The FAQS: Christians and the Moral Threat of Sex Robots

Throughout most of the 20th century, the average American Christian remained largely unaware of trends in deviant sexual behaviors until they reached either mainstream acceptance or had become large-scale social maladies.

The expansion and ubiquity of technology has caused such problems to rapidly shift from niche concerns to epidemics in almost every community in America. Whereas problems such as pornography and prostitution were once on the margin, the internet has pushed them into nearly every home. Similarly, sex robots may seem to be a futuristic concern.

 

What just happened?

A Canadian company has announced plans to open a robot brothel in Houston, where customers can rent a sex robot by the hour. While similar brothels are currently operating in such countries as France, Germany, Russia, Spain, Scotland, and the United Kingdom, this would be the first such operation in the United States.

Why is this an issue Christians should know about?

Throughout most of the 20th century, the average American Christian remained largely unaware of trends in deviant sexual behaviors until they reached either mainstream acceptance or had become large-scale social maladies.

The expansion and ubiquity of technology has caused such problems to rapidly shift from niche concerns to epidemics in almost every community in America. Whereas problems such as pornography and prostitution were once on the margin, the internet has pushed them into nearly every home.

Similarly, sex robots may seem to be a futuristic concern. But attitudes about sex robots are already becoming extremely permissive. A recent survey found that one in four men (24 percent) and one in ten women (9 percent) would consider having sex with a robot. Only about a third (32 percent) believe having sex with a robot while in a relationship should be considered cheating. And almost half of Americans (49 percent) also believe that having sex with robots will become common practice sometime within the next 50 years.

While we might wish to remain ignorant about trends such as sex robots and virtual reality-based pornography, we need to begin preparing today to respond to the challenges they will cause for our families and church congregations.

(That being said, not every Christian is able to educate themselves about sexual problems without it causing them to stumble. Although the content below is not salacious or prurient, we encourage those who struggle in this area of life to use caution in reading this article and consider whether it might be something you should personally avoid engaging with. For similar reasons, some links to the sources used in this article have been excluded.)

What is a sex robot?

Sex robots are a technologically advanced form of object commonly known as a “sex doll,” “fornicatory doll,” or gynoid. (The term gynoid is derived from they Greek prefix gyne[woman] and is the female equivalent of a male android, a humanoid robot.)

Although sex dolls have been available in the United States since at least the late 1960s, advances in technology have led to the creation of gynoids that can move, express emotions, and even carry on simple conversations. Artificial intelligence (AI) and advances in material sciences may soon make gynoids even more life-like and affordable, increasing both the supply and also the demand for gynoids.

What is the moral problem with using sex robots?

The use of gynoids as sexual objects raises a number of concerns for both Christians and nonbelievers.

The most obvious problem is that it separates sexual activity from the form in which it was intended by God—the physical “one flesh” union of a man and women within the bounds of marriage (Matt. 19:6).

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