Did you know that right now it’s entirely legal for a man, or woman, in Texas in the United States to walk into a pet store, buy a dog, take that dog home and then have sex with it?
The facts will make you sick
Provided he doesn’t cause the animal any pain, in the eyes of the law, that man has done nothing wrong.
You can also do it in chilly Finland or on the beaches of Hawaii as well as in Japan and certain parts of Australia, which also do not prohibit sexual activities between humans and animals.
Five years ago you could do it in many more countries, including such paragons of modern civilisation as Sweden and Denmark and more than a handful of US States, according to the animal law centre at Michigan State University.
These facts will probably make you feel surprised, and quite possibly angry or sick as well, but they’re true.
One point of (slight) comfort before we continue, it is totally illegal in Zimbabwe, and has been for centuries.
Humans having sex with animals is called bestiality, and it isn’t nearly as rare as you might think.
Estimates of prevalence vary, but by any estimation the numbers are still substantial. Writing in the 1940’s, famed sexual researcher Alfred Kinsey estimated that eight percent of men and 3.6 percent of women had engaged in some sort of sexual act with an animal.
However, these figures were disputed in academia due to the fact that an unreasonably high proportion of the subjects in Kinsey’s widely-cited study were prisoners. Also, a later study in 1974 by Morton M Hunt put the prevalence of men and women having intimate relations with animals at 4.9 percent and 1.9 percent respectively.
Risk factor for penile cancer
When researching the topic, one isn’t surprised to find that few academic institutions have conducted serious studies on the matter, making it difficult to find strong estimates for the prevalence today. One recent paper which sought to find a link between sex with animals and penile cancer has offered a little insight, however.
The study, which took place in Brazil and was published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, found a 34 percent prevalence of bestiality among men, most of whom were from rural backgrounds, as well as determining that it was a risk factor for penile cancer.
It’s important to remember that bestiality works both ways, and these figures and debates relate to both people who have sex with animals, as well as those who allow, and often encourage, animals to have sex with them.
The most common animals involved are dogs, followed by horses. Other farm animals such as donkeys, sheep, camels and even chickens are also popular choices. Both male and female animals can be involved depending on the preferences of the human regarding penetrating, or being penetrated.
The Daily Mail brought the issue to light in 2013 after a slew of such brothels were rumoured to exist in Germany, though institutions of this nature are likely to maintain a low profile given their illegality. Such buildings host an array of animals, with which paying visitors can engage in intercourse away from the eyes of the law.
In Zimbabwe, there have been a number of reported cases of bestiality .
So, why is it wrong?
In countries like Zimbabwe, South Africa and the UK, it has been illegal for centuries and it is unlikely a challenge to this ruling would be brought before the courts.
Even religions vary in their tolerance of bestiality. All branches of Christianity and Judaism, for example, completely forbid sex between humans and animals, which goes some way to explaining why it is so taboo in western nations.
Islam, however, has no specific prohibitions against such acts and, in practice, Islamic countries have been lenient in punishing those found to be engaging in them, provided the animal is not harmed.
The same goes for Hinduism, a religion that deifies a number of animals, in 2003 a story came to light in which a girl in rural India married a dog as part of a religious ritual. Many more ancient religions which have since largely died out, such as Norse and Ancient Egyptian theology featured frequent mentions of human-animal copulation.
Not just dangerous, but deadly
Outside of the direct pain caused by sex between two mismatched species, though, there are several other ways it can have negative effects on the animal and the human. For starters, there is the issue of the transmission of diseases from one party to the other. While most illnesses are not contagious cross-species, there are many that are, and some can be quite dangerous.
Conditions that can be transferred from a human to an animal are referred to as anthroponotic diseases and can often cause serious harm as animals generally receive a much lower standard of care than humans.
In the opposite direction, there are a number of diseases humans can catch through sexual intercourse with animals, some of the more dangerous include:
- Leptospirosis. This is carried by, amongst others, dogs, horses and sheep and can be transmitted through any contact with an animal’s sexual organs. The infection generally leads to meningitis and about 10 percent of cases are life-threatening.
- Echinococcosis. This is carried by cats and dogs and involves the transmission of parasitic worms from the faeces of the animal. The onset of this disease often has no symptoms and this phase can last for a year, complicating diagnosis. Eventually cysts will begin to grow in the liver, brain and lungs, as well as other organs. If left untreated, the disease can be fatal.
- Rabies. Present in the saliva of cats, dogs and horses, rabies is probably the most severe disease a zoophile can catch. In unvaccinated humans the disease is almost always fatal if treatment is not undertaken swiftly.
There is also the threat of physical damage that can be caused by intercourse with animals of vastly different size to a human. One of the most famous cases is the so-called Enumclaw horse sex case in which a 45-year-old man died after receiving anal sex from a stallion. The horse’s large penis perforated the man’s colon and he died several hours later, as reported in the Seattle Times. Video footage of the intercourse was spread widely via the internet. – news24.com