Can animals experience "sexual" abuse?

There have been two recent local news stories where I live about people involved in bestiality. In addition to animal abuse charges (dogs in both cases) they have been separately charged with animal “sexual” abuse.

I am very upset by the special designation of sexual charges against the animal. Since when did society start doing that? I am afraid this is an attempt to make animals equal to humans and marks an early step on the road to recognizing bestiality as an accepted behavior. If an animal has special rights against “sexual” abuse by humans when do the other sexual rights between humans and animals start to slither in?

Am I off base here or do others find this as disturbing as I do?

I absolutely think that someone charged with bestiality should be charged with animal sexual abuse. If a person sexually abuses an animal, he should be justly charged and penalized for it. Of course bestiality is animal sexual abuse. There is nothing else it could be. The animal cannot consent to the behavior imposed on him by someone more powerful than he/she, and supposedly with a higher brain. They have no power to refuse or consent. It’s abuse no matter how you look at it. Who the heck knows what such a person would do to another person, or to a child. I find it disturbing that a human being would sexually abuse an animal, yes. But then they sexually abuse their fellow human beings as well. And I don’t think this is an attempt to make animals equal to humans.

I think that as stewards of the earth, we are called to protect animals against this type of cruelty (as well as other types of cruelty) and I can’t think of a reason why in the world wouldn’t we be called to do so. God gave human beings guardianship over the animals of the earth and I doubt anyone can convince me that there isn’t a special punishment for those who abuse the privelidge and obligation that comes with that assignment. It’s not that they’re on the same level as well are, but they are deserving of dignity and respect.

I’m sorry that you’re upset about the animal sexual abuse designation, but I am happy for it, and support it 100%. This is something that I would rally for, speak out for, donate money for, take action for. No offense, but it’s kind of appalling to me that people think that animals are so low on the totem pole that a human being should be able to sexually abuse them and get away with it, and there not be any consequences for it. It’s bad enough that they are treated without dignity and respect by the commercial food industry, so I guess I expect no less even though it infuriates me :shrug:

I am glad that there was a charge of animal sexual abuse. This is very wrong and the sick person who does this needs to be charged. Very disturbing.:frowning:

I didn’t make myself clear. I think the person should be charged in some way for the bestiality to make sure they are monitored as a sexual deviant and are forbidden from owning animals. I not saying the animal wasn’t abused and the man doesn’t need to be punished. I am pointing out that IN ADDITION to regular animal abuse charges there are separate charges for the sexual abuse part AGAINST the animal. Hence my question.

Well, to answer your question, yes the separate charges for sexual abuse against the animal is appropriate because there was abuse and it was sexual in nature. When a person is beaten and raped, more than one charge is made. One of course is the rape, but then the other abuses are named as well. We can’t say that there are too many charges, if the charges were committed. Yes, the person was guilty of animal abuse, and sexual abuse against the animal. I’m confused as to why you don’t think there should be separate sexual animal abuse charges :shrug:

Interesting that they would do two charges. I would think that a charge of animal sexual abuse would include animal abuse.

I wonder if the wording is a way to make sure they are listed as sex offenders in the registries?

I am asking a much deeper moral / legal / societal question here than whether an animal was abused or whether it’s abuser is a very sick person who should be charged with a crime of a sexually deviant nature and treated/punished.

By bringing up the way we charge rape separately from a beating in humans you have hit on what I am asking. Should abuse involving an animal’s genitals be charged as a separate and additional crime from abuse to the other parts of their body - like it is in humans? When there is genital activity between a human and an animal is that a special crime against the animal beyond physical abuse (like it is in humans) or is the ‘sexual’ nature of the crime one that should only be considered ‘against’ the human, e.g., bestiality, because only humans have a sexual nature beyond the purely physical aspect of sex?

Rhetorically speaking: If two separate crimes are appropriate, what are we saying about sexuality? That animals suffer additional damage to their psyche from “sexual” abuse the way humans do? That animals should have sexual “rights” beyond the legal protection’s they already have from being abused by humans? Is there such a thing as animal sexuality in the way we think of it in humans that goes beyond the physical and into the emotional/spiritual realm?

I don’t think you’re off base. Cass Sunstein, Obama’s regulatory czar, has argued in favor of outlawing sport hunting and meat-eating, and written that animals should be allowed to file lawsuits “with human beings as their representatives.”

Who would have thought *Animal Farm *was actually a psychic prediction instead of an allegory?



No, not only considered in a human, because it was also done to the animal.

It was the human that committed the crime, not the animal.

The charges aren’t made against the animal. The charge is being made against the human for what he/she did against the animal, and is based on the actions and intent of the human.

I’m glad this is already out of our hands, like many other things :slight_smile: The law is the law, and thankfully, this is yet another one I support, and will continue to support, and don’t really have to worry about.

You misunderstood what I wrote. All animal sexual abuse includes animal abuse but all animal abuse does not include animal sexual abuse.

I totally get what you are saying, but I do not think it is an attempt to make animals equal to humans - I think it is a way to further punish people who are sexually abusive to animals. I think that if you’re going to go as far as to sexually assault an animal, you need a lot more special and intensive help.

Because abuse is abuse. Sexual abuse only defines the abuse. Did the perp beat up or threaten the animal before doing it?

I don’t know law well enough, but if a man rapes a woman, should/could he be charged with assault and sexual assault. Sure, if he beats her up, or threatens her and beats her up and rapes her, additional charges may be in order.

But let’s say a woman passes out drunk in a park and a guy “only” rapes here. Are assault charges in order in addition to rape? I don’t know.

It seems to me that in performing an act of beastiality, charging someone with “sexual abuse” and “animal abuse” is like charging them twice for the same thing, of course, assuming that one “only” performs the act.

Maybe the “animal sexual abuse” is a separate charge that carries with it different consequences, like being put on a sex offender list; that would make some sense.

My point is why is there a distinction and a separate charge?

To address a few points raised in other postings:

I don’t think the law started out to give uniquely human rights to animals but I’m afraid that’s how the political activists who want every sexual flavor to be legal are going to use it. If you allow that an animal can be “sexually” abused rather than just abused then can it be turned around to say that an animal has “sexual” rights? And if you call the behavior sexual abuse instead of just abuse can it be interpreted to say that there is sexual behavior that is not abusive? When it comes to the law words matter, and I hate seeing laws that leave the meaning of words open to interpretation. I think sexual abuse should only apply to humans.

BTW, I checked and bestiality is still a misdemeanor in my state as are the charges in these cases so I wonder why it was not used. Knowing the very progressive place I live I tend to think they might object to such a “backward” term. But since bestiality (zoophilia) still carries a psychiatric diagnosis the abuser might get the help he needs for that as well as punishment for the animal abuse.

A little background on one of the cases: there was physically abusive behavior, slapping, whipping, choking in addition to sexual abuse that was not defined. The other was a little while ago and I don’t believe there was any mention of physical abuse separate from the sexual abuse (also not specified) but I don’t remember with certainty.

probably if the prosecuters can’t prove both charges beyond a reasonable doubt, he would get convicted in at least one of the charges.

I think the law is very good.

Having a law for sexual abuse doesn’t mean that someday consentual animal sex will be made legal. An animal can’t give informed consent. Similar to how a child/minor can’t give informed consent.

Are you saying that the animals were ‘charged’ under the law? I’m not sure where you live, but I’m pretty sure you cannot charge an animal under the law… It’s sort of silly. If the animal in question had done any harm they would be simply euthanized. I doubt that anyone would follow legal course… I’m sort of confused. Please elaborate on the charges and potential outcome of said charges.

The charges were animal abuse and animal sexual abuse. A man abused and sexually abused an animal.

Because the TYPE of abuse inflicted upon the animal is different, and possibly worse (in terms of the person’s moral culpability, not necessarily the animal’s suffering, we can’t accurately gauge the extent of an animals’ suffering). That’s why.

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