South Australian sex doll ban

We have been in correspondence with the South Australian lawmaker responsible for that state’s sex doll ban. Our response cribs from some parts of our website:


Thank you for your reply, however you should be aware that all of the world’s leading sex researchers strongly disagree with your claims about a demonstrated link between sex dolls and sexual offending.

Dr James Cantor, former editor of the journal Sexual Abuse and regarded as the world’s leading expert on paraphilias, says that there is no evidence that sex dolls are harmful​, and that they may be helpful in providing a victimless outlet for those with abnormal sexual interests. Dr Craig Harper, editor of Open Psychological Science , says that harms attributed to sex dolls are unsupported by any research evidence​, and Dr Richard Siegel, Director of Modern Sex Therapy Institutes agrees, calling the idea absurd​. Dr Michael Seto concurs​, saying that for some pedophiles, sex dolls may reduce their likelihood of offending​ against real children.

As mentioned in my first email, researchers will be gathering at the upcoming November meeting of the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers (ATSA) in Atlanta, Georgia to discuss the latest research on this issue, which is still in progress. I myself am a member of ATSA and will be participating in those discussions. Furthermore, Prostasia Foundation is raising funds for research on the slightly broader question of whether sexual outlets in general (including not just dolls, but also cartoons and role play) would increase rates of sexual offending against children, or could decrease it.

Although police officers may believe that they increase offending, they are not the experts on this topic—scientists are. In 2010 when the Danish Ministry of Justice was considering whether to ban “virtual child pornography,” it took the sensible step of asking the Sexological Clinic at the Psychiatric Center Copenhagen whether it would actually make any difference to rates of sexual offending against children. In a letter exclusively published by Prostasia Foundation, the Center responded, “ There are no scientific studies related to the question asked.” That remains the case today, almost a decade later.

Although you refer to the Australian Institute of Criminology report as justification for the ban, a close reading of that report shows that its claims about the effects of sex dolls are not backed up by any data, and are purely supposition. This isn’t to say that we don’t have studies that point in the general direction of an answer; however they point in the opposite direction to assumptions made in the Australian Institute of Criminology report.

For example, studies have shown that frequent indulgence in sexual fantasies about children is not significantly related to offending even among minor-attracted persons. It has also been found that access to “virtual child pornography” is not associated with attitudes that sex between adults and real children is acceptable. Although not directly related to virtual pornography—the study relates to real images—there is even evidence that the availability of such content as a sexual outlet may decrease rates of sexual offending against children.

Admittedly, these findings are counter-intuitive. But legislation should not be based on intuition, it should be based on scientific data . And as an organization led by some of the leading scientific experts in this field, I can tell you without equivocation that the assumptions that lie behind this legislation are unproven and likely false. If that is the case, then creating a precedent for such legislation is harmful to children. We ask that scientists be allowed to complete their research on this topic before any further steps are taken to bring this ban into law.

If you would like to be directly introduced to the scientists who are at the forefront of this research, please let me know. In any case, thank you for the time that you took in writing a reply to my initial message.

On 9/16/19 3:18 AM, Casbarra, Patrizia wrote:

Dear Mr Malcolm

I refer to your recent email to Connie Bonaros, MLC and provide the following information for you.

You say, and I quote:

“However banning such dolls will not stop pedophiles from existing and having exactly the same thoughts that they do now. By taking away these dolls as a sexual outlet, experts speculate that that pedophiles may be more likely to act out their wrongful desires against real children. That is why despite our disgust at the existence of these dolls, they are a much lesser evil than the sexual abuse that they might prevent.”

The police and experts disagree with you and we disagree with you. To that end, I provide information from the South Australian Police and other experts (as attached) to illustrate the following points:

These “dolls” – and I use that word loosely - are an emerging and increasing form of child exploitation material that must be criminalised to prevent children from being abused.

They normalise abusive behaviour towards children, encourage the sexualisation of children and increase the likelihood that a paedophile will engage in sexual activity with or towards children, it does not supplant or inhibit it.

In the words of the South Australian Police (‘SAPOL’)

“…the use of child-like sex dolls desensitises individuals to the impact of committing child sex offences and otherwise have no beneficial purpose ”.

There is absolutely no evidence that child sex dolls have a therapeutic benefit in preventing child sexual abuse.

In its submission to the Bill, SAPOL confirmed the following:

“SAPOL investigations into individuals importing child-sex dolls have led to the execution of three search warrants. Evidence was obtained during one of these searches that indicated the individual did have an inappropriate sexual interest in children. Additionally, child-like sex dolls have been located by SAPOL during investigations into unrelated child sex offence investigations. This reinforces the correlation between the dolls and a sexual interest in children.”

After seeking clarification regarding any possible charges that may have arisen from discovery of the abovementioned “dolls”, SAPOL

This information gives the most resounding impetus for the need for my Private Members Bill.

Many countries already have or are in the process of criminalising the importation and possession of these grotesque objects.

In addition, I direct you to the Institute of Criminology report that looked into the matter extensively:

https://aic.gov.au/publications/tandi/tandi570

The report found that:

“The sale of child sex dolls potentially results in the risk of children being objectified as sexual beings and of child sex becoming a commodity. Finally, there is a risk that child-like dolls could be used to groom children for sex, in the same way that adult sex dolls have already been used.

There is no evidence that child sex dolls have a therapeutic benefit in preventing child sexual abuse.”

I trust this information is of use to you.

Kind regards

Patrizia Casbarra | Legislative Adviser

Office of the Hon Connie Bonaros MLC and the Hon Frank Pangallo MLC | Members of the Legislative Council

Parliament House, North Terrace, Adelaide

The information contained within this email may be confidential and/or legally privileged. If you are not the intended recipient, access to it is unauthorised and any disclosure, copying, distribution or action taken or omitted to be taken in reliance on it is prohibited and may be unlawful.

From: Jeremy Malcolm
Sent: Sunday, 15 September 2019 4:48 AM
To: Bonaros, Connie
Subject: URGENT: child sex doll ban will harm special ed children

Dear Ms Bonaros,

I am the Executive Director of Prostasia Foundation, a child protection organization that works with the world’s leading scientific experts on the prevention of sexual offending against children.

I write with reference to your private member’s bill to ban childlike sex dolls, and to your announced plans to write to other Attorneys-General to encourage them to introduce similar bills. Of course, such dolls are creepy and disgusting to contemplate, and it is no wonder that there is a bipartisan desire to see them eliminated from society.

However, as a child protection organization that works with special educators, our first priority is to stop sexual abuse. The special educators that we work with insist that access to these dolls is essential as a tool to stop young adolescents with special needs from abusing their peers. I am attaching a press release that explains these concerns.

Of course, the ban is not intended to target adolescents with special needs, it is intended to target pedophiles. However banning such dolls will not stop pedophiles from existing and having exactly the same thoughts that they do now. By taking away these dolls as a sexual outlet, experts speculate that that pedophiles may be more likely to act out their wrongful desires against real children. That is why despite our disgust at the existence of these dolls, they are a much lesser evil than the sexual abuse that they might prevent.

It is true that more research is needed into whether these dolls are helpful or harmful: whether they will reduce, or increase offending against actual children. We will be presenting with sex researcher Craig Harper on this topic at the 2019 conference of the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers.

Additionally, we have written to the United States Congress about similar bans that are being proposed by Republican lawmakers in the United States. (Although Prostasia Foundation is incorporated in the United States, I am Australian, we have members from South Australia, and we do operate in both countries.) I am attaching a copy of that letter also.

Please take the views of child protection experts seriously: sex dolls that appear underage may be disgusting to contemplate, but they could be an important tool in the fight against the sexual abuse of real children. On behalf of myself and the the prevention experts that I work with, please do not encourage other Attorneys-General to pass sex doll bans until more is known about the effects of these dolls.

Please do not hesitate to contact me personally for more information about this sensitive issue.


Jeremy Malcolm PhD LLB (Hons) B Com
Executive Director, Prostasia Foundation
https://prostasia.org - +1 415 650 2557

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Honestly, I have had quite a laugh reading this, but this takes the cake.
The fact that their so-called “scientists” treat correlation as causation is all the proof need to show how unqualified these individuals are.

It is very obvious that this was done in order to gain political favor.


Just received this response from the office of the South Australian Attorney-General. They are admitting that there is no evidence to support the harms alleged, but they decided to go ahead with their unscientific doll ban anyway. This is becoming a familiar scenario.

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Just see how delusional the world is. They criminalize things by weak excuses of may be, not even caring about that which causes social harm and increase of the likehood of CSA is their ban itself.

If a thing may be harmful, we suggest further research of whether it is actually harmful rather than jump to the conclusion that “we should ban it anyway.” Nowdays, logic and science are getting thrown away by those SJWs, puritans, and politicians caring about only themselves.

This is why we need technocracy.

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I’ve been calling it a trend.

I wonder how long it will take for this nonsense to subside.

A trend of being prejudicial and unscientific, a tread facilitating real sexual abuses rather than busting them. This is not good.

Some of them are cute too, how sad.