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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Psychol. | doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.00569

Otakuism and the Appeal of Sex Robots

 Markus Appel1*, Caroline Marker1 and  Martina Mara2
  • 1University of Wuerzburg, Germany
  • 2Johannes Kepler University of Linz, Austria

Social robots are becoming increasingly prevalent in everyday life and sex robots are a sub-category of especially high public interest and controversy. Starting from the concept of the otaku, a term from Japanese youth culture that describes secluded persons with a high affinity for fictional manga characters, we examine individual differences behind sex robot appeal (anime and manga fandom, interest in Japanese culture, preference for indoor activities, shyness). In an online-experiment, 261 participants read one out of three randomly assigned descriptions of future technologies (sex robot, nursing robot, genetically modified organism) and reported on their overall evaluation, eeriness, and contact/purchase intentions. Higher anime and manga fandom was associated with higher appeal for all three future technologies. For our male subsample, sex robots and GMOs stood out as shyness yielded a particularly strong relationship to contact/purchase intentions for these new technologies.

Keywords: Sex robots, manga and anime, fan culture, Otaku Culture, shyness, uncanny valley

Received: 11 Sep 2018; Accepted: 28 Feb 2019.

Edited by:

Javier Jaen, Universitat Politècnica de València, Spain

Reviewed by:

Chunfeng Liu, Independent researcher, Australia
Chamari Edirisinghe, Imagineering Institute, Malaysia  

Copyright: © 2019 Appel, Marker and Mara. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Prof. Markus Appel, University of Wuerzburg, Würzburg, Germany, markus.appel@uni-wuerzburg.de