On “Exploring the implications of child sex dolls”

Earlier this month, the Australian Institute of Criminology published a report in response to concerns surrounding the increasing numbers of what they refer to as “child sex dolls” being imported to Australia.

When reading reports such as this, I try my best to remove my own vested interest from the equation and read it as someone lacking any knowledge or experience with child-size dolls. With this in mind, I can easily see the flow of logic as conclusions are drawn to the potential harms associated with these dolls; however, as an owner of several childlike dolls myself, I see one major flaw in this report that deteriorates the foundation on which the remaining claims are based.

So what’s the problem?

By their own admission the AIC states, “It is important to note from the outset that the available evidence in relation to sex dolls in general and child sex dolls in particular is very weak, with almost no studies empirically examining the implications of doll use”. Without studying dolls and their implications through case studies and real world observations, we are left with nothing more than pure speculation. Granted, the AIC makes an admirable attempt of mentioning this throughout the report, even saying at one point, “although it should be noted that this finding was based on opinion rather than empirical evidence.” This is said in response to an argument made in the text of the C.R.E.E.P.E.R act, regarding the supposed correlation between the possession of dolls and child pornography. The damage, however, is already done. When I read through the eyes of someone else, I find all the maybe’s, likely’s, and could’s are easily ignored, leaving one to agree with all the conclusions drawn in this report.

Evidence exists

The reason for missing evidence being such a huge flaw in this report is that the empirical evidence of the implications of doll use does exist. It is just currently unknown to researchers and lacking in people willing to accept facts that go against their already drawn conclusions. Such evidence exists in my own life and the lives of the other doll owners who I interact with on a daily basis. I have first-hand experience of how beneficial dolls can be in a person’s life, and I exist as living proof that they are not used as a tool in the grooming of children for abuse and do not act as a stepping stone to carrying out harmful crimes.

Reports such as the AIC’s make assumptions based solely on the idea that dolls serve as an outlet that encourages dangerous sexual desires and fantasies towards children, when–in reality–the reasoning behind owning such a doll is much more complex and nuanced, improving a person’s overall well-being and going way beyond satisfying sexual desires.

I do not believe that dolls will directly prevent someone from acting out sexually against a child, but I do know that they will not drive someone into doing so either. I truly believe that they can play a role in alleviating some of the factors that cause people to carry out a crime against a child. For that reason, reports such as this are dangerous because they act to eliminate a potential aid in the fight against child sexual abuse without looking closely enough to see the positive potential of small dolls. Instead of jumping to conclusions without the appropriate research to back them up, it would greatly benefit society to make the effort required to fully understand the true implications of these dolls.

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