Sex doll owners have shared their darkest secrets to take part in a ground-breaking psychology experiment.
A team of researchers set out to learn if anything inside the mind of those who romp dolls, sets them apart from those who do not.
Compared to men who prefer real people as lovers, the study found sex doll owners are more likely to view women as sex objects and a threatening unknown.
Even just to take part, men had to admit whether they only owned a child-like doll which saw a total of 22 sickos booted from the research.
Academics Craig Harper, Rebecca Lievesley and Katie Wanless of Nottingham Trent University wanted to explore the psychological characteristics of sex doll owners, including any risk that they may pose to society.
Craig Ph.D. said: "Our research team spent months surveying 158 men who own sex dolls and compared them to 135 men who did not.
"The groups were compared on a range of measures, including personality traits, emotional functioning, attachment styles, and tendencies for sexual aggression."
Participants flocked to offer themselves to the study after seeing adverts on forums for sex dolls and other niche fetishes.
A worrying 22 said they had figures resembling kids 11 men who admitted to having an exclusive sexual interest in children participants — all were let go. Weirdos who owned both child-like and adult-like dolls were allowed to take part.
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The aim of the research was not to work out why men own sex dolls but rather how they use them and the effects they have on their lives.
Interestingly doll owners were moderately older than non-owners in the study and were also moderately less likely to have sexual activity with another human on a monthly basis.
The researchers acknowledged that doll owners were having less partnered sex because they are most likely single.
Contrary to some preconceptions there was no difference in educational level between the two groups.
Notable differences came in how each set of men viewed women and sex. Doll owners were more likely to see women as sex objects, to report greater sexual entitlement, and to see women as unknowable than non-owners.
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The authors of the study published in The Journal of Sex Research, explained: "This potentially suggests that dolls can act as a safe surrogate for relationships with living people due to doll owners’ concerns about their own sexual performance, or a lack of understanding of the opposite sex.
"Evidence for dolls potentially contributing to a sense of safety is provided in the possible relationship between lower propensities for seeing the world as dangerous among the doll owner."
The added: "It is plausible that a history of relationship breakdowns leads doll owners to have a lack of understanding about female psychology, leading to the belief that women are fundamentally unknowable, and possibly threatening.
"In the context of not being in relationships, though, such beliefs about women are not activated, leading to reduced beliefs about the world being a dangerous or threatening place."
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The research did not find sex doll owners to have more sexually aggressive tendencies, as tested by sharing how aroused they were by scenes of sexual violence.
In fact of the current sample, those who owned sex dolls were less likely to report a proclivity for sexual aggression.
The authors concluded: "In general, our data suggest that men who own sex dolls are not notably different to non-owner comparators in many important ways.
"The goal not being to explore why men might be interested in doll ownership, but how dolls are used and the effects that this ownership has on the lives of those who buy them.
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