Could a sex robot help your marriage? UBC prof says it just might

A University of British Columbia economist and contributing author to the new book Robot Sex: Social and Ethical Implications says far from ending a marriage, a sex robot could be an upgrade.

Economist says it's important to think about these creations before market for them grows

Douglas Hines, founder of True Companion, poses with a life-size rubber doll named Roxxxy during the Adult Entertainment Expo in Las Vegas in 2010. (Paul Sakuma/AP)

People with troubled marriages often turn to counselling for help, but perhaps they should be seeking tech support.

A University of British Columbia economist and contributing author to the new book Robot Sex: Social and Ethical Implications says far from ending a marriage, a sex robot could be an upgrade.

"Today when we look for a marriage partner we're looking for someone who we have an amazing sexual connection with, is going to be our best friend, who's going to be a wonderful parent to our children if we want to have them," Marina Adshade told On The Coast host Gloria Macarenko.

"That's a tall order for one person and a lot of people are having a hard time finding somebody who checks off all of those boxes."

Adshade says if a sex robot can tick off the sexual connection box it could separate sex from marriage for some people and marriages could take on a different character.

"Which, of course, wouldn't appeal to everybody. But there's bound to be people in society who this does appeal to."

Our ever-changing marriages

Stories of robots built for sexual intimacy have come up more frequently in the media recently as some say the market for them could grow.

There has been impassioned debate about the merits and potential drawbacks of these robots, but Adshade says they aren't the first development to potentially change marriage.

"When birth control came along, marriage changed," she said. "When women went into the workforce because of technology, marriage changed. Robots is kind of like another movement."

As an economist, she says she has a great interest in marriage because technology and economics influence them.

"To me, it's an important part of talking about our evolution as a society."

Listen to the full interview:

A University of British Columbia economist and contributing author to the new book Robot Sex: Social and Ethical Implications says far from ending a marriage, a sex robot could be an upgrade. 7:35

With files from CBC Radio One's On The Coast