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THE INVESTOR
May 16, 2021

Court rules in favor of importing life-size sex dolls

  • PUBLISHED :January 25, 2021 - 18:20
  • UPDATED :January 26, 2021 - 09:10
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Demonstraters hold up placards saying “Rape Doll” at a rally protesting the import of life-size sex dolls. The rally was held near Cheonggye Stream in central Seoul in September 2019. (Yonhap)


Another court ruling came on Monday in favor of importing a life-size sex doll despite persistent controversy over the sex doll which many denounce as sexually objectifying women and prompting an increase in sex crimes.

The Seoul Administrative Court ruled in favor of a firm seeking to import one life-size sex doll into the country from China, ordering the head of Gimpo Airport’s customs agency to revoke its decision to block the import of the doll.

The customs agency suspended the import process on legal grounds that restrict products that “corrupt public morals.”

The court said in the ruling the life-size sex doll is not a morally degrading product.

“We cannot see the product as exploiting sexual parts or sexual actions to a degree it severely violates and distorts human beings’ dignity and values,” the court said, adding that the doll‘s detailed and explicit expression is a characteristic of sex toys designed to meet sexual pleasures.

The court also highlighted that sex toys are used for personal use and the government should not interfere with private affairs. 

Real dolls for sale (Yonhap)


The controversy over life-size sex dolls traces back to 2017 when a local firm filed a suit against the Incheon customs agency that had blocked its import of sex dolls.

The lowest court ruled against the firm, but the appeals court overturned the decision, saying sex dolls are for private use and should be treated differently than pornography. The decision was upheld by the Supreme Court in June 2019.

Women’s rights groups and those opposing the import of sex dolls call them “rape dolls,” saying an influx of such dolls could lead to an increase in sex crimes.

By Ock Hyun-ju (laeticia.ock@heraldcorp.com)

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