how common is bestiality and staitstics on zoophillia

How Common Is Bestiality and Zoophillia? Definitions, Facts, and Statistics

This is by far the biggest meta-study on Bestiality and Zoophillia. In the following article we will take you through all the findings from the study. The study is based on a longitudinal dataset stretching from 1948 to 2023, with more than 17,682 survey participants, and arrested bestiality offenders.

The dataset is available in different formats. Feel free to send an email requesting it in your preferred format to: When using the dataset, or any findings presented in this article, please make sure to reference the article.

Key statistics

  • 4.75% of the population self-report to have engaged in bestiality at one point.
  • 86.0% of bestiality offenders are male (13.6% are female).
  • Bestiality arrests have increased by more than 3000% in the last 20 years (1996-2000 vs. 2016-2020).
  • Only 39.1% of arrests involving bestiality resulted in prosecution.
  • Two US states does not have laws against bestiality (New Mexico, and West Virginia)
    • Note: Hawaii recently passed a bestiality law (2021), and Wyoming never used theirs to convict offenders.
  • 86% of reported cases of bestiality involved penetration.
  • 72.5% of animals were well-known or lived in close proximity to the convicted.
  • 20% reported that they committed bestiality because they did not feel attractive to others.
  • +50% of bestiality offenders are between 20 and 50 years of age.
  • 85% of bestiality offenders are white, compared to 58% of the general US population.

Definition of Bestiality and Zoophillia

Typically people will think of bestiality and zoophilia as the same thing. However, that is not the case. In the following I will answer the questions of what bestiality and zoophillia is. I will also explain the main differences between them.

What is Bestiality

Bestiality is sexual activity between a human and a non-human animal. It is also referred to as cross-species sexual activity – which in definition is non-reproductive.

What is Zoophillia

Zoophillia is a type of parafilia, where humans are sexually attracted to animals. The term was coined by Richard Freiherr von Krafft-Ebing, a German psychiatrist, in his work Psychopathia Sexualis (1886). Wherin he also reported on cases of bestiality.

The difference between Zoophillia and Bestiality

While bestiality is the sexual act with an non-human animal (mammals, birds, reptiles or amphibians, either dead or alive), Zoophillia on the other hand is simply the sexual desire for such species. Bestiality also has been used predominantly in terms of describing sexual assult and abuse of animals, while zoophiles are used to describe people who from an emotional and sexual bond with animals.

What is it called when humans are attracted to animals? When humans are attracted to animals they have Zoophillia and are called zoophiles.

What is it called when humans have sexual intercourse with animals? When humans have sex with animals it is called Bestiality.

Prevalence of bestiality across time

Based on our meta-study we have provided the best estimates off the prevalence of bestiality in 2023.

  • 2-7.5% of the population have engaged in bestiality at one point (sexual encounter with an animal).
bestiality statistics - prevalence over time
Notes explaining trends: A lot of explanations for rise and falls throughout history have been put forth. One is that as industrialization have expanded the opportunity to have sex with animals decreased. The drop from the 1950s and to the 1980s is therefore not a drop in lust or zoophellia in the public, but rather a decrease in farming as an occupation and animals living in close proximity. The rise throughout the 1980s can be explained by a liberalization of attitudes towards sexuality. The subsequent drop starting in the 1990s can be explained by a lot of US stated passing laws banning bestiality.

In an effort of transparency the below table lists all the datapoints with references to the studies, number of participants in each study.

YearPercentage of populationNReference
19488% men; 40-50% in rural areas5,300 menKinsey & Pomeroy (1948)
19535.1% women; 1.5% for pre-adolescents and 3.6% for post-adolescents women6,000 womenKinsey et al. (1953)
19744.9% men;  1.9% women2,026 (982 men; 1,044 women)Hunt (1974)
19805.3% men; 94 menCrépault & Couture (1980)
19827.5%103 (N/A)Story (1982)
199110-15%; 55% among psychiatric patients60 (N/A)Alvarez Freinhar (1991)
20142.2% men; 3% women1,516  (799 men; 717 women)Joyel et al. (2014)
20212%2,583 (N/A)Campo-Arias et al. (2021)
2023 estimate:2 – 7.5%17,682Bedbible Institute (2023)

US laws against bestiality

In the below list we have listed the US laws against bestiality.

Only 48 US states have laws against bestiality.

Meaning that it is not illegal to have sex with animals in Wyoming, West Virginia, and New Mexico (Hawaii made it illegal in 2021 with the passing of HRS § 711-1109.8).

StateLawPenaltyYear of introduction
Alabama§ 13A-6-220 – 221Class A misdemeanor1975
AlaskaA.S. 11.61.140Class A misdemeanor1978
ArizonaA.R.S. § 13-1411Class 6 felony2006
ArkansasA.C.A. § 5-14-122Class A misdemeanor1977
CaliforniaCal. Penal Code § 286.5Misdemeanor1975
ColoradoC. R. S. A. § 18-9-202Class 1 misdemeanor1977
ConnecticutC. G. S. A. § 53a-73aClass A misdemeanor1975
Delaware11 Del.C. § 775Class D felony1993
FloridaWest’s F. S. A. 828.126Misdemeanor of the first degree2011
GeorgiaGa. Code Ann., § 16-6-6Felony: imprisonment for not less than one nor more than five years1968
HawaiiHRS § 711-1109.8Misdemeanor for the first offense.
Class C felony for the subsequent offenses
IdahoI.C. § 18-6605Felony (punishable by imprisonment not less than five years)1994
Illinois720 I.L.C.S. 5/12-35Class 4 felony1961
IndianaI.C. 35-46-3-14Level 6 felony2007
IowaI.C.A. § 717C.1Aggravated misdemeanor2001
KansasK.S.A. 21-5504class B nonperson misdemeanor2010
KentuckyKRS § 525.137Class D Felony2019
LouisianaLSA-R.S. 14:89.3Felony, Fine of not more than $2,000, imprisoned, with or without hard labor, for not more than 5 years, or both. 2018
Maine17 M.R.S.A. § 1031Class D crime (misdemeanor)1987
MarylandMD Code, Criminal Law, § 3-322Misdemeanor, On conviction subject to imprisonment not exceeding 10 years or a fine not exceeding $1,000 or both.2002
MassachusettsM.G.L.A. 272 § 77Felony; First offense: imprisonment in the state prison for not more than 7 years or by imprisonment in a jail or house of correction for not more than 2 ½ years, by a fine of not more than $5,000 or by both such fine and imprisonment.1978
MichiganM.C.L.A. 750.158Felony, punishable by imprisonment in the state prison not more than 15 years.1931
MinnesotaM.S.A. § 609.294Misdemeanor1987
MississippiMiss. Code Ann. § 97-29-59Felony (not listed but punishment is imprisonment in the penitentiary for a term of not more than 10 years)1930
MissouriV.A.M.S. 566.111Felony 2002
MontanaMCA 45-8-218Class A misdemeanor1921
NebraskaNeb. Rev. St. § 28-1010Class III misdemeanor1977
NevadaN. R. S. 201.455Felony, a gross misdemeanor2017
New HampshireN.H. Rev. Stat. § 644:8gClass A misdemeanor 2016
New JerseyN. J. S. A. 4:22-17Felony; The person is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree1995
New MexicoN/AN/AN/A
New YorkMcKinney’s Penal Law § 130.20Class A misdemeanor1965
North CarolinaN.C.G.S.A. § 14-177Punished as a Class I felon2015
North DakotaNDCC, § 12.1-20-12Class A misdemeanor1973
OhioR.C. § 959.21Misdemeanor of the second degree2016
Oklahoma21 Okl. St. Ann. § 886Punishable by imprisonment in the custody of the Department of Corrections not exceeding ten (10) years1910
OregonO. R. S. § 167.333Class A misdemeanor2001
Pennsylvania18 Pa.C.S.A. § 3129Misdemeanor of the second degree1999
Rhode IslandGen.Laws 1956, § 11-10-1Felony with imprisonment not exceeding 20 years nor less than 7 years1896
South CarolinaCode 1976 § 16-15-120Felony with imprisonment in the Penitentiary for five years or shall pay a fine of not less than $500, or both, at the discretion of the court.2019
South DakotaSDCL § 22-22-42Class 6 felony2003
TennesseeT. C. A. § 39-14-214Class E felony2007
TexasV. T. C. A., Penal Code § 21.09Felony of the second degree2017
UtahU.C.A. 1953 § 76-9-301.8Class B misdemeanor1993
Vermont13 V.S.A. § 352Misdemeanor; Punishable by a sentence of imprisonment of not more than one year, or a fine of not more than $2,000.00, or both.1989
VirginiaVa. Code Ann. § 18.2-361Class 6 felony1989
WashingtonWest’s RCWA 16.52.205Class C felony1994
West VirginiaN/AN/AN/A
WisconsinW.S.A. 944.17Class A misdemeanor1973
WyomingW.S.1977 § 6-4-601Misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than one (1) year, a fine of not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000.00), or both1977

Arrest records

We also found some facts about how these laws are upheld:

bestiality arrests statistics - what happens after the arrest for sex with an animal

Some of the more interesting bestiality arrests statistics include:

  • Only 39.1% of arrests involving bestiality resulted in prosecution.
  • 52.9% of bestiality convicted criminals already had a criminal record, or later got subsequent criminal convictions.
  • 25.7 – 27.6% of bestiality convictions are against previously convicted criminals of bestiality (repeat offenders).
  • In 10.3% of bestiality arrests the offender did not have sex with an animal but rather facilitated, solicited, filmed, or manipulated a third party to do so.
  • In 34.4% of arrests the sexual contact between human and animal could not be proven but pornographic material was found and used as evidence.

Bestiality arrests per year

We also collected data on the number of arrests and convictions of bestiality from 1975 to 2020.

bestiality statistics on the number of arrests per year
  • In 1975 to 1980 three people where arrested for bestiality, which increased to 317 from 2016 to 2020.
  • Bestiality arrests have only decreased one time in history from 1975-80 to 1981-85.

Bestiality – how

  • 86% of reported cases of bestiality involved penetration, which can cause physical harm to both the human and the animal involved.

The animals

  • 72.5% of animals were well-known or lived in close proximity to the convicted.
  • 27.5% of animals that are victims of bestiality are the property of others than the offender.
  • 7.5% of bestiality offenders also act in violent or sadistic ways against the animal so that it results in death or euthanasia.
  • 1% of bestiality offenders have sex with dead animals.
  • 3.5% of bestiality offenders were also convicted of soliciting animals to others.

What reasons do people provide for Bestiality?

  • 1% reported that they committed bestiality because they were drunk or high.
  • 11% reported that they committed bestiality because other people influenced them.
  • 15% reported that they committed bestiality because they lived on a farm.
  • 20% reported that they committed bestiality because they did not feel attractive to others.
  • 53% reported that they committed bestiality because they found it pleasurable and had a desired affection.

Bestiality offenders demographic characteristics

The data is based on arrested offenders of bestiality in the US, and the below is different demographic tabulations. For each tabulation the distribution of demographic characteristics of bestiality offenders have been compared to those of the general population.

Age and gender

A tabulation of age compared to the percentage distribution in the normal US population. This tabulation is done for both men and women.

Age groupMale, % of all bestiality offendersMale, % of US population
< 200.8%26.3%

And for women bestiality offenders the distribution on age looks like the following:

Age groupFemale, % of all bestiality offendersFemale, % of US population
< 203.3%25.1%

What is not apparent from the above tabulation is the distribution between male and female bestiality offenders:

  • 86.0% of bestiality offenders are male.
  • 13.6% of bestiality offenders are female.
  • 0.4% of bestiality offenders identify as transgender or were not willing to disclose their gender.


What the data clearly shows is that the far majority of bestiality offenders are white.

  • 84.9% of bestiality offenders are white.
Race% of all bestiality offenders% of population
African American6.5%12.1%

Relationship status

Relationship status is highly correlated with age and gender. This means that the bestiality offender group is not comparable to the general US population on relationship status as they differ on significant variables already. Therefore it does not make sense to compare the groups characteristics on relationship status to that of the general US population.

Relationship status% of offenders
Single, no intimate relationships with humans12.5%
Is or has been in an intimate human relationship87.5%


In some respects employment groups can also not be compared directly to that of the US population. However, this is also due to the lack of opportunity to classify certain professions without asking respondents directly.

Employment, proffession:% of bestiality offenders
Student, unemployed8.9%
Military, fire, law enforcement14.8%
Teacher, minister6.5%
Medical, legal8.9%
Employed, not otherwise specified42.6%

Facts about bestiality

  • Studies have shown that people who engage in bestiality may have a higher risk of developing certain mental health problems, such as anxiety and depression.
  • Bestiality is often associated with other illegal activities such as animal abuse, child pornography, and sexual assault.
  • Bestiality has been linked to the spread of certain zoonotic diseases, such as brucellosis and rabies, which can be transmitted from animals to humans. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there have been several cases of humans contracting brucellosis from infected animals used in bestiality.
  • Studies have shown that people who engage in bestiality may have a higher risk of developing certain mental health problems, such as anxiety and depression. A study published in the Journal of Sex Research found that individuals who engaged in bestiality were more likely to have a history of childhood sexual abuse and to report symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
  • A study published in the Journal of Sex Research found that individuals who engaged in bestiality were more likely to have other paraphilias, such as exhibitionism and voyeurism.

Exploring Fantasy-Themed Toys: A Safe Avenue for Desires

While the topic of zoophilia and bestiality can be controversial and ethically challenging, it’s essential to recognize the difference between real-life actions and fantasy exploration. For those intrigued by animal-themed fantasies, there are various safe and consensual ways to explore these desires without crossing ethical boundaries. One such avenue is through fantasy-themed toys, which allow individuals to delve into their imaginations in a harmless manner.

Animal-Themed Dildos:

Fantasy dildos have gained popularity for their unique designs and the ability to cater to niche desires. From fantasy dildos that take inspiration from mythical creatures to more specific designs like dog dildos and horse dildos, there’s a wide range to choose from. For those who enjoy the aesthetics of tentacles, the tentacle dildo offers a unique experience.

Tail Butt Plugs:

For individuals looking to embody a specific animal persona, tail butt plugs can be a fun addition. Whether it’s the playful bunny butt plugs, the cunning fox tail butt plugs, the household dog butt plug, or the wild wolf tail butt plugs and horse tail butt plugs, these toys add an element of role-play to intimate moments.

Bondage and Role-Play:

Bondage can be a way to explore power dynamics and control. Incorporating elements like the bondage collar can enhance the role-play experience. For those looking to delve deeper into the animal role-play, furry sex dolls can be an intriguing option. Or maybe even an anal snake to delve deeper into anal play.

Exploring Vibrations:

Vibrators have been a staple in the world of adult toys. The rabbit vibrator, named for its unique design resembling rabbit ears, offers dual stimulation and is a favorite among many.

In conclusion, while it’s crucial to approach topics like zoophilia with sensitivity and understanding, it’s equally important to provide safe avenues for individuals to explore their fantasies. Fantasy-themed toys offer a consensual and harmless way to delve into one’s imagination, ensuring ethical boundaries remain intact.

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