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A Case Study of Preferential Bestiality


In a previous article, we presented phallometric data to illustrate a case of preferential bestiality or zoophilia (Earls & Lalumière, Sex Abuse: J Res Treat, 14:83–88, 2002). Based on the available literature, we argued that a marked preference for having sex with animals over sex with humans is extremely rare. In the present article, we describe a second case of zoophilia that challenges the widely held assumptions that men who have sex with animals are generally of below average intelligence and come from rural areas. In addition, we provide a brief review of a burgeoning quantitative literature using large groups of zoophiles recruited from internet sources. Although estimates of the prevalence of zoophilia are not possible at this time, it appears that zoophilia is not as rare as once thought and shares many features with other atypical sexual interests.

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  1. Some authors have also used the phrase “zoosexual orientation” to denote a sexual preference for animals (e.g., Beetz, 2004). In the present article, we make a distinction between the behavior of having sex with an animal (bestiality) and a clear preference for engaging in sex with animals (zoophilia or preferential bestiality).


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The authors would like to thank David Brousseau, James Cantor, Meredith Chivers, Vern Quinsey, Michael Seto, Annabree Simpson, Kelly Suschinsky, and Paul Vasey for providing useful feedback on an earlier version of this article. Paul Vasey also brought to our attention the phenomenon of furvets. This work was supported in part by a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Standard Research Grant awarded to M.L.L.

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Correspondence to Martin L. Lalumière.

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Earls, C.M., Lalumière, M.L. A Case Study of Preferential Bestiality. Arch Sex Behav 38, 605–609 (2009).

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  • Zoophilia
  • Bestiality
  • Paraphilias