Anatomically correct doll

For dolls meant for sexual use, see sex doll

Anatomically precise dolls (also known as anatomically correct dolls) are supplied with all the primary and secondary sexual characteristics with which their human counterparts are equipped: "oral and anal openings, ears, tongues, nipples, and hands with individual fingers" for all and a "vagina, clitoris and breasts" for each of the women and a "penis and testicles" for each of the men, according to the product descriptions provided by a company that sells such dolls to parents, educators, and other interested parties.

Primary use

These dolls are used during interviews with children who are suspected of having been sexually abused. The plastic or cotton dolls wear removable clothing, and the male doll's penis fits into the other dolls' oral, anal, and vaginal openings, as do the dolls' fingers, so that sex relating to these orifices may be simulated. The genitals of the early anatomically correct dolls were not actually anatomically correct, as they were found to be disproportionately large to the rest of their bodies, but this error has since been corrected.

Controversy

Despite their widespread use as interview aids, the employment of these dolls for this purpose remains controversial. Many who employ the dolls may have little or no training in how to use them. By their own actions with regard to the dolls and the asking of what might be considered leading questions, some interviewers appear to have suggested sexual behaviors to the children whom they were interviewing that the children might not have performed on their own without such coaching. Moreover, the use of such terms as "play" or "pretend" by the interviewer may confuse children who might suppose themselves to be merely playing, as opposed to enacting the actual behavior to which they were allegedly subjected by adults. It has also been suggested that children are unable to conceive of the dolls as representing stand-ins for themselves and, therefore, do not see any relationship between the behaviors that they or the interviewer enact with the doll and the abusive behavior to which the children were said to have been subjected by an adult who is not now present. Many professionals believe that they should not be used in interviewing children. Even those who argue that the use of the dolls for this purpose should continue to be permitted agree that the dolls lack proven validity and reliability.

Secondary use

Anatomically correct dolls are also sometimes used by parents or teachers as sex education aids.

External links

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