Would you have sex with a robot?

Love Bot

Canadian researchers have found that men who hold virulent misogynistic opinions against women are more likely to express interest in having sex with robots, raising many questions about the future of intimacy as robots make tentative steps into our daily lives.

The researchers uncovered this disturbing correlation in a new study in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, whose larger aim is to analyze connections between "preconceived beliefs about gender inequality, interest in casual sex, and social hierarchies," as well as behavior toward future robots.

For the study, researchers analyzed data from 212 undergraduate Canadian students from an unnamed university. Students answered a survey with multiple questions that gauged their views on gender, social dominance, social hierarchy, friendship, sex, and other topics.

The study authors found out a few salient observations: that women expressed greater interest in having platonic relations with robots, and that respondents overall — though mostly men — who had views described as "hostile sexism" were more likely to express interest in having sex with robots, and were vastly less inclined to want to be friends with robots.

"Generally, people find sex robots relatively unappealing, but men far and away are more interested in them than women, and this is especially stark when men view women as below them," Ontario's Trent University social psychology doctoral student and study co-author Connor Leshner told PsyPost.

Ships of the Future

The study may seem a bit silly because, c'mon, having sex with robots?! But the research bumps up against uncomfortable facts about how some men view women as lesser beings and how these opinions may overlap with our rapidly advancing technological world.

Already, we have evidence of this weirdness such as the proliferation of AI girlfriends, who will never tire of even the most boorish bachelors.

As for silicon love dolls, people have made sex robots already, but their functionality remains primitive.

But looking at the evolution of AI sex chatbots and advanced robots quickly entering the workplace, it doesn't seem farfetched that robots may also enter the bedroom as synthetic partners to flesh and blood incels.

This study gives just a hint on how society might navigate this weird future.

More on robots: Humanoid Robot Maker Signs Deal to Put OpenAI Tech in Their Brains

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