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Study finds bestiality occurs throughout the U.S. and can be linked to child sexual abuse and exploitation, among other criminal behaviors

Saturday, September 28, 2019 12:20 PM

A new study by M. Jenny Edwards (Criminology, Psychology, Law) has been published in the Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law examining 40 years’ worth of data on bestiality-related arrests in the United States. The study analyzed 456 arrests to determine patterns of offending, offender characteristics, and how cases are adjudicated, and establishes a baseline for future research.

Among other findings, the author reported that

  • Animal sex abusers were nearly four times more like to reoffend if they were previously arrested for bestiality
  • 31% of animal sex offenders also sexually abused children
  • More than half of the offenders collected or used both child and animal pornography
  • 53% of offenders had a prior criminal history involving sexual abuse, interpersonal violence, and substance abuse
  • Less than 40% of arrests resulted in prosecution

The results suggest that animal sex offending is more prevalent and more serious than is generally thought, and points to a need for cross-reporting among law enforcement, social services, and veterinary professionals.