New Technology, Same Old Stigma: An Analysis of Feminist Discourses and Sex Work Stigma in Sex Robot Media

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DiTecco, Delphine Diane Barrie-Ann




Scholars have theorized the technological displacement of sex workers at the hands of sex robots, but none have addressed how sex robot representations could contribute to sex work stigma. Using critical discourse analysis and sex positive theories, this thesis seeks to address this gap by analyzing the production of knowledge in the emerging field of sex robots. Specifically, this study analyzes sex robot representations in academic literature and online news articles to critically consider how prevailing discourses may impact sex and gender norms and sex work stigma. My analysis revealed that through their construction as sex work, sex robot representations reproduce problematic sex and gender norms, radical feminist discourses, and stigmatize sex workers and sex work clients. Furthermore, sex workers, sex work clients, and sex robot/doll users were found to be underrepresented in these conversations. This research demonstrates the need for more inclusive and destigmatizing sex robot representations.


Women's Studies




Carleton University

Thesis Degree Name: 

Master of Arts: 

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Thesis Degree Discipline: 

Women's and Gender Studies

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Theses and Dissertations

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