Experts see nothing in child sex doll ban: ‘Do not prevent child abuse’

“It is disgusting to think that someone is having sex with a doll that looks like a child,” said psychologist and researcher Weinke Smead, one of the leading experts in sexual crime risk assessment. “I also think it’s a bad idea. The question is whether that’s enough to ban child sex dolls.”

“meet the need”

“People think the doll is inciting pedophiles to abuse children,” she says. “If it were, that would be serious. But there’s no evidence of that and there probably isn’t at all. The doll probably just makes them feel no need to have sex with real kids. You just have to ban something.” If it is serious, it is not because we find it unpleasant.”

RTL Nieuws spoke with several experts, all of whom questioned the plan to ban child sex dolls. To better understand this phenomenon, we also asked for numbers and spoke to a pedophile who once asked for a baby sex doll.

The difference between child sexual abuse and homosexuality

Child sexual abuse is an adult’s sexual preference for children under 12 years of age. Experiencing sexual feelings in children is not considered a crime, even if it deviates from the norm.

Child sexual abuse (sodomy) is punishable. Pedophilia is often automatically associated with child abuse. In 80 percent of cases, the child abuser is someone who has no sexual preference for minors.

Source: Expertisebureau Online Child Abuse

Yeşilgöz wants to ban child sex dolls to prevent sexual abuse. According to the minister, the fact that it is now legal conflicts with the responsibility to protect children.

“Easy Sign Up,” Winky Smead calls it. “This ban does nothing to prevent child abuse. Thousands of children are abused every year. There is work to be done there. Not with a phenomenon as small as child sex dolls.”

“If these dolls were banned, it would become a victimless crime,” says sexologist Eric Van Beek. He also asserted that there was no evidence that sex dolls for children lead to child abuse. He thinks it doesn’t work that way.

“For people to have sex with a doll first and then think, ‘I’d like that with a real baby’ is such a dirty thinking. It doesn’t work that way. Because those fantasies have always been there.”

Pop is not a move

“Most pedophiles are not child abusers. They know they shouldn’t, don’t want or can’t have sex with children. Pedophiles don’t use a doll as a starting point for children, but because they know they can be satisfied with who-that.”

Bastian order a sex doll with a child

RTL Nieuws was curious about what a baby sex doll could mean to someone and got in touch with Bastiaan (40, not his real name). He is a pedophile and has requested a doll that looks like a girl between the ages of six and twelve, which he is attracted to.

“At 25, I realized that I love young children. It was really hard. At the time, pedophiles to me equaled someone doing horrible things to children too. I didn’t want to be like that.”

“Only years later I was able to look at myself in the mirror and say: That’s not you. It didn’t make me OK with my sex life, but I could give it more space. However, it was very difficult. I can’t tell anyone, for fear of rejection. In 2019, I communicated the feelings of my colleagues via Pedophilie.nl. In the chat I can talk about it for the first time in my life, after which I felt a happy feeling. A little loneliness fell from me. “

“My sexual desires started to develop at the age of 18. I also had fantasies about children. At that time I thought it was a phase that was going to end. I had never seen child pornography. This is really taboo. My desires or my happiness should never go away. They come at someone else’s expense. I don’t want to contribute to child abuse by looking for those pictures.”

“A couple of years ago I wondered if a doll would help me fulfill my sexual desires. It’s something that doesn’t hurt anyone because a doll has no feeling. So I thought, maybe that’s a thing for me. I ordered one that would match what I found attractive but I quickly realized the doll didn’t Bring me what I wish for.”

“However, I do not regret that I spent 1,200 euros. She gave me the answer to the question if it was something for me. Others might enjoy it, but now I have it stored in a closet.”

Sexologist Van Beek knows the stories of pedophiles taking pleasure in their doll. “They knew they couldn’t interact with children, but they could still form their fantasies in a private place.”

Ban hits the wrong people

Smed also says, “Even if you think it’s disgusting, what do we have to do with what someone does with a piece of rubber in their bedroom?” “It’s not like people order such an expensive doll out of nowhere and then suddenly start abusing a child.”

“Someone with an adult sex doll wouldn’t suddenly rape people,” Van Beek says. “The ban is more likely to affect those who do something with sex dolls out of poverty than those with evil intentions.”

Customs see fewer sex dolls for children

It is not known exactly how large the phenomenon of sex dolls with children. The experts RTL Nieuws spoke to speak of a “niche within a niche”: There are fewer pedophiles, and fewer who are drawn to dolls. The Online Child Abuse Expertise Agency does not view child sex dolls as a social problem.

According to Minister Yesilgoz, the customs authorities found about 30 sex dolls for children a year before the outbreak of the Corona pandemic. During the pandemic, this number will be much lower, and now the number is increasing again. But the numbers requested by RTL Nieuws show that this is incorrect.

Since March 2018, Customs has kept a structural record of the number of potential child sex dolls entering the Netherlands. That year there were nine suspected cases. The following year there were 35.

In Corona 2020 and 2021, there were 23 and eight potential dolls. In the first half of this year there were three. Thus, the recorded numbers are declining, but it is possible that the customs authorities have lost part of them. Not all shipments have been checked. Customs will not conduct an investigation unless (there is a suspicion that) the papers are incorrect.

Moreover, some sex dolls are not intended for the Netherlands, but for other European countries. The exact size of this serving has not been investigated.

Misunderstanding about child abusers

“A lot of people forget that pedophiles are not automatically the ones who abuse children,” says Smid. “Many never commit a crime. They can control their desires. People who abuse are also antisocial. They put their own interests above harm to the child.”

Research shows that most child sexual abuse is not caused by pedophiles. In 20 percent of cases, abuse is perpetrated by a person of perverted sexual orientation. This could be pedophilia, but it could also be something else. In 90 percent of cases, the child abuser is known to the victim, such as a neighbor, teacher, sports teacher, or family member.

“There is a category of pedophiles who commit abuse, but the vast majority of them do not,” says Van Beek. “In general, pedophiles know very well what is and is not allowed. They wouldn’t really suspect it if they owned a doll.”

So experts don’t understand why the minister also says sex dolls with babies ensure that people find sex between adults and children normal. There is no evidence for this either, until the study on which the minister based her plan says.

hard to get

“It’s not as if sex dolls are in every store window and being promoted,” says Smed. “If it’s being sold everywhere for almost nothing, that’s a different story. But it’s not easy to buy and it’s expensive. It’s crazy to have someone order a doll for it.”

In response to RTL Nieuws, Minister Yeşilgöz acknowledged that there is not enough scientific evidence to say that child sex dolls increase the risk of child abuse or provide a protective effect. However, she insists she wants to ban sex dolls because pedophilia is “totally undesirable and undesirable”.

It is not yet clear what the law will look like this year. This should indicate whether the prohibition relates, for example, to the possession, import or sale of sex dolls for children. Then, a majority of the members of the House of Representatives must agree before the law can go into effect.

Do you watch child pornography? Are you – or do you know – someone who is concerned about their sexual feelings and behavior towards minors? Then he spoke (unknown): 0800-2666436. Help is available: www.stopitnow.nl.

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