BESTIALITY (Zooerasty, Zoophilia)

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A sexual deviation in which excitement or gratification is achieved through relations with animals. The term includes actual intercourse as well as stimulation through friction against an animal, fellatio (mouth-genital contact), or masturbation of the animal.Bestiality is most commonly practiced with large domesticated animals, such as sheep, goats or dogs, and less often with chickens, ducks, and geese. Kinsey (1948) has reported that about 8 per cent of all males, and 17 per cent in rural areas, admitted to at least one full sexual experience with animals. Bestiality is far less common among females, with whom it usually takes the masturbatory form of bodily friction.Sexual contact with animals appears to be a universal phenomenon, since laws and taboos concerning bestiality are found in practically all societies. Most religious codes, including the Old Testament, condemn the practice, but it is permitted in a few societies, particularly during initiation ceremonies. In our culture the practice usually results from observing coitus between animals. Boys and young men find this form of voyeurism sexually stimulating, and some of them decide to experiment with animals themselves. If they do not have an adequate opportunity for heterosexual relations, or if others around them engage in this behavior, they may make a regular practice of bestiality.Although all forms of bestiality are considered objectionable in our society, the practice is regarded as clearly pathological only where sexual relations with animals are preferred to contacts with humans of the opposite sex. As in other cases of sexual deviation, it may reflect a fear of inadequacy and rejection in approaching ordinary sexual relations. When this deviation is persistently practiced, it is often a sign of either psychosis or inferior intelligence.A business man finally married a woman who had worked in his office for some years and who thought she knew him quite well. He had paid desultory court to her a year or so before proposing and seemed always to be in some perplexity about the matter of marriage, but they were finally married when he was twenty-eight.They left immediately on a honeymoon and, as the matter was afterward explained to the physician, it was during this time that the wife discovered an extraordinary curious reaction on her newly acquired husband’s part to sexual intercourse. He became increasingly disturbed as night approached, and highly nervous and apprehensive about the sexual act. He deferred intercourse for quite a while on various excuses and finally consummated the marriage, but seemed greatly disturbed afterward, wring his hands and exclaiming that it was wrong of him to do so, and that he must not do it again. Later on in the marriage he was less indecisive, but after an act of intercourse with his wife he would jump up from the bed, dress, and leave the room, returning an hour or so later, apparently quiet and composed.One night, for reasons which she was unable clearly to explain, his wife resolved to follow him upon one of his mysterious disappearances from their bedroom. She trailed him to the stable where, to her utter amazement, she observed him in the act of cohabiting with his mare. She was most of all impressed by the fact that not only did the man show the utmost evidence of affection for the mare, kissing and fondling her as if she were a woman, but that the mare showed definite and unmistakable signs of responding to his maneuvers with sexual pleasure.The wife was thunderstruck by her discovery, so much so that she confronted her husband with it immediately. He fell on his knees before her, broke into loud sobbing, confessed that his behavior had gone on since several years before their marriage, and that his great distress in marrying her was not his shame about it, but his feeling that he was being unfaithful to the various mares with whom he had love affairs and sexual relations. This the wife was quite unable to understand or believe, but subsequent developments bore out the probable truth of the story. He agreed, now, to get rid of the mare and break away from his perversion.True to his word, he did so. He sold the mare and stayed at home religiously, persuading his wife that he was penitently attempting to conduct himself in a more normal and human fashion. For a time all was well. Then, contrary to his promise, he became interested in another mare and purchased her over his wife’s protests. He assured his wife that he would not become involved in a sexual interest in this mare, that it was a good investment, that it looked silly for a man who had been a horse fancier as long as he had to refrain from as good a purchase as this was, etc. Ultimately, the same situation developed again. He became more and more passionately attached to the mare, petted and caressed her in a manner which his wife, in the light of her knowledge, found unbearable. He then began disappearing at night for short periods in as surreptitious a way as possible to continue his affair with the mare.She continued to live with him until she discovered that he was clandestinely continuing to practice bestiality with various horses. Upon this discovery she left him flatly, arranging for separate maintenance.

Cite this page: N., Sam M.S., "BESTIALITY (Zooerasty, Zoophilia)," in PsychologyDictionary.org, November 28, 2018, https://psychologydictionary.org/bestiality-zooerasty-zoophilia/ (accessed December 4, 2021).

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