Outraged parents have slammed “sick and disgusting” child sex dolls that have been invented to stop paedophiles offending.
Shin Takagi, founded the Japanese firm Trottla, which makes the controversial rubber creations.
He claims the lifelike dolls are a tool for those who, like him, struggle with an ongoing sexual attraction towards children.
But many readers were disgusted at the idea and believe it normalises the warped behaviour.
Hundreds of disgusted parents agreed that any sort of sexual desire towards children is wrong and it should not be encouraged in any way.
Reader Nessy Brooks wrote: “It”s not okay to be attracted to kids sexually, if you are then I hope you die real soon.”
The doll costs £1,300.
Karolyn Welford said: “If a doll is keeping you from having sex with a child, please just go get a gun and one bullet load aim at your face and pull it.”
Shauna Rossiter said: “Paedophiles already have 2 options and that”s enough.
“They either completely suppress their desire and never look at another child again – and if they can”t manage that then they should kill themselves.
“Child Sex dolls I”ve never heard of something more repulsive in my life.”
Ann Marie Stapp said these dolls would only desensitise paedophiles and dehumanise their victims so they thought it was normal to act on their urges.
She said: “They are still being socialised and sexualised towards images of children and being encouraged to act out.”
Melissa Hayes added: “People who are like that don”t need dolls, they need counselling and to be closely monitored, finding an innocent child attractive in a sexual way is a clear sign that your brain isn”t working.”
However other Mirror readers have suggested these dolls could help paedophiles in a world in which stigma makes finding help to repress their urges very difficult.
Calpa commented: “This doesn”t seem to be as bad an idea as people are making out. It could keep them away from real children as they no longer need to go out and groom them.”
Other readers said more research could be done, with David Knowles commenting: “Anything that prevents these people from harming children is a good thing, even if it does naturally disgust the rest of us.”
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But Takagi said: “We should accept that there is no way to change someone’s fetishes.
“I am helping people express their desires, legally and ethically. It’s not worth living if you have to live with repressed desire.”
There are currently treatments including cognitive-behavioural therapy and chemical castration, along with other interventions which are designed to suppress the urges of paedophiles.
Lifelike child sex dolls created to “stop paedophiles committing crimes”
But although they are used widely, a meta-analysis by the Mayo Clinic concluded such treatments “do not change the paedophile’s basic sexual orientation toward children”.
According to Takagi, his dolls save children from sexual abuse, and his clients – mostly men living alone – write and thank him for that service.
“I often receive letters from buyers. The letters say, ‘Thanks to your dolls, I can keep from committing a crime.”
He told The Atlantic that these correspondents include doctors, prep school teachers and even celebrities
Michael Seto, a psychologist and sexologist at the University of Toronto, said there are two different types of paedophile.
“For some, access to artificial child pornography or to child sex dolls could be a safer outlet for their sexual urges, reducing the likelihood that they would seek out child pornography or sex with real children.