A controversial study has been slammed after suggesting letting paedophiles live out their fantasies on child sex robots could stop them harming children.
Researchers from Czechia's National Institute of Mental Health told of their controversial idea at a sexual health conference in Belgium.
With one team of men who were sexually attracted to children and another with a sexual interest in non-consent/violence, data showed 18% of the control group wanted to have sex with a robot, but this doubled to 37.5% among the paedophile group, according to the Daily Mail.
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While researchers say this could be key in preventing paedophile activity, experts have said it would be a "grave mistake".
Psychology student at Charles University in Prague, Alena Mareckov said: "This indicates that individuals with paraphilic interest in minors are slightly more open to the idea of sex robots experience.
"Studies exploring preferred features of sex robots and interest in their use in therapy are needed."
However, Professor Noel Sharkey, an expert in AI and robotics at the University of Sheffield, hit out at the "limited" results, adding: "This study tells us nothing about the use of sex robots for therapeutic uses with paedophiles or potential sex offenders.
"It tells us only that in the small sample, slightly more people who would like to have sex with children or have non-consensual sex would like to have sex with robots than other randomly chosen people."
He said: "It would be a grave mistake to believe that if a paedophile has sex with a robot that it would reduce their desire to have sex with children.
"We already know from police reports that paedophile rings love to have children sized sex dolls either individually or in groups. But it does not change their desire for children."
The full results of the survey and the conference abstract were published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine.
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