Child Sex Dolls Should Be Used By Pedophiles So They Won’t Harm Real Kids, Expert Says

Published August 3, 2017
Updated January 10, 2018

"I would love to get to a stage where society can accept that some people are sexually attracted to children... and it is safe for those people to admit to their attraction."


Mere days after a UK judge ruled that sex dolls resembling children are “obscene” in the case of a man convicted of importing one into the UK, one British sex therapist has now gone on record claiming that these dolls shouldn’t be confiscated from pedophiles but instead distributed to them.

Juliet Grayson — registered psychosexual therapist and the chair of the Specialist Treatment Organization for the Prevention of Sexual Offending (StopSO) — told the Independent that prescribing child-like sex dolls to pedophiles would be like treating a heroin addict with methadone, and that she herself would not object to treating offenders with such dolls.

“I do know of a man who had children dolls – he had two and was very happy to use them rather than touching a child,” Grayson said. “This wasn’t great but better than nothing.”

Indeed, Grayson suggested that allowing pedophiles to use child sex dolls in a “managed environment” might stop them from harming actual children. If pedophiles’ urges can’t be switched off, Grayson claimed, then they must be channeled in the right ways.

“You can tell an alcoholic to stop drinking and that it’s not going to kill you to stop drinking, but that doesn’t mean they’re going to do it. It’s the same with heroin, or alcohol, or chocolate,” Grayson said.

Moreover, Grayson added:

“I would love to get to a stage where society can accept that some people are sexually attracted to children and yet they remain completely law abiding, and it is safe for those people to admit to their attraction… We will be protecting our children better, when this person is able to tell their friends, ‘I am sexually attracted to children, I am a non-offending paedophile, but I am managing it safely and not acting out in anyway. But for your own peace of mind, don’t leave your children with me unaccompanied’.”

But for now, such treatment and acceptance for pedophiles do not exist, Grayson claimed, with most convicted offenders being released back into society after serving time without any kind of rehabilitation at all.

However, experts on the other side of this issue claim that Grayson’s idea of treatment would not prove helpful at all.

According to the Independent, Jon Brown, head of development at the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, said in a statement:

“There is no evidence to support the idea that the use of so-called child sex dolls helps prevent potential abusers from committing contact offences against real children…. And in fact there is a risk that those using these child sex dolls or realistic props could become desensitised and their behaviour becomes normalised to them, so that they go on to harm children themselves, as is often the case with those who view indecent images.”

Whether treatment for pedophiles involves child sex dolls or not, the recent judicial ruling that such dolls are “obscene” has forced the matter back into headlines both in the UK and abroad. While research on the topic is notoriously unreliable due to subjects’ reticence, several studies conducted throughout the Western world place the prevalence of pedophiles at between one and two percent of the population.

And how exactly to deal with this percentage has long been a controversial issue. Last year, for example, Japanese manufacturer Shin Takagi spoke with The Atlantic about the child sex dolls he’d been making for pedophiles for some ten years and how, he claimed, these dolls had helped many re-channel their urges.

However, that same article also notes that there have not yet been any studies to scientifically measure Takagi’s assertion. Furthermore, paraphilia researcher Peter Fagan of the John Hopkins School of Medicine told The Atlantic that Takagi’s dolls would likely have a “reinforcing effect” on pedophilic urges and “in many instances, cause it to be acted upon with greater urgency.”

Nevertheless, child sex dolls — as well as certain virtual reality solutions — continue to receive support from many authorities in the field of psychosexual research.

At the same time, at least one 2007 analysis from the Mayo Clinic shows that more traditional methods of treating pedophiles (including cognitive-behavioral therapy and chemical castration) do not actually change the subject’s urges.

But if traditional methods are failing, whatever new methods we may devise remain, for now, a matter only of heated debate.

Next, read up on the Indonesian government’s decision to use chemical castration against sex offenders who target children. Then, have a look at five horrifying acts of child abuse that used to be totally legal.

All That's Interesting
Established in 2010, All That's Interesting brings together a dedicated staff of digital publishing veterans and subject-level experts in history, true crime, and science. From the lesser-known byways of human history to the uncharted corners of the world, we seek out stories that bring our past, present, and future to life. Privately-owned since its founding, All That's Interesting maintains a commitment to unbiased reporting while taking great care in fact-checking and research to ensure that we meet the highest standards of accuracy.
John Kuroski
John Kuroski is the editorial director of All That's Interesting. He graduated from New York University with a degree in history, earning a place in the Phi Alpha Theta honor society for history students. An editor at All That's Interesting since 2015, his areas of interest include modern history and true crime.