"Rape and child sexual abuse are not prevented with men practising on child sex abuse dolls": Our report for the United Nations Special Rapporteur

"Men’s sexual entitlement to the bodies of children must be challenged, not accommodated."

In December last year, were invited to join other child protection representatives in a roundtable consultation at RMIT in November with the UN Special Rapporteur on the Sale and Sexual Exploitation of Children, Ms. Mama Fatima Singhateh, as part of her country visit to Australia to learn more on the risks facing Australian children and young people.

Movement Director Melinda Tankard Reist gave evidence, speaking on the negative influence of pornography, how it operated as a grooming tool, and was contributing to a rise in harmful sexual behaviours in young people. Campaigns Manager Caitlin Roper, who wrote a book on sex dolls, prepared a submission on the trade in child sex abuse dolls. You can read it below. 

Child sex abuse dolls are lifelike, anatomically correct sex dolls modelled on the bodies of children – mostly girls – marketed for men’s sexual use. Typically child sex abuse dolls come with penetrable orifices designed to accommodate an adult male’s penis. They can be made in the likeness of children, toddlers and even infants. They come with a range of facial expressions. Some appear to be smiling, to aid in the fantasy it is a child enjoying sexual abuse, while others appear to be crying or in pain, and some appear to be sleeping or unconscious. Mainly produced in China and Japan, child sex abuse dolls like these are already on the market, and have even been sold through a number of mainstream online retailers, including Amazon, eBay, Wish, Alibaba and Etsy, as well as social media platforms Instagram and Twitter.Child_sex_abuse_dolls_cover.png

Academics and pro-paedophilia lobby groups advocate men’s access to child sex abuse dolls

There has been a concerted effort among paedophile rights groups and some academics to ‘destigmatise’ paedophilia and disentangle it from child sexual abuse. Paedophiles have rebranded as ‘Minor Attracted Persons’ (MAPs), claiming sexual attraction to children is an unchangeable sexual orientation, and some supporters argue paedophiles are victims of their circumstances who are deserving of sympathy and compassion.

Advocates argue that since these men cannot legally or ethically act on their sexual desires to rape and sexually abuse children, they should have access to sexual outlets that allow them to simulate it. These include ‘virtual’ child pornography/child sexual abuse material (artistic or computer-generated depictions of non-existing children) as well as child sex abuse dolls.

Some academic advocates argue that providing paedophiles with replica child sex dolls to enact their rape fantasies could prevent their abuse of children, and a few even go as far as to claim that failing to provide paedophiles with child-like sex dolls could put children at further risk of abuse.

Pro-child sex abuse doll advocates argue that sex dolls made in the likeness of little girls, toddlers and babies are merely sex toys like any other. US-based organisation Prostasia Foundation, which campaigns against laws criminalising child sex abuse dolls and sexualised depictions of children in drawings and cartoons, and funds research into “fantasy sexual outlets” for paedophiles, argues laws against child sex abuse dolls are “unconstitutional, misguided and immoral”. Doll advocates claim men’s sexual use of child sex abuse dolls is a victimless crime, just as they have argued the consumption of virtual child sexual abuse material is a victimless crime, because no child is being abused in its production.


We argue instead that legitimising children as appropriate objects of men’s sexual desire and gratification puts them at risk, normalising men’s sexual use and abuse of children and encouraging offenders. Promotional material for child sex abuse dolls portrays little girls as seductive and desiring sex with “mature” men, undermining important social norms that children are off limits for men’s sexual use. We note also that in a 2020 report, the previous Special Rapporteur warned that sexualised depictions of “non-existing” children served to normalise men’s sexual abuse of children:

The increased accessibility and availability of child sexual abuse material online appears to normalise this crime and may encourage potential offenders and increase the severity of abuse. This includes new phenomena, such as drawings and virtual representations of non-existing children in a sexualised manner, widely available on the Internet.

The increasing social acceptance of early sexualisation is exacerbated by the widespread dissemination of child sexual abuse material on the Internet and the production of highly realistic representations of non-existing children. This objectification of children comforts offenders in their actions.

Child sex abuse dolls as an escalated method of engaging with CSAM

Rather than preventing men’s sexual abuse of children, as advocates claim, using a child sex abuse doll could represent an escalated method of engaging with child sexual abuse material. On a child abuse spectrum from viewing child sexual abuse material to contact offending, performing sex acts on a child sex abuse doll may be understood as a natural progression from viewing child sexual abuse material, and a step closer to sexually abusing a child.

A 2019 report from the Australian Institute of Criminology found not only that there is no evidence child sex abuse dolls could prevent abuse, but that they could increase the risk of abuse. The authors warned that child sex abuse doll use could lead to an escalation in sexual offences against children, desensitise users to the harm of sexual abuse (as dolls do not offer any emotional feedback), that they could be used to groom children for abuse, and “promote a continuum of behaviour that results in contact offending, by bridging the gap between fantasy and reality”.


According to researchers Marie-Helen Maras and Lauren Shapiro from City University of New York, recent UK arrests for importing child sex abuse dolls indicate that offenders escalate from viewing child sexual abuse material to engaging in physical acts on child sex abuse dolls. In these cases, viewing child sexual abuse material did “whet the appetite of the perpetrators” as their “thoughts” – fantasies about sex acts against children – became “behaviours” – through purchasing the child sex abuse doll and performing sex acts on it.

Child sex abuse dolls do not prevent child sexual abuse

The vast majority of men found in possession of child sex abuse dolls continue to sexually offend against children, and are typically found with images and videos constituting child sexual abuse material, featuring the abuse, rape and torture of children. A press release from New York Congressman, Dan Donovan, who introduced the Curbing Realistic Exploitative Electronic Pedophilic Robots (CREEPER) Act to ban the importation and distribution of child sex abuse dolls, revealed that of the 128 child-like dolls seized in the UK, 85 per cent of the men who imported them were also found in possession of child sexual abuse material. Also in the UK, seizures of child sex abuse dolls have led investigators to identify previously unknown sexual offenders against children. In my own research I have documented numerous cases where men found in possession of child sex abuse dolls were found in possession of other child sexual abuse material, or sexually offended against children in other ways i.e. through covert filming, contact offending. Owning a child sex abuse doll or consuming virtual child sexual abuse material did not prevent these men from sexually offending against children.

Predators incorporate actual children into their sex doll use

There is also evidence of male owners of child sex abuse dolls incorporating actual children into their doll usage. A South Australian man who was arrested after being caught with hundreds of images of child sexual abuse material was also found in possession of five child sex abuse dolls, one of which was dressed in girls’ clothing, with a sex toy built into it and a laminated photo of a real child’s face attached to its head. A Victorian primary school teacher filmed himself having intercourse with a child sex abuse doll dressed in a school uniform with masks made from school photos of his young students. Police also found videos of sex acts on which he had digitally imposed his own face and that of one of his students, as well as thousands of child abuse images and several covert recording devices.

Child sex abuse dolls customised in the likeness of actual children

Child sex abuse dolls can be customised in the likeness of a specific child. While it is common for doll sellers to allow buyers to design their own dolls by selecting hair and eye colour, body type and a range of other features, some manufacturers will also produce child sex abuse dolls modelled on actual children based on a customer-supplied photo – a prospect being celebrated by paedophiles.

We have exposed global online marketplaces, such as Etsy and Made-In-China, selling child sex abuse dolls modelled on actual children and offering to customise child sex abuse dolls based on a photo. In 2020, Campaigner Melinda Liszewski posed as a potential customer and approached sellers on Etsy. One claimed to have made a particular child doll in the likeness of a popular 14-year-old Instagram model. When Liszewski sent the seller computer-generated images of non-existing children and requested dolls that resembled the girls in the photos, the seller agreed.


After uncovering a trove of child sex abuse dolls modelled on the bodies of little girls, including toddlers, on Made-In-China, Campaigner Lyn Swanson Kennedy found a manufacturer offering to customise dolls based on a customer supplied photo of a child. In addition to customisable skin colour, eye colour, hair, foot function and genitalia options, the seller assured potential buyers that their “professional doll mould team” could accommodate their request for a doll made in the likeness of a specific girl.

In 2020, Child Rescue Coalition shared the account of an American woman after she had been alerted to a child sex abuse doll on Amazon modelled on her eight-year-old daughter, based on a photo she had previously uploaded to a child modelling page on social media.

The production of customisable child sex abuse dolls enables predatory men to commission dolls modelled on children known to them, even those in their care, to practice their fantasies of rape and sexual abuse. One man posted a photo of a little girl he knew in a paedophile forum, asking for a quote to produce a sex doll in her image (it was $6000). A different man posting in the forum explained how he purchased a child sex abuse doll that closely resembled a little girl in his care he was fixated on, and how he dressed the doll in clothes she might wear to “heighten the effect”. Another wrote in a product review how he looked forward to using the doll while fantasising about his best friend’s four year old daughter.

Child sex abuse dolls used to create new virtual child sexual abuse material

Men who own child sex abuse dolls use them to create new virtual child sexual abuse material, filming and uploading pornographic videos of themselves using child-like dolls to paedophile forums for others to enjoy. Forum members can share requests for certain sex acts to be performed on dolls modelled on little girls and even infants.

We call for uniform legislation to criminalise child sex abuse dolls globally

Paedophiles will go to extreme lengths to evade the law, employing strategies like adding large, removable breasts to child-sized dolls, shipping dolls in pieces, and ordering dolls without penetrable orifices and drilling their own with the help of an instructional video – if they think they can get away with it. My research has found that prospective doll buyers are frustrated by Australia’s strong laws prohibiting child sex abuse dolls, and that strong sanctions do deter men from purchasing dolls.

The child sex abuse doll market is still in its infancy, yet children have already been harmed through their manufacture and use. Experts predict that child sex abuse robots will be next, and may already be in development. Australian Border Force has reported a 653 per cent increase in detections of child sex abuse dolls over the last two years. As the technology advances, more children will be put at risk of serious harm.

We need state parties around the world to act urgently to uphold the rights of children –society’s most vulnerable members, through uniform legislation criminalising the manufacture, sale, importation and possession of child sex abuse dolls. There must be significant penalties associated with these offences to reflect cultural values that children – whether in real life or depicted as sex abuse dolls – are off limits for men’s sexual use. Australia’s laws could serve as a useful model for other countries and states considering their options.

Men’s sexual entitlement to the bodies of children must be challenged, not accommodated. Crimes of rape and child sexual abuse are not prevented with men practising on child sex abuse dolls.

Read a version of this submission which includes references here

See also:

Sex Dolls, Robots and Woman Hating: The Case for Resistance by Caitlin Roper

“Better a robot than a real child”: The spurious logic used to justify child sex dolls - ABC Religion and Ethics

Trends and impacts of child sex abuse dolls:ECPAT International Conference on the Prevention of Child Sexual Exploitation (video)

Sexual exploitation of children in Australia: Our report for UN Special Rapporteur

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  • Caitlin Roper
    published this page in News 2024-03-30 23:42:06 +1100

You can defend their right to childhood

A world free of sexploitation is possible!

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