Human animal sexual interactions: a predictive model to differentiate between zoophilia, zoosexuality and bestiality

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ADAMS Judith Clair, McBRIDE Anne, CARR Alison, "Human animal sexual interactions: a predictive model to differentiate between zoophilia, zoosexuality and bestiality", 11th International Conference on Human-Animal Interractions, Tokyo 2007, poster 40

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Poster-40 (Poster briefing Oct. 6th - 8th 11:30 - 12:00)

Human animal sexual interactions: a predictive model to differentiate between zoophilia, zoosexuality and bestiality

Judith Clair Adams1, Anne McBride2, Alison Carr2

1 Applied Animal Behaviour Unit: School of Psychology, University of Southampton, England 2 University of Southampton

The human animal bond has been portrayed as loving, both in a figurative sense and in a physical and sexual context. Historically, human animal sex was described as sodomy or bestiality and viewed as either a sin against God or, later, as a mental illness. Today neither description is considered accurate. ‘Zoophilia’ is the recognised term describing human animal sex (DSM 4th ed. APA 2000), and the practice is considered a paraphilia. This definition carries no moral judgement. However, the term Zoophilia has been used to describe horrific cases of human animal sexual abuse and, consequently, the forging of a link with child abuse (Munro and Thrusfield 2005).

Methodology In 2006 UK animal welfare, legal, veterinary and psychological organisations were surveyed for their attitudes and policies regarding bestiality and zoophilia. Results Some organisations declined to respond, or indicated they had no policy. Where policies did exist, they did not differentiate between bestiality and zoophilia. Development Elements of empathy and attachment are often described by zoophiles as components of their interspecific relationships. This has led to a distinction being made in the literature between zoophilia and zoosexuality (Beetz, 2005; Miletski 2005). The current study led to the development of a predictive model, differentiating further between zoophilia, zoosexuality and bestiality. It is suggested that these differences are predicated on underlying individual levels of empathy, attachment and sexual attraction. It is considered that zoophilia is an attachment based relationship, zoosexuality is a sexual orientation and that bestiality occurs in people whose sexual orientation may be predominately directed to other humans.

Psychometric scales can be used to plot individual scores rated high/medium/low for: 1: Empathy to humans 2: Empathy to animals 3: Attachment to humans 4: Attachment to animals 5: Sexual attraction to humans 6: Sexual attraction to animals

It is hypothesised that an individual’s 6 dimensional score could indicate a preference/likelihood for human-animal sex, and differentiate between type. The model is descriptive, does not indicate causation and is not judgemental.

Conclusion It is suggested that this hypothetical predictive 6-dimensional model may assist in providing deeper psychological understanding of human-animal sexual interactions. This in turn would lead to clearer legal interpretation, judgements and outcomes for those individuals involved, thereby engendering positive influences for both human and animal welfare.

Source

11th Conference on Human-Animal Interactions, Poster session, p. 169