Via BoingBoing: "Women Living With Fake Baby Dolls Treat Them Like Real Children."
This is as disturbing as it is fascinating -- but perhaps I'm being unfair: there's clearly a very strong psychological desire for these women to be with and fuss over babies. It's no more weirder or depraved than this (NSFW). The consequentialist in me wonders if any harm is being done (likely none). In many of these cases, it's probably far more appropriate for these women to be with dolls rather than real babies.
Looking ahead, and given enough demand, it's completely reasonable to imagine these baby dolls becoming increasingly sophisticated and realistic. There will come a day when these women will be fussing over very cute and super realistic robot babies.
Even before I read any of the commentary, the title alone immediately brought to mind Greg Egan's, "The Cutie."
I suspect the demand (and possible subsequent expanding market) for increasingly realistic androids -- both "fembots" and infants -- could lead to some surprising strides in AI.
Part of me asked "how is this not insanity?"
And part of me remembered the recent comic book trial where it was declared that a manga representation of a child having sex was equivalent to child pornography (where fictional depictions of murder, adult rape, and other crimes carry no such stigma).
So my disturbing question is this: is there a market for these lifelike dolls among those who want to harm infants? You know somewhere a guy has bought one of these and done horrible things to it.
If a woman can acceptably channel her maternal tendencies towards a fake child which, while emotionally tangible, really doesn't carry any of the true responsibility of parenthood, would a similar simulacrum be considered an appropriate outlet for a pedophile?
(the issues of women spending thousands of dollars on ornamental children as opposed to adopting a real one require a whole 'nother chat.)
@Jeff That's an interesting consideration. As disturbing as your scenario is, I have to think that the thought process and intention is still present in the pedophile's mind, but the outlet is channeled elsewhere. Maybe this in and of itself is a good thing. I dunno -- I'm going to have to keep thinking about this one.
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