Australian Authorities Crack Down On Life-Like Child Sex Dolls, Should They Be Illegal In The U.S.?

Australian authorities are cracking down on the importation, sale, and possession of so-called “child sex dolls,” while the man who creates them insists that he is an artist and that his creations are valid therapeutic tools, the Sydney Morning Herald is reporting.

Shin Takagi, who admits that he and most of his clients are pedophiles, is one manufacturer of the lifelike dolls. Made of material that is said to resemble human skin, the dolls — which come with heating instructions — are sold wearing lingerie or schoolgirl uniforms, and have names like “Lemonade Bonbon” or “Leopard Sisters,” according to Takagi’s website, which will not be linked to in this post.

Speaking to the Atlantic earlier this year, Takagi told reporter Roc Morin that he believes the dolls can help pedophiles such as himself — pedophiles who have sexual urges toward children but have never acted on them — to “express” their fetish in a way that doesn’t actually harm kids.

“We should accept that there is no way to change someone’s fetishes. I am helping people express their desires, legally and ethically. It’s not worth living if you have to live with repressed desire.”

Takagi also insist that his dolls serve their intended purpose of giving pedophiles a safe outlet for their desires. He said that he’s received letters from pedophiles that confirm that his creations have kept them from committing crimes.

“I often receive letters from buyers. The letters say, ‘Thanks to your dolls, I can keep from committing a crime.’ I hear statements like that from doctors, prep school teachers—even celebrities.”

Whether or not science supports the idea that child sex dolls will prevent pedophiles from committing crimes against children remains unclear. As of this writing, there has been no scientific research into the issue one way or the other. Peter Fagan, from the John Hopkins School of Medicine, says there likely won’t ever be such research. For his part, he believes that such products would “reinforce” a pedophiles desires, and cause the pedophile to act on them with “greater urgency.”

Australia is having none of that.

No law in Australia targets the child sex dolls specifically; rather, they’re forbidden based on existing Australian laws covering child pornography (the Australian government essentially considers them three-dimensional child pornography), and they’re considered “objectionable goods likely to cause offense.”

An online petition to have the government specifically ban the “sickening aids for pedophiles” has already gained 60,000 signatures. Already one Australian man has been arrested for the possession of a “life-like child doll with a removable silicon genital insert.” As of this writing, he is still awaiting trial.

Meanwhile, the Australian Federal Police are working with border patrol and other agencies to keep the child sex dolls from being imported into Australia, according to a spokesperson.

“The AFP continues to work closely with the Australian Border Force and state police agencies to bring before the courts those that seek to possess or are in possession of a child sex doll,”

In case you were wondering, child sex dolls are probably legal in the United States. The word “probably” is used because, as of this writing, it does not appear that anyone in the U.S. has been arrested for possession of such a doll, and the matter has not gone before any criminal court.

Speaking to the Daily Dot, lawyer Kashmir Hill notes that a 2002 Supreme Court ruling legalized “virtual child pornography” — that is, cartoons, or media depicting simulated sex with underage children but where no actual sex occurred — is legal. Hill believes that a child sex doll would be protected under that “virtual child pornography” ruling.

However, attorney Alan James Brinkmeier, writing in Avvo, cautions against a reader who was considering buying a child sex doll for himself.

“You likely know there is a long history in the United States of regulating, and even criminalizing, various sexual practices and sex toys. The courts are split and have been for about twenty years. Federal Constitutional laws and state statute laws diverge.”

Do you believe that child sex dolls should be illegal in the United States (or wherever you live)?

[Image via Shutterstock/Guayo Fuentes]