In Zambia, government minister and the police have spoken out against the introduction of sex toys with the police threatening arrests.
Zambia’s National Guidance and Religious Affairs Minister Godfridah Sumahili said being a Christian and law-abiding nation, Zambia will strictly stick to the natural order of things in order to protect citizens from destructive addiction to sex toys.
“The Bible says the body of the man belongs to the woman and the body of the woman belongs to the man, so whenever the wife demands, the man should be available, whenever the husband demands, the woman should be available,” the minister concluded.
Sumahili’s statement comes days after the police in the southern African country warned that they will arrest persons found in the possession of sex dolls and vibrators. According to police spokesperson, Esther Katongo, the laws of the country considers such items as ‘obscene material’ adding that their importation, sale or possession are illegal.
“Possession of obscene materials in this country is an offence. Read section 177 of the Penal code Importation check section 177 (1)(b) and Section 177 (1) which criminalises taking part in such business,” Katongo explained.
She was responding to questions from journalists who wanted to know the status of sex dolls as per Zambian laws. The southern African country is largely conservative and frowns on a number of issues including same-sex relationships.
The police recently mounted a hunt for two alleged lesbians after photos of them circulating online showed them openly expressing their relationship.
Like in the wider society, the police warning has divided opinions among Zambians some of who took to twitter and other social media platform to express their views on the clampdown threat. Some insist the law never made any provision for sex dolls whiles others see it as a step in the right direction.
Those in favour argue that sex dolls can potentially replace prostitutes, reduce sex trafficking and help lonely people or people living with disabilities, while critics say they objectify women and normalize sexism and rape culture.
Roboticists continue to develop these robots – some of which talk and respond to touch through AI technology.
An average sex robot goes for as much as $2,000 while robots at bigger companies like Abyss Creations sell for higher, around $10,000 depending on added extras.
Experts say the increasingly life-like robots raise complex issues that needs to be considered by policymakers and the public – including whether use of such devices should be encouraged to curb prostitution and sex trafficking for sex offenders or for people with disabilities.