Child sex doll, Child sex offenders, CREEPER Act, Curbing Realistic Exploitative Electronic Pedophilic Robots (CREEPER) Act of 2017 (HR 4655, Electronic Pedophilic Robots (CREEPER), Pedophiles, Pedophilic urges on the dolls, Sexbots, Sexually Inappropriate Behaviour, Stop Abuse Campaign
Congressman Daniel M. Donovan, Jr. has introduced legislation to ban child sex dolls and robots, while some pedophilia experts are torn about whether they can help or harm. (Warning: Graphic content.)
– Anything that normalizes adult sexual attraction towards children will only worsen this epidemic, from Stop Abuse Campaign.
The CREEPER Act
The Curbing Realistic Exploitative Electronic Pedophilic Robots (CREEPER) of 2017 (HR 4655, 115th Congress) updates the United States Code on Importation or transportation of obscene matters (Section 1462 of title 18) to prohibit the importation or transportation of “any child sex doll.” It would apply to anyone who imports, takes or receives a doll in the U.S. Violators would be fined and/or imprisoned for up to five years for the first offense and imprisoned for up to 10 years for subsequent offenses.
The bill defines a “child sex doll” as an “anatomically-correct doll, mannequin, or robot, with the features of, or with features that resemble those of, a minor, intended for use in sexual acts.’’ The remainder, and bulk of the bill text, describes the motivation behind the bill’s introduction, which includes the assertion of a correlation between possession of materials and participation in the abuse of minors.
Child sex robot dolls that should never appear together are suddenly—and disturbingly—making headlines around the world every week, as is the debate surrounding their implementation or banishment to either curb or reinforce pedophilia. The Stop Abuse Campaign has launched a new campaign designed to grab your attention. “Children play with dolls,” it reads. “Sex abusers should not.”
Most recently: A 33-year-old Essex man was found not guilty of importing a 3-foot-tall child sex doll in the United Kingdom. Meanwhile, a case in Canada that began in 2013 with the intercepted “controlled delivery” of one such doll is still being prosecuted five years later.
– These sex robots, which in and of itself were creepy enough, are now being morphed into child sex dolls for your every day pedophile. These child sex dolls are made to cry like real children and can also mimic child like behavior such as sadness and fear.
Unsurprisingly, heated controversy surrounds the subject, with some advocates suggesting child sex dolls could be used to deter the real-life fulfillment of pedophilic urges. Most notably, Juliet Grayson, chair of the Wales-based organization the Specialist Treatment Organization for the Prevention of Sexual Offending (StopSO), told The Independent that the prescription of child sex dolls might potentially curb assaults against human children. (?)
However, in an interview, Donovan shot down the notion that child sex dolls could be used to prevent abuse with a simple analogy.
“You don’t give an alcoholic a bottle of liquor to stop their addiction, so why would you provide a pedophile with a tool that would further normalize harmful actions?” Donovan asked. “Once a child sex abuser tires of practicing on a doll, it’s a small step to move on to an innocent child. This isn’t just speculation. Psychologists and researchers believe that these dolls reinforce, normalize, and encourage pedophilic behavior, potentially putting more children at risk to harm. It is absurd to argue that permitting sexual abuse against a realistic portrayal of a child somehow stops pedophiles from viewing real children as sexual outlets for their sick desires.”
“Let’s be clear, these dolls aren’t related to free speech. They are used to act out sick fantasies.”
— Rep. Dan Donovan (R-NY)
With both the AI revolution and the cultural awakening that’s been coined the post-Weinstein effect (sexual abuse allegations), there is an intense focus right now on the best way to protect our most vulnerable populations against sexual abuse. Incidentally, conversations about pedophilia that once were shrouded in darkness are now being brought into the light. For example: Is it possible for pedophiles to get help before offending? How does grooming of children happen? What is the extent of child sexual abuse online? Should there be preemptive imprisonment for pedophiles at risk of molesting a child?
Could there be a danger of the same issue happening with the CREEPER Act?
In the United Kingdom, where a similar ban exists to the one being introduced by the CREEPER Act, authorities seized 128 child sex dolls last year, and 85 percent of the men who imported them were found to also be in possession of child pornography. Child sex dolls are already here, with child sex robots hitting the market soon—causing heated legal, ethical, and scientific debate around the world.
“I support the CREEPER Act and helped Congressman Donovan’s team draft it,” Noel Sharkey, co-director of the Foundation for Responsible Robotics. “I believe that a ban on the general use of child-like sex robots is necessary because of the dangers that they may create. They could have a pernicious impact on society and potentially normalise sexual assault on minors. It would be relatively easy to make these as replicas of actual children from photographs. The way forward is to have international laws against them.”
– Repliee R1 is a copy of a real 4-year-old girl. Built at Osaka University, it has nine DC motors in its head, shows fear and tears up, prosthetic eyeballs, and silicone skin.
Still, the topic inspires a merry-go-round of researcher versus researcher. On the one end of the spectrum, legal scholars Maras and Shapiro dismiss the possibility of potential therapeutic use of child sex dolls, writing, “Scientific evidence contradicts these claims as nonsensical and irrational.” On the other end, noted pedophilia researcher and Sexual Abuse Editor in Chief Michael Seto disagrees that such definitive evidence exists yet.
“I don’t understand why the authors can be so confident in their opinions given the lack of research on this topic,” Seto explained in an email to The Daily Beast. “I conduct research on pedophilia and sexual offending against children and I am not aware of any research on the impacts of access to child sex dolls or robots. The study that is cited in the article discusses factors that are important in the treatment of identified sex offenders to reduce offending. I know this research, and it does not address the impact of child sex dolls or robots, which are relatively new inventions.”
In a passionate piece for The Hill, Donovan made his case for the CREEPER Act, which has 18 congressional co-sponsors, explaining, “During my 20 years as a prosecutor, I put away animals who played out their disgusting fantasies on innocent children. What I saw and heard was enough to make anybody sick. Now, as a legislator in Congress, I’m introducing a bill to ban the newest outlet for pedophiles: child sex dolls. These lifelike, anatomically accurate recreations of young children include ‘accessories’ such as false eyelashes, wigs, warming devices, and cleaning tools.”
Donovan said his work as a prosecutor is linked closely to this current legislation: “Every case has stayed with me—there is no situation where a child was hurt or victimized that doesn’t leave your thoughts. As a former DA and current legislator, but more importantly as a father, I will do everything possible to stop crimes against children.”
After moving through the proper committees, Donovan says, “I hope to see [the CREEPER Act] considered quickly on the House floor. We must protect our nation’s children. I know the American public want this done—there is more than 160,000 signatures on a Change.org petition supporting my legislation.”
Maras and Shapiro assert in their recent editorial that the introduction of the CREEPER Act is a “step in the right direction,” but they also advocate for additional prohibitions which would “criminalize the manufacture and possession of both child sex dolls and child sex robots,” such as when criminals “find ways to evade criminal sanction by, for example, creating these child sex dolls and sex robots themselves (for example, using a 3D printer).”
Donovan responds, “Right now, the proliferation of these dolls is being pushed by manufacturers in international markets—not through 3D printers. We, of course, should be forward-looking to ensure that the law continues to keep up with technology—but my focus is stopping the ‘here and now.’ For example, ICE has already confiscated one of these dolls in the U.S. that was imported from abroad.”
Child sex dolls are already being imported into America?
“I have been in touch with ICE and know that a child sex doll was found during a bust,” explains Donovan. “While I can’t speak more on ongoing cases, I can say that this situation shows that these dolls are being shipped here now. The ability to obtain child sex dolls needs to be stopped immediately.”
Can the law even keep up with the technology?
“Writing legislation for technology we don’t yet know will exist in 10, 20-plus years time is a difficult task,” observes Emily C. Collins, a robotics researcher at the University of Liverpool and member of the Foundation for Responsible Robotics (FRR). “But it is not fruitless to attempt to do so… When a machine is built, the builders, in my opinion, should be asking, ‘How will this robot impact its users?’”
How will child sex dolls and robots affect their users? Are pedophiles who have purchased the child sex dolls in fact “virtuous”?
Last year, 72-year-old David Turner, a church warden with local school oversight, was convicted of importing a child sex doll. In a landmark decision for this new form of sex crime against children, the judge ruled the importation of the item “obscene.” Authorities who later searched Turner’s home found two other child sex dolls and more than 34,000 child pornography images.
The pictures showed victims ages 3 to 16.
- Sex robots
- outlaw the trade
- possession of a child sex doll
- “treating” sex offenders
- more recent case
- existing offence
- Child sexual abuse
- child sexual abuse prevention
- UK law
- sex crime