UBC professor says sex robots could improve marriage


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University of B.C. economics professor Marina Adshade argues that sex robots could improve marriages by making them more about love and less about sex.

Adshade predicts that the availability of sex robots will help couples define their own types of marriages and allow them to create “companionate marriages,” which focus on raising children instead of sex.

She wrote a chapter on the topic for the book Robot Sex: Social and Ethical Implications that she will be reading at the UBC bookstore on Wednesday.

People have become “increasingly demanding” in what they want from the person they choose to marry, she says and are looking for “lasting sexual compatibility, intense romance, and someone who is an amazing co-parent.”

“Sex robots, I think, will help move us away from thinking that we need to get everything from one person and allow us to focus on other qualities in a marriage partner, free of the requirement of sexual compatibility,” she says in a release.

She doesn’t see sex robots as substitutes for human companionship, “but rather as complements to human companionship. Just because we might enjoy the company of robots doesn’t mean that we cannot also enjoy the company of humans, or that having robots won’t enhance our relationships with humans.”

Marriage, she says, “will continue to be the cornerstone of our society – I don’t doubt that – but it will not be what we have come to think about as “traditional marriage.” That probably never existed in the first place, but what it is, and what it will be, is an important conversation for us to be having.”

Adshade launched an undergraduate course called ‘Economics of Sex and Love’ in 2008 and published her first book, Dollars and Sex: How Economics Influences Sex and Love, in 2013.

She and Robot Sex: Social and Ethical Implications co-editor, philosophy professor Neil McArthur, will be at the UBC bookstore for a discussion on the topic tomorrow at 4 p.m.

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Melissa is a reporter at Vancouver Is Awesome and has worked primarily in radio and online media. She grew up in Ontario, went to school in Halifax and worked in Northern B.C. before moving to Vancouver. If you've got a story to share email: melissa@vancouverisawesome.com