Robots, rape, and representation


Authors
Robert Sparrow
Monash University
Abstract
Sex robots are likely to play an important role in shaping public understandings of sex and of relations between the sexes in the future. This paper contributes to the larger project of understanding how they will do so by examining the ethics of the “rape” of robots. I argue that the design of realistic female robots that could explicitly refuse consent to sex in order to facilitate rape fantasy would be unethical because sex with robots in these circumstances is a representation of the rape of a woman, which may increase the rate of rape, expresses disrespect for women, and demonstrates a significant character defect. Even when the intention is not to facilitate rape, the design of robots that can explicitly refuse consent is problematic due to the likelihood that some users will experiment with raping them. Designing robots that lack the capacity to explicitly refuse consent may be morally problematic depending on which of two accounts of the representational content of sex with realistic humanoid robots is correct.
Keywords Robots  Sex robots  Ethics  Rape Representation  HRI
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 45,727
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

On Virtue Ethics.Rosalind Hursthouse - 1999 - Oxford University Press.
Speech Acts and Unspeakable Acts.Rae Langton - 1993 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 22 (4):293-330.

View all 35 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Designing Virtuous Sex Robots.Anco Peeters & Pim Haselager - 2019 - International Journal of Social Robotics:1-12.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Is Sex With Robots Rape?Romy Eskens - 2017 - Journal of Practical Ethics 5 (2):62-76.
On the Moral Responsibility of Military Robots.Thomas Hellström - 2013 - Ethics and Information Technology 15 (2):99-107.
Moral Appearances: Emotions, Robots, and Human Morality. [REVIEW]Mark Coeckelbergh - 2010 - Ethics and Information Technology 12 (3):235-241.
Military Robots and the Question of Responsibility.Lamber Royakkers & Peter Olsthoorn - 2014 - International Journal of Technoethics 5 (1):01-14.
Can We Trust Robots?Mark Coeckelbergh - 2012 - Ethics and Information Technology 14 (1):53-60.
Designing Virtuous Sex Robots.Anco Peeters & Pim Haselager - 2019 - International Journal of Social Robotics:1-12.
Just War and Robots’ Killings.Thomas W. Simpson & Vincent C. Müller - 2016 - Philosophical Quarterly 66 (263):302-22.
Robots in Aged Care: A Dystopian Future.Robert Sparrow - 2016 - AI and Society 31 (4):1-10.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2019-09-01

Total views
16 ( #554,583 of 2,280,998 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
16 ( #52,187 of 2,280,998 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature