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(p. 95) Understanding Animal Cruelty and Sexual Abuse 

(p. 95) Understanding Animal Cruelty and Sexual Abuse
Chapter:
(p. 95) Understanding Animal Cruelty and Sexual Abuse
Author(s):

Lacey Levitt

DOI:
10.1093/med:psych/9780199360901.003.0004
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date: 22 May 2018

Current research is used to provide a comprehensive view of what is known empirically about people who intentionally physically or sexually abuse animals. The review includes children, adolescents, and adults, and it considers many types of intentional animal maltreatment that inevitably involve a range of motivations; these include, but are not limited to, torturing animals, animal assault in domestic violence cases, animal abuse as a reaction to one’s own abuse, sexual abuse of animals, and animal fighting as a criminal enterprise. The chapter reviews what is known about the characteristics of animal maltreatment offenders within those categories, examining their demographics, developmental histories, personality characteristics, mental disorders, and delinquent and criminal offenses. The chapter organizes what is currently known in this area and identifies what should be the focus of future research.

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