© M JENNY EDWARDS 2019
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Animal Sex Abuse
Does Bestiality Really Happen?
Thursday, May 9, 2019 9:37 AM
It is difficult, if not impossible, to estimate the number of people who are sexually interested in animals or who have acted on that interest. Existing literature on the prevalence of sex acts between humans and animals is largely outdated and results have been inconsistent. Three studies published between 1948 and 1974 found an average of 6.5% of men and 2.8% of women self-reported at least one sexual encounter with an animal. (The Kinsey Reports, 1948 & 1953; Hunt, 1974).
In a more recent study, researchers found that among 1,040 men and women surveyed, at least a third had acted on an atypical sexual interest like pedophilia. Zoophilia was not measured separately but included in a category called “Other behavior,” which considered whether the person had ever been “aroused by an animal, fecal matter, enema, urine, cadavers, or other unusual things”. Less than 1% expressed an interest in this broad category (Joyal and Carpentier, 2017).
In the 1960s, a team of researchers compared incarcerated males, convicted male sex offenders, and a control group of non-incarcerated males on various measures. The overall finding was that, among the 2,715 people studied, 17.7% of the sex offenders, 14.7% of the prison inmates, and 8% of the control group reported having committed sex acts with animals. (Gebhard, 1965). Nearly forty years passed before convicted sex offenders were once again studied regarding their sexual contact with animals, when three studies were published between 2003 and 2008. On average, 43% of offenders in these studies reported sex acts with animals, which is considerably higher than previously reported (English, Patrick & Pasini-Hill, 2003; Simons, Wurtel, & Durham, 2005); Simons, Tyler & Heil, 2005).
Sexual coercion is an often-overlooked phenomenon related to bestiality. Two studies, however, at least mention such incidents. In the late 1970s, researchers interviewed a group of 400 battered women and reported that 41% of the participants said they had been asked by their batterer to perform “unusual sex acts” such as being forced to insert objects in their vagina, engage in group sex, participate in bondage/sadomasochistic acts, or have sex with animals. Unfortunately, these acts were not measured individually (Walker, updated 2017). In 1990 a case study described a woman who had been molested by her father as a child, who also “involved the dog in various acts of bestiality” (Hendrickson, McCarry & Goodwin, 1990).
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