Is sex with a robot a form of cheating?
Astudy exploring the morals of sex robots has found that people tend to be OK with the idea of a single person paying to use a sex robot, but less so if someone is in a relationship.
That is according to Mika Koverola at the University of Helsinki in Finland, who asked more than 300 people to judge the moral character and actions of people in a futuristic scenario.
The story was set in the year 2035, in which a person, either male or female, single or married, decided to visit a brothel. Depending on the scenario a sign read either “You cannot tell our robots from real humans” or “All our workers are real humans”.
Participants were asked to judge the actions of the character on a scale of 1 to 7. They were significantly more likely to condemn a married person than a single person who visited the brothel.
The researchers also asked study partici-
CHEAT CODE: pants about their personal sexual history, and found those who self-reported having more sexual partners were more permissive towards the idea of visiting a brothel, regardless of the nature of the sex worker. Women more harshly condemned the characters than men.
“Relationships seem to drive how people morally judge the use of sex robots,” says Thomas Arnold at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts. “The more you start thinking about it as something that could compete against or interfere with your relationships, that seems to be what people morally object to.”
Sex robots aren’t likely to look or act like a human any time soon, but plans for robot brothels are already in the works. In Texas, a proposed robot brothel was blocked from opening by the local council. A similar facility is planned in California.
Attitudes towards sex robots may vary between cultures, and the team plans to look at those differences, says Koverola.
People are more okay with a single person visiting a robot brothel than someone who is married