Lecture addresses nature of bestiality

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Cet article en anglais relate une conférence donnée en 2010 par Piers Beirne, professeur de criminologie, sur la criminalisation de la bestialité à l'université du Tennessee (à Knoxville).

Le criminologue remarque à propos de films pornographiques à caractère zoophile que les grands animaux semblent rester indifférent aux actes de pénétration pratiqués sur eux, tandis que les animaux de taille moyenne comme les chiens, paraissent « énergiquement apprécier l'attention qui leur est délivrée par les femmes ».

Ce qui n'empêchait pas le conférencier de présenter une classification concernant ce qu'il considère comme une activité criminelle distinguant : la zoophilie, les expérimentations adolescentes, de la cruauté aggravée ou de l'exploitation.

Pour lui, zoophile désigne une personne dont les partenaires préférés sont des animaux. Les actes de cruauté aggravés concernent quant à eux les mutilations génitales ou d'autres comportements cruels à l'égard des animaux. Les actes d'exploitations sont relatifs à l'abus sexuels d'animaux où de l'argent entre en jeu et où des personnes sont payées pour avoir des rapports sexuels avec des animaux.

Piers Beirne liste trois façons de traiter la question de la zoophilie. D'après lui l'éducation des enfants paraît difficile car les contenus scolaires sont généralement centrés sur des contenus professionnels plutôt qu'en direction du traitement humain des animaux. La justice réparatrice ne fonctionnerait pas selon lui car personne ne peut représenter les animaux et ceux-ci ne peuvent témoigner. Pour lui, la criminalisation apparaîtrait donc comme la seule réponse adéquate à ce jour malgré la surpopulation carcérale.

Il est à noter que la zoophilie était explicitement mentionnée dans la législation de l'État du Tennessee parmi les actes d'indécence lorsqu'elle était commise en public depuis 1994. Ce texte avait été jugé inconstitutionnel en 1996[1]. Une nouvelle législation pénalise tous actes de zoophilie dans cet état depuis 2007[2].


Texte intégral

Lecture addresses nature of bestiality

Charlie Sterchi, Staff Writer 11 novembre 2010

Criminology professor explains definition, criminality of bestiality


The word, even if viewable for only a split second, evokes thoughts and sentiments unlike most of the other words in the English language. The topic, some feel so far removed from, while some dedicate countless hours studying. Bestiality is the subject. The word itself has a strongly negative connotation.

Piers Beirne’s speech entitled, “Is Bestiality a Crime?” nearly filled the Lindsay Young Auditorium in Hodges Library on Monday.

Beirne serves as a professor of criminology at the University of Southern Maine in Portland, Maine. Beirne’s speech detailed his journey in criminology to eventually lead to what he does not call bestiality; rather, he calls such implied actions as “animal sexual abuse.”

He explained his eventual landing in this type of criminology was because of the intellectual outgrowth of his work, his everyday interactions with animals and his teaching. He noted two particular works involving animal sexual abuse: “Of Plymouth Plantation” and “Barnyard Love.”

In the first work mentioned, William Bradford, the governor of Plymouth Plantation in 1642, described the conviction of Thomas Granger for “buggery with a mare, a cow, two goats, divers sheep, two calves and a turkey.” The second work is a German film that displays various sexual acts with human males and females, between cows, horses, dogs, hens and eels.

“The large quadrupeds, such as cows, were seemingly indifferent ... while the medium-sized animals, such as dogs, seemed to energetically enjoy the attention given by the human females,” Beirne said.

Beirne then confronted four different questions about bestiality: “What is it? How much of it is there? What are its forms? Is it wrong?”

He explained that, although the actual origins and definitions have varied over the years, bestiality’s contemporary definition “denotes sexual relations between humans and animals — being anal, oral or genital.”

He confronted the problems surrounding young, innocent children and the collection of semen from farm animals for profit.

Beirne explained that knowing the amounts of bestiality is hard to determine, because “one of the partners involved can’t report the abuse.”

Furthermore, he said, as animals have been more removed from rural areas and because pets have been introduced into homes, “most forms of animal sexual abuse are at the home with companion animals, probably.”

As he progressed down the road of this specific type of criminal activity, he created a typology for animal sexual abuse. Beirne’s four forms of animal sexual abuse are: zoophilia, adolescent sexual experimentation, aggravated cruelty and commodification.

He notes that zoophilia is “someone whose preferred partner is an animal.” Adolescent sexual experimentation is defined in its own naming.

Aggravated cruelty to animals typically takes place in the form of genital mutilation and other types of cruel behavior.

Lastly, the commodification of animal sexual abuse is where money is made and paid for people to perform sexual act on animals. Beirne cited Tijuana, Mexico, as a place containing various establishments.

Beirne also presented three ways to take care of the sexual animal abuse problems, but he felt that only one of them would work for contemporary times.

He said that “compulsory humane education starting at kindergarten” would be problematic because the curriculum is often “business based” rather than focusing on humane treatment of animals. Changing this would be hard to do in a society that has a strong focus on finances.


Restorative justice would not work because “nobody would represent the animals” and the animals would have a very hard time testifying against human perpetrators.

Lastly, Beirne said criminalization is the only temporary fix right now. Even though the jails are overcrowded, Beirne said this seems to be the best option.

This topic is not something that is easily talked about, but many UT students found the lecture intriguing.

“I thought it was really interesting, very eye opening and something that needs to be talked about more,” Rhiannon Leebrick, a graduate in sociology, said.

Articles connexes

Source

STERCHI Charlie, 11 novembe 2010, Lecture addresses nature of bestiality, The Daily Beacon.

Notes

  1. Situation du Tennesse avant 2007
  2. Législation de l'état du Tennessee à l'égard de la cruauté animale