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What Do Men and Women See in Sex Robots?

The international workshop „Learning from Humanoid AI: Motivational, Social & Cognitive Perspectives“ took place from 30 November – 1 December 2019 at the University of Potsdam. Dr. Jessica Szczuka raised the question: „What do men and women see in sex robots?“ … Some sentences from the abstract: „What do we see when we look at a sexualized robot? The presentation will focus on first empirical results on the visual perception of sexualized robots but will also share some insights on whether women do perceive sexualized robots as a potential threat to an existing romantic relationship and their own self-concept. Both aspects, the visual perception but also the social perception are crucial in order to understand the role sexualized robots may have in our society. Moreover, the role of the human-likeness of sex robots will be discussed.“ (Website Workshop) In her talk, Szczuka demonstrated „empirical evidences on the visual perception of sexualized robots and their potential to evoke jealousy in women“. She confronted 848 heterosexual women with the statement „Imagine you found out that your partner had sex with a human-like or a machine-like sex robot.“ … The results „revealed dimensions in which the jealousy-related discomfort was higher for female competitors compared to the robotic ones (e.g., discomfort caused by the idea of sexual intercourse), whereas in others the robots evoked the same or higher levels of jealousy-related discomfort (e.g., discomfort caused by feelings of inadequacy, discomfort caused by shared emotional and time resources)“ (Szczuka and Krämer 2018).

Fig.: The head of Harmony