CREEPER Act would turn law-abiding Americans into sex offenders

By Jeremy Malcolm . . . In December 2017 the Curbing Realistic Exploitative Electronic Pedophilic Robots Act was introduced into Congress by Rep. Daniel Donovan (R-Staten Island/Brooklyn) and 12 bipartisan cosponsors. This more memorably-named CREEPER Act would expand the Federal ban on importation of obscene materials to include child sex dolls. Similar bans have resulted in the prosecution of doll owners in the United Kingdom and Canada, though the Canadian prosecution is subject to a constitutional challenge.

The concept of a child sex doll disgusts most ordinary people. So it’s unsurprising that experts believe these dolls are being purchased not by ordinary people but by pedophiles; those whose sexual attraction to prepubescent children is anything but ordinary. As disgusting as this attraction is to think about, it is not illegal to be a pedophile, just as it is not illegal to have other disgusting thoughts—unless you act on those thoughts by breaking the law.

This is just as well, because if it was illegal simply to be a pedophile, that would mean criminalizing up to 8 million Americans, which would more than double the existing population of felons. Since experts believe that pedophiles don’t choose to be attracted to children, it also seems unfair to criminalize them for what may be an unwanted condition, especially since most of them never go on to abuse a child.

While CREEPER would not make all pedophiles into instant sex offenders, it would do so for purchasers of child sex dolls. One of the justifications that its proponent gives for the Bill is the claim that 85% of those found with sex dolls in the United Kingdom also had possession of illegal child pornography, ie. images of real children being abused.

But that means that 15% of them didn’t, and that we would be criminalizing them for possession of what is, essentially, a masturbation aid. And since when is possession of something that is merely correlated with illegal activity separately punishable? Even though there is a correlation between those who purchase miniature ziplock bags and those who sell drugs, the possession of ziplock bags is not illegal; nor should it be.

In fact, the use of child sex dolls by pedophiles may actually reduce sex offending. The current scientific consensus is that pedophila is a lifelong condition that cannot be cured, but can be managed in ways that don’t harm children. For some pedophiles, sex dolls may be one such harmless outlet. Although there hasn’t yet been any peer-reviewed scientific research on this question, similar research on the availability of pornography shows that it is negatively correlated with actual sexual offending—including offending against children.

If this is true of sex dolls also, then CREEPER would do nothing to reduce the number of sex offenders in the community. It would do the opposite. Apart from instantly creating a whole new class of child sex offenders out of those who buy these dolls, it may also deprive non-offending pedophiles of one of their only legal sexual outlets, and perhaps drive some of them towards more harmful methods of sexual gratification.

The CREEPER Act’s preamble makes a number of untested scientific claims about sex dolls, such as that they “normalize sex between adults and minors” and “cause the exploitation, objectification, abuse, and rape of minors.” These assertions rely on the cherry-picked opinions of one expert, but they ignore or contradict the testimony of a growing number of other experts who disagree. What does seem to be agreed is that more research is needed on the effects of these dolls—whether positive, negative, or perhaps both.

We should also consider whether criminalizing the possession of a latex doll would be consistent with U.S. constitutional values. In 2002, the Supreme Court ruled that it was unconstitutional for the government to impose a blanket ban on the possession of sexualized images of minors in virtual or cartoon form. Since these too can be used by pedophiles as a substitute for images of actual children being abused, experts have supported pedophiles having access to them. It’s hard to see how dolls are any different.

It’s easy to understand how his revulsion for pedophiles led Rep. Donovan to introduce this bill. But revulsion probably isn’t the best impulse for us to be guided by when writing new criminal laws. The CREEPER Act is at best premature, and at worst could harm those it intends to protect. Let’s avoid making a new class of sex offenders out of those who may simply be trying to manage an unwanted sexual attraction in a way that keeps real children safe.

Jeremy Malcolm is the Senior Global Policy Analyst for the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

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    • #32952 Reply
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      D

      Once big government gets its foot in the door it just keeps going and going now you can rape plastic! Just admit it you want to make all men felons so the women can rule the world don’t think it has not be noticed. I say make small vibrators illegal too they might be fantasizing about a young boy while using it. Oh but it never goes the other way women are free to explore their sexuality to its fullest anything goes. They can buy vibrators to wear under their cloths so they can masturbate in public and nobody is saying anything about this. Of course we really need to get into the mind control and have a look at what everyone is fantasizing. This S6!!T has got to stop!

      • #33151 Reply
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        R M

        While we’re banning things, let’s ban stuffed animals and baby bottles too. Maybe children or anyone with a teddy bear think of sex with a animal. Maybe babies and toddlers drinking milk from a bottle are training to be sodomites. The list could go on and on. Oh yeah, let’s ban… well, everything!

    • #32970 Reply
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      Tim Lawver

      I wonders about small dildo and vibes that look like child penis. Where that fits into this equation. Lord knows the sell a lot of sex toys.
      Where do we draw the line?

    • #33110 Reply
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      Phys Ed

      The insanity never stops, but grows ever worse!

      Now child sex doll manufacturers are the new witches?
      Pile the ‘faggots’ of seasoned wood still higher, so that the witch is actually burned instead of just dying of smoke inhalation! “Inherit the Wind”!

    • #33119 Reply
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      theantifeminist

      Presumably the definition of ‘realistic child sex doll or robot’ involves anything that looks under 18, as with general laws on child porn. This wont just affect ‘paedophiles’ hoping to buy ‘child sex dolls’, it will mean the manufacturers of these dolls (and soon sex robots), at least in the USA, will go out of their way to avoid falling foul of the law. In other words, expect American sex dolls and robots to look around 30 with massive breasts.

      Also, a note on UK terminology on ‘child abuse images’. All ‘child porn’, which can include a 25 year old posing sexually dressed up in a school uniform, has to be referred to as ‘child abuse images’ under British guidelines. So when 85% of ‘child sex doll’s have been found to have images of children being abused, remember that a young looking sex doll is a ‘child abuse image’ according to the crazies who makes these laws.

      • #52317 Reply
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        Elliander Eldridge

        @theantifeminist
        That is a very good point! For all we know, the images found on their computers were just the cache in their computers from when they went to the website selling the dolls in order to purchase them. Their laws would clearly interpret it that way. and since no one has said that any of them has ever harmed a real child, we can infer that the dolls helped them, which would mean that 100% of the time dolls have prevented harm to a child.

    • #33164 Reply
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      Raj

      Insanity that is America

      • #35785 Reply
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        D

        Next we are gonna unemployed all those strippers in school girl dresses why is this not illegal too. We need to make illegal human sexuality I mean if America actually was honest about human sexuality what is normal and could read everyone’s mind it would be arresting everyone.

    • #33177 Reply
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      Saddles

      Robin I’m ashamed of you posting something like this. And your the person that said on here “and I can’t even go to church”. Sure we all have our ups and downs in this sex offender registry but sometimes its too much pressure to let this go to one’s head.
      Facing facts is facing facts. Excuse me ladies but women have always wanted to dominate every since the garden of Edren. Now lets don’t discuss that right now, everybody has their views. Women are no better than men ok…. We are all carnal by nautre if that loosens the pressure a bit. One doesn’t jump on women and than there are morals and things of that nature. What women do is their business just the same as men. Fact that gal could hallow rape on a man anytime and if their a sex offender who are they going to believe?
      Is this sex offender registry getting so out of hand that people assume that all women have their joy and folly with artifical stimulation devices. We shouldn’t even go there. We are all men and women and should conduct ourselves respectable. Sure some might have Christian ethics and sure offenses will come. I guess if one even looks at a woman to lust they are considered a sex offender. Lets take care of this registry thing first and formost. As far as myselfI’m thinking really hard to write a letter to the Government to get a redress of grivance to address a lot of this. Sure their are ways to rape in many wsays and raping the mind is no good. I believe we all still have a conscious

    • #33500 Reply
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      Saddles

      I want to correct myself to Robin as this article may help others or understand that “the creeper” mentality can get one carried away with a fetish of some sort but its the character of the person that makes the person. Sure we can all get in some sort of false value and want to go with an artificial type of human indulgence but that is a fantasy stigma and does not make us a “creeper type”. It is speculation at best.
      While a lot of us live in the real world and these sex sting operations and other sexual acts go on I have to say that the internet sex sting operations are the big tickets. Now I am not to pleased with these internet sting operations as well as others. Here is an article on this very issue that I hope everybody checks out. As far as the sex toys and stuff that is rubbish to some. I think we all gave our playboy and hustler magazines up years ago, and I don’t think that was kiddy porn.
      https://www.teensafe.com/blog/sting-operation-law-enforcement-catches-online-predators/

    • #33683 Reply
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      Peter

      OMG. They are idiots! Sex dolls must be absolutelly legal!

    • #33894 Reply
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      Chris

      Im not into them or saying I agree with these dolls but its not a real person/child. My point is Bestiality is Illegal but you can still go buy a Dildo that looks like a Horse, Dog, or quite a few other animals genitals. You can also make porn using them along with cosplay outfits to look like dogs or whatever animal. So whats the difference? It really should be to each their own sexual gratification if its not hurting anyone else. I thought this was the land of the free. Ha Freedom went out the window along time ago more like land of the Rules Regulations Laws and unsuspecting criminals without the King Of England if ya ask me.

    • #35501 Reply
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      John Smith

      Dear all ,

      Rest assured knowing once this law is passed which i have no doubts that the standing oligarchy will do, i will send these dolls to each of their home addresses just for a nice gift gesture. How very American of me. Hopefully Amazon has em to deliver at a poetic moment during family dinner. ( i will be sure to read up if its illegal to send it to them sounds to me like possession is illegal but ordering for a true friend to Capitol Hill is not?)

      Truly ,

    • #35631 Reply
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      david

      I suppose plastic guns are OK.

      You know a big steaming pile of hypocrisy? Our lawmaker’s are RELAXING guns laws!!!! Hey i thought “if it saves one life” blah blah blah……

      I agree, child sex dolls, disgusting….but so are assault rifles, esp. the ones that have been used in school shootings, yet THOSE GUNS ARE STILL LEGAL WTF!!!!!

    • #48897 Reply
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      Bill

      #1. How much of a doll must be present to be punishable? What about a headless doll? Just the torso? Just the waist down? An arm?

      #2 how much detail is required to be applicable? A plain white mannequin with no face?

      #3. What about a life sized barbie doll or Disney teen character doll? Couldnt that be used to fulfill sexual desires?
      What about if you remove the clothing of the barbie doll, is it now a sex doll?
      A lot of parents would be criminalized when their daughter removes the outfit with this bill

      These arguments must be shared with the legislators

    • #49916 Reply
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      Chris

      I am the kind whose OCD gets ticked when people use human nouns to name inanimate objects, like call Amazon’s Alexa “she”, or that atrocious talking head that Abyss Productions has created for their Real Doll line of sex dolls. These THINGS are not alive, so why do we even debate this? Toasters, remember! Unless we even suspect self awareness of these intelligences we strive to create, let us not forget we are dealing with objects. Again, toasters!

    • #52308 Reply
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      Elliander Eldridge

      I remember reading a very interesting study years ago. It was the single most comprehensive study on sexual deviancy I ever found, as it impartially examined the laws and crimes of countries around the world spanning decades. I wish I could find it (if anyone knows of it, please let me know! It would help with my criminal justice minor) but suffice to say, these were the results:

      When pornography as a whole was criminalized in a given country, the rates of rape and sexual assault went up. In countries that specifically outlawed bondage porn cases of rape were significantly higher. When evaluating child pornography, some countries had bans on just production while others had a ban on mere possession with differences. Overall, the rates of child sexual abuse were lower than child porn was available, but the same reduction was observed in cases of simulated child porn.

      The reverse was also true, meaning that when things were made legal crime rates went down proportionally. This was observed in countries around the world. Be it a country that never had sexual freedom before, or a country that had sexual freedom, then lost it, then gained it again.

      The study was quick to point out that since real child pornography is produced through an actual crime (as opposed to bondage porn which can be between consenting actors) they do not in any way support the allowance of real child porn – and neither do I.

      While the study did not evaluate sex dolls (to the best of my knowledge), the results would seem to apply here: By outlawing a doll, it can increase the rate of sexual assault against children by eliminating an outlet. Even those cases of individuals who were found to have had real child pornography may have been in the process of trying to get a handle on their conditions, and nothing I have read suggested that any of them ever directly harmed a child so it can also be written that 100% of the individuals found to have a child sex doll in the UK were innocent of harming real children themselves (although, again, the production of child porn itself harms children).

      There’s actually an interesting analogy we can look at though. According to Arizona revised statutes Title 13 criminal code 13-3555 – 13-3556 , even a verified real adult consenting to a sexual activity can be interpreted to be a child if the adult in question either “masquerades” as a child (meaning pretends to be one through appearance or action) or is referred to as one in either a production description or a title, this adult is interpreted to be a child for the purposes of prosecution. Additionally, a verified adult who acts like a minor, or even one who doesn’t but is implied to be one or referred to be one in the title of a given work. When combined with 13-3554 which says it’s illegal to have sex with someone you believe to be a minor or should suspect to be a minor (even if they are an adult and you never thought of them as a child) it is fairly obvious that Arizona is trying really hard to criminalize consensual sexual activities between adults as if it involves children for the same arguments made against dolls. But then, this is the state that convicted a man of changing his child’s diaper because he couldn’t prove that there was no sexual motivation in doing so, which, really, no one could prove, so if any American state is a good reference of how extreme laws affect child trafficking rates it’s them.

      and, a quick search later, shows a series of reports from 2017 showing that there has been a recent increase in sexual assaults. So, yeah, having such extreme laws in place only creates more victims. This should be evidence enough to counter the arguments made by the bill sponsors.

    • #60017 Reply
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      Botman driving my Botmobile

      First I will say that I am very favorable to the idea of sexbots and dolls, i think they are fantastic. However the idea of a child sex doll is quite revolting.

      The problem with banning a child-like doll is that it is very subjective to say that a particular doll “appears” to be of legal age, or not. My ex-wife is from the Philippines and even when she was in her 50’s she looked much younger, possibly even passing for an 18 year old. There are many 18 year old females who’s facial features would appear to be much younger than they actually are. This is the same exact issue that has been observed with certain young looking porn stars, who may appear quite young but are in fact of legal age.

      The only way that such a law would ever be fair is if the government were to create a public database of existing dolls and identify explicitly which dolls are to be considered banned, and which are allowed. Unfortunately that is not how the laws are prosecuted. The government does not define these subjective things, because they are undefinable in the first pkace. But if they see a situation which they think could win a prosecution in court, then they attack. And it really has nothing to do with anything except their gut belief on whethet they can get a conviction or not.

      It is very easy to imagine an overzealous prosecutor going after people who purchased dolls (such as RealDoll), which all appear to be representations of middle aged women, by arguing that it is possible for a child to make themselves appear much older with the use of make-up and hair styling, etc, therefore literally any doll or sexbot could be used to prosecute innocent people. These laws which contain so much inherent subjectivity are extremely dangerous to everyone.

      And in consideration of the actual penalties which are realized by a person who has been convicted of a sex offense, which literally amount to a protracted execution, i think that a higher standard should be necessary to prevent overzealous prosecutors from abusing a law which appears to be well intentioned but would clearly be sending many innocent people to their deaths.

    • #72041 Reply
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      a

      As Botman said. The idea is too subjective. If government ever did manage a database of legal/not I’d cry too much government intervention. Since when should government decide what is legal for anyone to do between the sheets if it doesn’t directly harm another person. That is imposing one’s beliefs on another and I’m pretty sure constitution was supposed to give certain freedoms. If these children were modeled after a real existing child, yes..I’d be outraged a bit concerned especially if it looked like one of my children. But if the models are just anatomically similar…I’m not sure how I feel about that.

      While I admit the idea of someone buying certain young sex dolls is a bit weird and I do not understand any fetish that involves an infant. We got to remember that the mind works differently and that just because they fantasize about smaller younger frames doesn’t mean they actually act on it. If they were to act on it I’m glad they took their urge out on the doll and not the real thing. People are concerned it may desensitize people. (Got to say I’ve seen hours of horror and action films, played violent video games as a child, and not a single thing I saw in there is going to make me rape, murder, or steal.

      Now I don’t want to sound like I’m promoting child interactions because I’m not. I do not condone those types of interactions. In the end I’m just playing devils advocate. In my opinion,the people that want to ban this stuff might as well be akin to thought police, punishing a crime before the action. Why should they be allowed to push their moral views on someone else sporadically. Sure they think its weird..but is it hurting anybody…no in fact some scientist say it may actually be preventing crimes. In my opinion these are probably the same people that claim pac-man is just as violent as doom, or its guns that make it more likely to be a criminal. Newsflash people, my parents, religion, peers enforced my morals growing up, college expanded upon my tolerance for different mindsets of people as I matured. Its these that create my moral surrounding and compass, not exposure to arbitrary items. If you are capable of child crimes, you were just as capable of it before the doll as after, at least in my opinion.

      Finally, 85% owners of those have it have child porn. DUH…is anyone actually surprised by that statistic?
      How is that a really an interesting find? (I’m being sarcastic.) Talk about a statistic that sounds great to activists but proves absolutely nothing in actuality. It doesn’t show causality, just a correlation. The notion that they are trying to use it to make it sound like those that purchase dolls go on to pursue child pornography is ludicrous. Of course it looks that way, how many computers of people who bought sex dolls legally did you really search that didn’t involve a warrant. Newsflash, they were probably already under suspicion.

      But you really have to turn the statistic around and consider.
      Is that proof that owning the dolls opened them up to owning child porn and thus made them a criminal.
      Or was the person already a criminal and who had urges for child-porn so they decided to purchase a creepy child doll to help with those urges (again not condoning said weirdness but college taught me to play devil’s advocate). What they should really look at is innocent people who have the doll versus the countless who have child porn who don’t.

    • #72909 Reply
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      Rick

      It’s about time somebody with A brain spoke up and said something logical somebody stays in their home doesn’t bother anybody else who cares what fantasies they live out I ran into a guy that has a teenage sex doll He got from China it sits in his living room and he talks to it because his sister died when she was a teenager now that the rest of his family is dead he gets to fantasize that his sister is still alive in a charming Teenage form just like when they were kids good for him

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