The disturbing and legal Japanese industry of child-like sex dolls

VICE -- Jun 23
While countries like Australia and the United Kingdom have banned child sex dolls because their governments considered the products to be child abuse material, in Japan, they’re completely legal.

Adults can order a doll with a customizable vagina with the same ease of buying a teddy bear online.

Children’s rights activists in Japan fear the child sex dolls’ impact, both on children and customers who buy them.

Critics argue that allowing the dolls to exist - with hardly any restrictions - helps normalize forcible sexual intercourse with children, a crime punishable by at least five years in prison. They also insist that the dolls make a market out of sexualizing minors, which they claim is reflected in Japan’s loose laws on explicit material depicting children.

Though Japan banned the possession of child abuse material in 2014, the last of 38 member countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development to do so, restrictions didn’t include illustrative media. Manga, anime, and dolls are still legal in Japan, with the former two protected largely by the right to freedom of expression.

But the science on the dolls’ real-world effects - such as whether they lead to more sexual crimes against children, is murky. Some studies argue they could potentially provide people sexually interested in minors with an outlet, thereby making them less likely to act on their desires. ...continue reading

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