Artificial Women

Sex Dolls, Robot Caregivers, and More Facsimile Females

by Julie Wosk

What distinguishes humanity from artificial beings? What do constructed creatures tell us about ourselves?

From sex dolls to Siri, talking Barbies to robotic mothers, Artificial Women explores the ways in which today's simulated females—both real and fictional—reflect and expose our own ideas about gender and female identity. Join Julie Wosk as she probes the realm of compliant sex workers, nurturing caretakers, genial servants, and rebellious creations in film, television, literature, art, photography, and current developments in robotics. These modern-day Galateas must embrace their own synthetic nature while also striving for authenticity and autonomy, all the while foregrounding gender stereotypes and changing perceptions of women and their roles. They embody the paradoxes and tensions that continue to arise in our increasingly simulated world, where the lines between the real and the virtual only continue to blur. As these "artificial women" become ever more lifelike, so too do the questions they raise become more provocative, and more illuminating of our own conceptions and conventions.

Artificial Women pushes the boundaries of gender, sexuality, and culture studies to consider new digital technologies, artificial intelligences, and burgeoning simulations.


  • isbn
  • publisher
    Indiana University Press
  • publisher place
    Bloomington, Indiana USA
  • rights
    CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0
  • rights holder
    Indiana University Press
  • rights territory