Sex robot manufacturers should consider fulfilling the needs of older people and those who are more vulnerable, according to research.
Studies claim the industry caters to young, able-bodied white men, and it also should think about how to help the older generation in sexual partnerships.
Nancy Jecker, professor of bioethics and humanities at the University of Washington School of Medicine, has argued for the benefits of manufacturing such robots catered for those with disabilities.
She went on to say although the older generation may struggle more with conditions such as arthritis, they still have sexual feelings and desires, reports inews.
In a paper published in the Journal of Medical Ethics, the expert highlighted the ageist attitudes towards the elderly who express their sexuality.
Dr Jecker said: “We apply ageist attitudes and negative stereotypes to older adults. We assume they’re too old to indulge in sex and think that older adults having interest in sex is weird or dirty.
“We have similar attitudes toward people with disabilities, where most research has focused on protecting them from able-bodied sexual predators instead of considering their sexual needs and desires as human beings.”
In the paper she argues the mental and physical health benefits of sex robots for the vulnerable.
“With assistance, older adults can continue to be sexual in ways they value, including sustaining sexually intimate relationships, deriving pleasure from sexual activity, and preserving high-quality sexual lives,” she said.
“Just as service robots are being designed to assist older individuals with functions such as eating, dressing and bathing, they might be designed to assist with social functions, serving as sources of affiliation and sexual partnership.”
The topic of sexuality is seen as taboo when it comes to older people, which could lead to a lack of support to maintain sexual function, says Dr Jecker.
She claims if the industry catered to isolated and lonely members of society, ageism in the western society surrounding sex may be countered.