The Use and Effects of Dolls and Robots: A Scoping Review

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Sex dolls and sex robots have become the subject of significant debate and research due to their potential impact on society. A scoping review of the academic literature on this topic aimed to examine their design, use, and effects, as well as the potential implications for various aspects of human life.


Although sex toys representing human body parts are widely accepted and normalized, human-like full-body sex dolls and sex robots have elicited highly controversial debates. These debates have raised questions about whether they should be explored as possible therapeutic tools or criminalized due to potential implications for sexual deviance.

Objectives of the Scoping Review

The scoping review aimed to examine the extent and type of existing academic knowledge on sex dolls and sex robots. It sought to identify research gaps and address the polarized debates surrounding these technologies. The review also aimed to understand the potential risks and opportunities for sexual and social well-being associated with the use of sex dolls and sex robots.

Literature Review

The review included a total of 29 publications on sex dolls and 98 publications on sex robots, spanning from 1993 to 2019. The publications were divided into different groups based on their topics and methodologies. The majority of the included publications were theoretical papers, indicating a need for more empirical research on the topic.

Research Gaps and Conclusions

The review identified a lack of observational or experimental research that uses actual sex doll or sex robots. It concluded that there is a need to improve the theoretical elaboration and the scope and depth of empirical research, particularly concerning the risks and opportunities for sexual and social well-being associated with these technologies.In summary, the scoping review provides a comprehensive overview of the existing academic literature on sex dolls and sex robots, highlighting the need for further research to better understand their design, use, and effects. The review also emphasizes the importance of addressing the potential implications of these technologies for individuals and society as a whole.


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