Should robots be gendered? I have serious doubts about the morality of designing and building robots to resemble men or women, boys or girls. Let me explain why.
The first worry I have follows from one of the five principles of robotics, which states: robots should not be designed in a deceptive way to exploit vulnerable users; instead their machine nature should be transparent.
To design a gendered robot is a deception. Robots cannot have a gender in any meaningful sense. To impose a gender on a robot, either by design of its outward appearance, or programming some gender stereotypical behaviour, cannot be for reasons other than deception – to make humans believe that the robot has gender, or gender specific characteristics.