|In this July 11, 2018, file photo, workers assemble sex dolls at the WMDOLL factory in Zhongshan, Guangdong Province, China. Reuters|
By Jung Min-ho
More than 200,000 people have signed a petition against the import of life-size sex dolls into Korea.
As of Wednesday, more than 210,000 people signed the petition on the Cheong Wa Dae website, a month after the Supreme Court upheld a lower court decision to allow the import of such dolls.
"They are not ordinary sex toys," the petitioner wrote. "A life-size sex doll resembles a woman's body in every detail. It can even be customized to fit an individual's needs for hairstyle, facial structure, birthmarks or anything.
"Nowadays, deepfake celebrity porn videos can easily be found online. There's no guarantee that sex dolls won't be used for such purposes. People may be shocked to find sex dolls that look just like them. If that happens, who will take responsibility for the damage?"
A sex doll is a type of sex toy the size and shape of a human. Sex dolls exist in various forms, but are distinguished from sex robots that can exhibit more complex interactions.
Many countries allow the import of such dolls as long as they do not resemble a child ― another complicated legal issue in some countries.
The Korea Customs Service refused to allow the import of life-size sex dolls of any kind on legal grounds as there is a ban on the import of "morally degrading products." But it faced a legal challenge in 2017 by a Korean company that took the issue to court.
A district court in Seoul ruled in favor of Incheon Main Customs, saying such dolls would "degrade human beings' dignity." But an appeals court overturned the decision, saying state intervention must be minimized in such private matters, which was upheld by the top court.
The petitioner said she believes sex dolls seriously degrade human beings' dignity.
"A sex doll looks just like a woman, but it can be sexually exploited. After using sex dolls, they won't be able to perceive other human beings in the same way they used to," the petitioner wrote.