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Characteristics of Juvenile Offenders Admitting to Sexual Activity with Nonhuman Animals

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This study compared the family characteristics, victimization histories, and number of perpetration offenses of juvenile offenders who admitted to having had sex with animals to juvenile offenders who did not. The study found that 96% of the juveniles who had engaged in sex with nonhuman animals also admitted to sex offenses against humans and reported more offenses against humans than other sex offenders their same age and race. Those juveniles who had engaged in sex with animals were similar to other sex offenders in that they also came from families with less affirming and more incendiary communication, lower attachment, less adaptability, and less positive environments. Those juveniles who had engaged in sex with animals reported victimization histories with more emotional abuse and neglect and a higher number of victimization events than other offenders. This would seem to indicate that sex with animals may be an important indicator of potential or co-occurring sex offenses against humans and may be a sign of severe family dysfunction and abuse that should be addressed in the arenas of psychological intervention, juvenile justice programs, and public policy.


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