What will sex robots do to society?

Sex robots have huge implications that we need to think harder about.


November 12, 2020

Sex robots are… coming.

One forecast suggests the sex tech industry will be worth $122B by 2024. Sales have been booming during the pandemic — and even Buzzfeed is getting in on the action.

While the numbers are huge, a bigger implication is who the end consumer will be: a large number of men.

The porn gap

One study from 2017 found that, among casual daters, men are 42x more likely than women to report viewing pornography at least once a week.

This imbalance could find its way into the sex robot market.

One manufacturer of sex dolls says that less than 5% of its products are male replicas (meaning 95%+ of its sex dolls are female).

Sex robots will shift the dating scene

A recent article from evolutionary psychologist Diana Santos Fleischman describes 2 heterosexual mating scenarios:

  • Male majority (more men than women): Men compete for access to scarce women with long-term commitment
  • Female majority (vice versa): Women compete for access to mates with casual sex

Fleischman predicts that widespread usage of functional sex robots will create a female majority situation.

She is unsure of the implications but cautions, “counterfeit or ‘fake’ fitness, which delivers the cues of status and sexual popularity’ is evolving much faster than our minds can evolve to contend with them.”

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