WASHINGTON -- The U.S. House on Wednesday approved a ban on the importation and trafficking of anatomically correct child sex dolls and robots that "normalize sex between adults and minors."
The proposal was approved in the House by a voice vote and now moves to the Senate.
"These dolls can be programmed to simulate rape. The very thought makes me nauseous," said House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, a Virginia Republican.
Child sex dolls are one niche of a nascent robotic sex industry that has generated debate about the ethics of the use of lifelike machines for sexual activity. It is a subject that turns from squeamish to outright revulsion for many when it touches on child sex dolls and robots.
"Once an abuser tires of practicing on a doll, it's a small step to move on to a child. My bill takes necessary steps to stop these sickening dolls from reaching our communities," said Rep. Dan Donovan, a New York Republican who sponsored the legislation.
The child sex dolls are imported from China, Hong Kong and Japan, often labeled as mannequins or models to avoid seizure by authorities. No current U.S. law specifically bans the importation and sale of the sex dolls.
Sex robots are increasingly lifelike, composed of silicon fleshlike material, some with basic artificial intelligence that allows conversations based on moods.
The bill is called the CREEPER Act, which stands for Curbing Realistic Exploitative Electronic Pedophilic Robots Act."
The proposal says the obscene dolls and robots "are customizable or morphable and can resemble actual children. ... The dolls and robots normalize submissiveness and normalize sex between adults and minors."
Goodlatte said he was "distraught" that the problem of child sex dolls even exists.