'Dog on Man': Are Bestiality Laws Justifiable?
Antonio M. Haynes
Cornell University - Law School
December 5, 2012
This essay examines the typical arguments deployed to support prohibitions against bestiality. Though the standard arguments are superficially appealing, upon closer inspection, the standard justifications break down, primarily because of what might be called irrational inconsistency. Part I explores the arguments related to consent. Part II explores the argument that bestiality wrongly uses animals as means. Part III examines the "public-health" arguments. Part IV assumes that some humans have a zoophilic sexual orientation, and assesses the general inclination to analogize zoophilia to pedophilia, rather than to homosexuality.
Part V offers a potentially new rationale for justifying bestiality prohibitions. This approach, borrowed from the literature regarding sexual activity among the mentally retarded, eschews a categorical ban on bestiality, and instead advocates a contextual approach grounded in assessing the level of apparent coercion. This approach would not only serve to rationalize bestiality prohibitions, but in the future might serve to bring more coherence to all laws regulating sexuality.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 32
Keywords: bestiality, zoophilia, animal rights, animal welfare, sexuality, sexual orientation, beastialityworking papers series
Date posted: December 10, 2012
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