Shawn Gordon

@ProgRockRec

Societal Impact of Sex Robots

January 2nd 2018

I’m not sure who coined the term “Pervnado” about all the recent sexual assault revelations coming out, but it is a good one. According to this L.A. Times article, a powerful person has been accused of sexual harassment at the rate of every 20 hours since the Harvey Weinstein scandal broke on October 5, 2017. The fact that these predators are getting their due finally, is good, but there is a larger concern with the weaponization of harassment allegations. I was personally a witness to two situations around the year 2000 with some employees of mine. This was two different occasions at the same company, I managed a large group of IT consultants and the scenario played out almost exactly the same on both occasions. I was sitting in the lunch room and one of my guys approached a woman and asked if they wanted to go to lunch, the woman declined, and that was it. The next thing I know I get a call from HR and they want to fire my guy because a sexual harassment claim had been filed. I was able to save their jobs because I had been a witness, but the woman wasn’t reprimanded, my guys had to go through sensitivity training. What this has led to is a lot of men just retreating from dating altogether.

One of my side hobbies is helping single adults in my church get into new, healthy and happy relationships. I have nearly 10,000 people that I work with in this regard and I hear a lot of stories from both genders and I realize that we’ve got some major issues. At the same time we have the quiet rise of sex robots, which were pretty comical just a few years ago but are now getting scary good looking as humans. Both physical and emotional relationships have recently been explored in TV shows such as the Big Bang Theory and Humans the film Her and presciently in the 1987 film Cherry 2000. As a bit of disclaimer, I’m heterosexual male that is happily married with 5 kids (one divorce) and what I’m going to be talking about is oriented towards that perspective and what applies to the majority of people, while understanding there are always exceptions.

There are a lot of factors that have gone into the current Sexodus such as third wave feminism, the unequal results in most divorce proceedings, the weaponization of accusations, the vilification and dumbing down of men in most media for the last 20+ years, but the net result is that men are just checking out of the whole affair. Who wants to lose their job or freedom simply because they asked someone to lunch or didn’t adequately return affections? So men have turned to video games and porn for the most part, and the next logical step there is going to be the sex robot. The first stage will just be having someone/thing to have sex with that looks exactly as you want them to and you don’t have to deal with anything else. The next step is going to be these robots being able to interact at least at a Siri level and provide positive feedback and basic conversation, then being able to perform basic tasks around a house, this fellow seems to have taken it to a new level. This will easily lead to emotional connection and the anthropomorphising of the robots to the point where a large number of men are just going to give up on relationships with human females in general unless they have a strong desire to have children. Siring children is a strong biological imperative for men, but decades of attempting to strip male instincts from male children might make this less of a drive.

For women, the drive would seem to be different. A sex robot isn’t particularly different than using a vibrator, but what it does provide that is different, is the illusion of sex with a man where they are in complete control at all times and won’t have a wandering eye. The next phase to these will also be a rise in conversational bot technology where women can talk and have an enthusiastic listener, of course being able to do basic chores around the house will also come in handy. Women will likely tend to get more emotionally involved with a sex robot than a man would based on typical behavior patterns and those features.

Will the fear of sex robots being hacked and instructed to murder you stop people from using a robot instead of a person? Probably not, however there is a very real chance of a breakdown in traditional relationships and families. Likely religious groups that have strong opposition to self gratification and things like this will be the least affected by the rise of the robots. More and more couples checking out of traditional relationships and procreation are going to lead to a decrease in population replacement, which virtually all government pension systems rely on, so you will see the collapse of those public safety nets. School attendance will drop off due to less students, that means all the infrastructure around kids and education starts to shrink, this eventually gets to the university and colleges as there are fewer and fewer kids that are growing up. This is actually a pretty huge deal since birth rates in western europe and the US have been declining in general. Much like the rapid rise of self driving cars are going to have significant impact on our daily lives and the infrastructure around them, so will these robots, and it is going to happen while you aren’t paying attention and then it will be too late to do anything in the short term. Maybe we will see the government start to provide incentives to have children.

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