Sex Robots : A Twenty-First Century Innovation in the Culture Wars

Research output: Chapters, Conference Papers, Creative and Literary WorksRGC 12 - Chapter in an edited book (Author)peer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSex Robots
Subtitle of host publicationSocial Impact and the Future of Human Relations
EditorsRuiping Fan, Mark J. Cherry
PublisherSpringer, Cham
Number of pages19
ISBN (electronic)978-3-030-82280-4
ISBN (print)978-3-030-82279-8
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2021

Publication series

NamePhilosophical Studies in Contemporary Culture
ISSN (Print)0928-9518
ISSN (electronic)2215-1753


This volume brings together a set of conceptual, moral, and cultural concerns carefully to assess a significant public policy issue: the development and proliferation of sex robots. Critics argue, for example, that sex robots present a clear risk to real persons as well as a degradation of society. They claim that the prevalence of sex robots will increase sexual violence, immorally objectify women, encourage pedophilia, reinforce negative body image stereotypes, increase forms of sexual dysfunction, and pass on sexually transmitted disease. Proponents judge robotic sexual companionship as just another step in the exploration of human erotic desire. Sex robots, and similar technology, such as virtual reality pornography and other forms of “digi-sexuality,” are appreciated as providing autonomy affirming companionship, sexual release for the lonely, and a relatively harmless outlet for sexual fantasies that avoids the use of human prostitutes and thus reduces sexual victimization. As these chapters explore, to secure normative claims about sexual activity with artificial humanoids, one will need first to understand what the meaning of the morality of sexual activity can be as well as the significance of various practices with robotic partners on such cardinal social institutions as the family and the relationship between the sexes. One will also need to consider in terms of which ranking of human goods, right-making conditions, social outcomes, or personal virtues we ought to evaluate the significance of sexual relations with robots that look like women, men and children. Without such analysis, it will be unclear whether sex robots ought to be appreciated as a social evil that will further degrade moral culture, a positive technological innovation that will help preserve human dignity, or a more or less harmless pastime.

Research Area(s)

  • Sex robots, Digi-sexuality, Culture wars

Bibliographic Note

Month information for this publication is provided by the author(s) concerned.

Citation Format(s)

Sex Robots: A Twenty-First Century Innovation in the Culture Wars. / Cherry, Mark J.; Fan, Ruiping.
Sex Robots: Social Impact and the Future of Human Relations. ed. / Ruiping Fan; Mark J. Cherry. 1. ed. Springer, Cham, 2021. p. 3-21 (Philosophical Studies in Contemporary Culture; Vol. 28).

Research output: Chapters, Conference Papers, Creative and Literary WorksRGC 12 - Chapter in an edited book (Author)peer-review