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Arrest and Prosecution of Animal Sex Abuse (Bestiality) Offenders in the United States, 1975-2015.

Abstract

Bestiality is an uncomfortable topic about which there is limited scientific literature. Prevalence research has focused on self-reported acts, and no research has established the actual frequency and nature of deliberate sex acts with animals. This quantitative, descriptive study examined 456 arrests for bestiality-related incidents in the United States from 1975 to 2015 to explore patterns of offending, offender characteristics, and how cases were adjudicated. The results suggest that animal sex offending may be linked to other criminal behavior, and involves a spectrum of sexual acts, including coercive, violent, and non-violent penetration; solicitation for sex with animals; and deviant behavior including torture and necrophilia. Findings of concern were that 31.6% of animal sex offenders also sexually offended against children and adults; 52.9% had a prior or subsequent criminal record involving human sexual abuse, animal abuse, interpersonal violence, substances, or property offenses; and only 39.1% of arrests involving the direct sexual abuse of animals resulted in prosecution. The broad range of sexual assault patterns and varied legal outcomes suggest that bestiality is more pervasive and more serious than previously thought and point to a need for additional research to aid in detection, intervention, sentencing, treatment, and supervision methods.

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  • Publisher Full Text
  • Authors+Show Affiliations

    Ms. Edwards is an independent researcher, and a Member of the American Psychology-Law Society and the American Psychological Association, Human-Animal Interaction Division. jennyedwards9@gmail.com.

    Source

    Pub Type(s)

    Journal Article

    Language

    eng

    PubMed ID

    31097526

    Citation

    Edwards, M Jenny. "Arrest and Prosecution of Animal Sex Abuse (Bestiality) Offenders in the United States, 1975-2015." The Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, 2019.
    Edwards MJ. Arrest and Prosecution of Animal Sex Abuse (Bestiality) Offenders in the United States, 1975-2015. J Am Acad Psychiatry Law. 2019.
    Edwards, M. J. (2019). Arrest and Prosecution of Animal Sex Abuse (Bestiality) Offenders in the United States, 1975-2015. The Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, doi:10.29158/JAAPL.003836-19.
    Edwards MJ. Arrest and Prosecution of Animal Sex Abuse (Bestiality) Offenders in the United States, 1975-2015. J Am Acad Psychiatry Law. 2019 May 16; PubMed PMID: 31097526.
    * Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
    TY - JOUR T1 - Arrest and Prosecution of Animal Sex Abuse (Bestiality) Offenders in the United States, 1975-2015. A1 - Edwards,M Jenny, Y1 - 2019/05/16/ PY - 2019/5/18/entrez JF - The journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law JO - J. Am. Acad. Psychiatry Law N2 - Bestiality is an uncomfortable topic about which there is limited scientific literature. Prevalence research has focused on self-reported acts, and no research has established the actual frequency and nature of deliberate sex acts with animals. This quantitative, descriptive study examined 456 arrests for bestiality-related incidents in the United States from 1975 to 2015 to explore patterns of offending, offender characteristics, and how cases were adjudicated. The results suggest that animal sex offending may be linked to other criminal behavior, and involves a spectrum of sexual acts, including coercive, violent, and non-violent penetration; solicitation for sex with animals; and deviant behavior including torture and necrophilia. Findings of concern were that 31.6% of animal sex offenders also sexually offended against children and adults; 52.9% had a prior or subsequent criminal record involving human sexual abuse, animal abuse, interpersonal violence, substances, or property offenses; and only 39.1% of arrests involving the direct sexual abuse of animals resulted in prosecution. The broad range of sexual assault patterns and varied legal outcomes suggest that bestiality is more pervasive and more serious than previously thought and point to a need for additional research to aid in detection, intervention, sentencing, treatment, and supervision methods. SN - 1943-3662 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/31097526/Arrest_and_Prosecution_of_Animal_Sex_Abuse_(Bestiality)_Offenders_in_the_United_States,_1975-2015 L2 - http://www.jaapl.org/cgi/pmidlookup?view=long&pmid=31097526 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -
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