I just want to burn them….some of these websites have her completely naked and they have a video of people trying to explain how this child sex doll works”.

Terri has now launched a campaign to ban child sex-abuse dolls in the United States and has teamed up with Child Rescue Coalition (C.R.C.) with its CEO Carly Yoost arguing “This is a real child who’s been affected, this isn’t a hypothetical doll that was created’. She adds “Examples of cases demonstrate that there is a risk of these dolls fueling the urges of pedophiles to objectify a child as a sexual being, or to be used by paedophiles to groom a real child into believing this activity is normal.

We wrote to Amazon this week to warn them against the sale of child sex-abuse dolls on their site. We have so far not received a response.

Terri contacted Amazon in the US, who removed the item. But the problem is a global one. Explains Caitlin Roper of Australian campaign group Collective Shout, “Though highly controversial, child sex dolls are already on the market and have been sold through mainstream online retailers like Amazon and Wish for a number of years. Experts predict child sex robots will be next, and some believe they are already in production.” Earlier this year Collective Shout found child-sex abuse dolls on the Chinese-owned platform Alibaba and successfully petitioned to have them removed.

In France, anti-paedophile activist group AIVI alerted the authorities of child sex-abuse dolls for sale on Amazon France. Gaining the support of Adrien Taquet, the junior Child Protection Minister, they were identified and removed within four days.

But just this week we found further child sex-abuse dolls on various Amazon sites. Amazon has not removed these objects, nor has it responded to our requests to have them removed.

Here are some examples:

For sale on Amazon websites. Child sex-abuse dolls.

Disturbingly, as the commercial sex industry markets its sexist and paedophilic objects as ‘toys’ and ‘dolls’, they are frequently displayed alongside actual children’s dolls and toys.

Children’s toys and games are displayed along disemobodied genitalia and sex dolls.

Moreover, a search for ‘sex toys’ offers up ‘infant dolls’.

Infant dolls categorised and for sale among fleshlights and Bondage, Domination, Sadism and Masochism torture equipment.

It does beg the question whether the sexual exploitation and abuse industry has deliberately called them ‘toys’ and ‘dolls’ to groom children?

We wrote to Amazon this week to warn them against the sale of child sex-abuse dolls on their site. We have so far not received a response.

Our warnings about child sex-abuse dolls have been largely ignored by the academic philosophy community, people who are paid by public funding to carry out ethics evaluations of new technologies.

This is why the CASR is linking up with parents and women’s rights group across the world to ban these items. Tired academic arguments along the lines of ‘dolls aren’t real so no harm can be done’ or ‘child sex dolls will help paedophiles stop raping real children’ do not touch upon the very real issues children and their parents face when confronted with predators. Time after time we find that consumers of child sex-abuse dolls are also more likely to be in criminal possession of child abuse imagery. We cannot stand by and let the problem get worse.

It does beg the question whether the sexual exploitation and abuse industry has deliberately called them ‘toys’ and ‘dolls’ to groom children?

Want to join us in our fight against the development of child sex-abuse dolls and robots?

  • Sign our petition

  • Volunteer your time to the CASR or a sister organisation in your area

  • Write to any website platform you find selling child sex-abuse dolls to get the items removed

  • Write to your local member of parliament to make it illegal to sell or purchase child sex-abuse dolls.