Nothing to be ashamed of: Sex robots for older adults with disabilities

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This paper spotlights ways in which sexual capacities relate to central human capabilities, such as the ability to generate a personally meaningful story of one's life; be physically, mentally and emotionally healthy; experience bodily integrity; affiliate and bond with others; feel and express a range of human emotions; and choose a plan of life. It sets forth a dignity-based argument for affording older people access to sex robots as part of reasonable efforts to support their central human capabilities at a floor level. The argument develops stepwise: (1) first, I dispel ageism and negative stereotypes about later-life sexuality, showing their deep historical roots in medicine and science; (2) second, I set forth a positive argument, grounded in capability accounts of justice, for deploying sex robots for older people with disabilities; (3) finally, after responding to objections, I conclude that sex robots are a reasonable way to support later-life sexuality for persons with disabilities. While often depicted as a product for younger, able-bodied people, this paper is a bid for reimagining sex robots as a product for older, disabled people.




Jecker, N. S. (2021). Nothing to be ashamed of: Sex robots for older adults with disabilities. Journal of Medical Ethics, 47(1), 26–32.

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