Ethics of Sex Doll Brothels

business_ethics_highlights_2The story below is about a sex doll brothel opening in Toronto. Issues: Will the availability of sex with a doll (which doesn’t need to consent to sex, and which can be treated roughly) lead men to act badly in other ways, including towards women? Does anyone know? And either way, is it OK for a company to profit from sex dolls in the meantime? Is it OK for a business to target its marketing to men with violent tendencies? (Note also that at least one Toronto city counsellor is concerned that the brothel is in a ‘family’ neighbourhood.)


LINK: Why Toronto’s sex doll brothel is bad for women (by Michelle Da Silva for Now)

…when Aura Dolls opens in a plaza at Yonge and Sheppard on September 8, only 140 days will have passed since a man targeted pedestrians during a van rampage in that very neighbourhood, killing 10 people and injuring 16 others. The alleged attacker, Alek Minassian, identified as an incel, or “involuntary celibate,” on his Facebook page. He was part of a community of mostly straight, white men who are unable to find sexual partners and focus their anger on women and endorse violence against sexually active people.

According to a spokesperson for Aura Dolls, a sex doll brothel is here for these kinds of men.

“We try to focus on the fact that since we have this service, for men who have these dark, violent fantasies, instead of putting out the urge to act aggressively, they can do something like this which is safe for everyone,” Claire Lee told CityNews. “The only rule on anything that relates to what we do is that we can’t have dolls that look underage”….

What do you think?

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  1. What about the ethics of prohibiting voluntary exchanges?

    • Good question. It’s not really a question of business ethics, but one of public policy. But from that point of view, the question would be: how much evidence would the government need that this business is creating negative externalities in order to justify prohibiting this set of voluntary exchanges?

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