Bestiality is the act of a human being engaging in sexual relations with an animal. In addition to being repulsive and being a sexual taboo in societies, bestiality can cause harm to both animals and humans.
The legal term bestiality has two common pronunciations: "ˌbɛs'tiæ'lə'ti" or "ˌbis'tiæ'lə'ti", the latter being more prevalent in the United States. "Zoophilia" is a term used by apologists for bestiality.
Passages in Leviticus 18 (Lev 18:23: "And you shall not lie with any beast and defile yourself with it, neither shall any woman give herself to a beast to lie with it: it is a perversion." RSV) and 20:15–16 ("If a man lies with a beast, he shall be put to death; and you shall kill the beast. If a woman approaches any beast and lies with it, you shall kill the woman and the beast; they shall be put to death, their blood is upon them." RSV) are cited by Jewish, Christian, and Muslim theologians as categorical denunciation of bestiality. However, the teachings of the New Testament have been interpreted by some as not expressly forbidding bestiality.
In Part II of his Summa Theologica, medieval philosopher Thomas Aquinas ranked various "unnatural vices" (sex acts resulting in "venereal pleasure" rather than procreation) by degrees of sinfulness, concluding that "the most grievous is the sin of bestiality." Some Christian theologians extend Matthew's view that even having thoughts of adultery is sinful to imply that thoughts of committing bestial acts are likewise sinful.
|Sex and the law|
(May vary according to jurisdiction)
|Sex offender registration|
In many jurisdictions, all forms of zoophilic acts are prohibited; others outlaw only the mistreatment of animals, without specific mention of sexual activity. In the UK, Section 63 of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008 (also known as the Extreme Pornography Act) outlaws images of a person performing or appearing to perform an act of intercourse or oral sex with an animal (whether dead or alive). Despite the Ministry of Justice's explanatory note on extreme images saying "It is not a question of the intentions of those who produced the image. Nor is it a question of the sexual arousal of the defendant", "it could be argued that a person might possess such an image for the purposes of satire, political commentary or simple grossness," according to The Independent. Countries such as Belgium and Sweden are somewhere in between: they permit sexual activity with animals, but prohibit the promotion of animal-oriented pornography.
Many new laws banning sex with animals have been made recently, such as in New Hampshire, Ohio, Germany, Sweden, Denmark,Thailand, Costa Rica, Bolivia, and Guatemala. The number of jurisdictions around the world banning it has grown in the 2000s and 2010s.
As of 2017, bestiality is illegal in 42 U.S. states. Most state bestiality laws were enacted between 1999 and 2017. Until 2005, there was a farm near Enumclaw, Washington that was described as an “animal brothel”, where people paid to have sex with animals. After an incident on 2 July 2005, when a man was pronounced dead in the emergency room of the Enumclaw community hospital after his colon ruptured due to having been sodomized by a horse, the farm garnered police attention. The state legislature of the State of Washington, which had been one of the few states in the United States without a law against bestiality, within six months passed a bill making bestiality illegal. Arizona, Alaska, Florida, Alabama, New Jersey, New Hampshire and Ohio have banned sex with animals between 2006 and the present. When such laws are proposed, they are never questioned or debated.
Pornography involving sex with animals is widely illegal, even in most countries where bestiality itself is not explicitly outlawed.
In the United States, bestial pornography would be considered obscene if it did not meet the standards of the Miller Test and therefore is not openly sold, mailed, distributed or imported across state boundaries or within states which prohibit it. Under U.S. law, 'distribution' includes transmission across the Internet. Production and mere possession appear to be legal, however. U.S. prohibitions on distribution of sexual or obscene materials are as of 2005[update] in some doubt, having been ruled unconstitutional in United States v. Extreme Associates (a judgement which was overturned on appeal, December 2005).
In the UK Section 63 of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008 criminalises possession of realistic pornographic images depicting sex with animals, including fake images and simulated acts, as well as images depicting sex with dead animals, where no crime has taken place in the production. The law provides for sentences of up to two years in prison; a sentence of 12 months was handed down in one case in 2011.
Health and safety
Infections that are transmitted from animals to humans are called zoonoses. Some zoonoses may be transferred through casual contact, but others are much more readily transferred by activities that expose humans to the vital fluids of animals. Examples of zoonoses are Brucellosis, Q fever, leptospirosis, and toxocariasis. Therefore, bestiality is a high risk activity. Allergic reactions to fluids may occur, including anaphylaxis. Bites or trampling and other trauma may occur.
References and footnotes
- Denmark’s Bestiality Problem: It’s Legal by Barbie Latza Nadeau, The Daily Beast, 10/14/2014
- The Crime of Bestiality/Zoophilia: Sexual Assault of an Animal
- Does having sex with animals harm anyone?
- Sex with Animals (SWA): Behavioral Characteristics and Possible Association with Penile Cancer. A Multicenter Study
- Study Links Bestiality and Penile Cancer; Women’s Health Risk Too?
- Horse sex story was online hit by Danny Westneat, Seattle Times - December 30, 2005
- The International Handbook of Animal Abuse and Cruelty: Theory, Research, edited by Frank Ascione, pages 217-218
- "Pronunciation of bestiality". MacMillan Dictionary. Retrieved 13 December 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
- Plummer, Keith (2001). To beast or not to beast: does the law of Christ forbid zoophilia?. 53rd National Conference of the Evangelical Theological Society. Colorado Springs, CO.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
- Fordham.edu Aquinas on Unnatural Sex
- "Section 63 – Possession of extreme pornographic images". Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008. 2008.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
- "Extreme Pornography". Crown Prosecution Service. Retrieved 23 September 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
- Jackman, Myles (21 September 2015). "Is it illegal to have sex with a dead pig? Here's what the law says about the allegations surrounding David Cameron's biography". The Independent. Retrieved 23 September 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
- Bundesrecht.Juris.de, § 184a Verbreitung gewalt- oder tierpornographischer Schriften Distribution of violent or animal pornographic publications in Strafgesetzbuch
- "New Hampshire HB1547 - 2016 - Regular Session". Retrieved 17 April 2017.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
- Fred Leavitt (January 1, 2003). The Real Drug Abusers. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 195. ISBN 978-0-7425-2518-4.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
- "Michigan State University College of Law". Animallaw.info. Retrieved 2013-01-04.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
- "Table of State Animal Sexual Assault Laws | Animal Legal & Historical Center". Animallaw.info. 2016-06-24. Retrieved 2017-04-17.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
- Johnston, Lynda and Longhurst, Robyn Space, Place, and Sex Lanham, Maryland:2010 Rowman & Littlefield Publishers Page 110
- "Man dies after sex with horse". News24, 19 July 2005
- "Sheriff says Craigslist facilitates bestiality". Washington Times. 2011-03-16. Retrieved 2013-01-04.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
- Drake, Bruce. "Bill to Criminalize Bestiality Advances in Alaska Legislature". Politicsdaily.com. Retrieved 2013-01-04.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
- Mandell, Nina (6 May 2011). "Legislation outlawing bestiality makes it to Florida governor's desk". Daily News. New York.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
- "SB 151 - Alabama 2014 Regular Session". Openstate.org. Retrieved 17 April 2017.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
- "New Jersey A3012 - 2014-2015 - Regular Session". Retrieved 17 April 2017.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
- "Senate again passes bestiality bill | Florida Politics | Sun Sentinel blog". Weblogs.sun-sentinel.com. 2011-03-24. Retrieved 2013-01-04.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
- Bering, Jesse (2010-03-24). "Animal Lovers: Zoophiles Make Scientists Rethink Human Sexuality | Bering in Mind, Scientific American Blog Network". Scientific American. Retrieved 2013-01-04.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
- ‘Acts of depravity’ found on dad’s computer, Reading Post, 26 January 2011
|Look up zoophilia, zoosexuality, or bestiality in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
- Encyclopedia of Human Sexuality entry for "Bestiality" at Sexology Department of Humboldt University, Berlin.
- Zoophilia References Database Bestiality and zoosadism criminal executions.
- Animal Abuse Crime Database search form for the U.S. and UK.