Exploring the possible link between childhood and adolescent bestiality and interpersonal violence

J Interpers Violence. 2006 Jul;21(7):910-23. doi: 10.1177/0886260506288937.


Bestiality is a serious although less frequently occurring form of animal cruelty that may be linked to subsequent aggression against humans. This investigation examines whether a perpetrator's race, childhood residence, education, commission of a personal crime, and the number of personal crimes committed affects acts of bestiality committed during childhood or adolescence among a sample of incarcerated males. The results show that respondents with less education and those who had been convicted of committing crimes against people on one or more occasions were more likely to have had sex with animals during their childhood or adolescence than other respondents in the sample. These findings lend some support to the sexually polymorphous theory that among these perpetrators sex and aggression have become mutually inclusive and that bestiality as a form of animal cruelty may be linked with interpersonal human violence.

MeSH terms

  • Aggression / psychology*
  • Animal Welfare*
  • Antisocial Personality Disorder / diagnosis
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Forensic Psychiatry / methods
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Male
  • Personality Development*
  • Prisoners / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States
  • Violence / psychology*