Against this backdrop of highly polarized debates, this scoping review study aimed to examine the extent and type of existing academic knowledge on sex dolls and sex robots and to identify gaps in theory and evidence as well as areas for further inquiry. In accordance with the leading methodological guideline for scoping reviews, the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses extension for Scoping Reviews (PRISMA-ScR) checklist, we will proceed to explain, separately and in detail, the review objectives, questions, and purpose.
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Review Objectives To comprehensively map the state of research on sex dolls and robots, it is necessary to cover academic literature from different disciplines and address various dimensions of the issue. Often, debates firstly and primarily focus on the negative or positive effects of sex dolls and sex robots. Effects are an important dimension of this issue. However, it is crucial to be aware that effects always depend on the users and use in different settings (eg, domestic, commercial, and therapeutic) as well as on the selected sex doll’s or sex robot’s design (eg, gender, age, race, body type, and sexual and nonsexual functionalities). Hence, this review, as indicated by its title, addresses the design, use, and effects of both sex dolls and sex robots.
Definition of Sex Dolls Sex dolls are defined as human-like, full-body, anatomically correct anthropomorphic dolls of different materials (eg, rubber, plush, silicone, and thermoplastic elastomer) and price ranges that are designed for sexual use. Sex dolls have at least one penetrable orifice (mouth, vagina, or anus) and/or one body part that can be inserted by the user (tongue or penis). The doll parts for sexual penetration or insertion are usually designed to be removable for cleaning. The special thing about sex dolls is their sexual functions, but this does not mean that they are used exclusively for sexual purposes. They can also serve as artificial love partners, social companions, or photo models, which is why their owners often call them love dolls or simply dolls. The term is also used by most scientists and parts of the media.
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