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The human-animal bond: role of anthropomorphism in diversity and variation

The human-animal bond: role of anthropomorphism in diversity and variation
The human-animal bond: role of anthropomorphism in diversity and variation
Adams et.al (2007) suggested a predictive model based on the dimensions of empathy, attachment and sexual attraction to differentiate between zoophilia and bestiality (animal sexual abuse). This paper develops this model by considering the role of anthropomorphism. It is known that anthropomorphism changes ‘normal’ care giving practices of pet owners (White, 2007). We suggest that anthropomorphism may have a significant effect on the human – animal bond by blurring the lines between sensual and sexual feelings (zoophilia) for a family pet (Adams, 2006).
Karpman (1961) describes zoophilia as human sexual excitement through stroking or fondling animals. Serpell (1996) suggests many pets share the same bed as their owner, sleep on their lap and interact with their owner in an affectionate and intimate way, which may or may not be sexually arousing to the owner.
Attachment bonds in human dyads are often characteristically dependent on engaging in physical intimacy and body contact (Prato-Previde, Fallani, & Valsecchi, 2006).
The flexibility in the human sexual response system, highlighted by Diamond (2006) considers that sexual orientation and sexual attraction are variable and can be influenced by attachment. This attraction can be irrespective of a predisposing sexual orientation. Thus, the formation of an attachment bond can lead a predisposed heterosexual to become sexually attracted to a same sex person.
Likewise, where anthropomorphic attitudes are high and attachment bonds are formed with an animal, these could develop into a more sexually attractive relationship on the part of the human. This is an extension of the erotic plasticity of the human sexual response and may or may not be acted upon in any manner that compromises animal welfare. Therefore we suggest that zoophilia is a physical and sensual dimension of human-pet relationship occasionally overflowing accepted boundaries, rather than a deliberate calculated process of sexual deviance or animal abuse.
zoophilia, bestiality, attachment, human-animal, anthropomorphism
1558-7878
41-42
Adams, Judith C.
7ed08416-ce65-40f2-8264-02186349a4cb
McBride, E. Anne
8f13b829-a141-4b67-b2d7-08f839972646
Carr, A.
85c8478c-1212-4d8b-986f-d3c212298807
Carnelly, K.
95bfbb90-865c-4ec2-8d55-3a06641e7c3b
Adams, Judith C.
7ed08416-ce65-40f2-8264-02186349a4cb
McBride, E. Anne
8f13b829-a141-4b67-b2d7-08f839972646
Carr, A.
85c8478c-1212-4d8b-986f-d3c212298807
Carnelly, K.
95bfbb90-865c-4ec2-8d55-3a06641e7c3b

Adams, Judith C., McBride, E. Anne, Carr, A. and Carnelly, K. (2010) The human-animal bond: role of anthropomorphism in diversity and variation. Journal of Veterinary Behaviour: Clinical Applications and Research, 5 (1), 41-42. (doi:10.1016/j.jveb.2009.09.041).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Adams et.al (2007) suggested a predictive model based on the dimensions of empathy, attachment and sexual attraction to differentiate between zoophilia and bestiality (animal sexual abuse). This paper develops this model by considering the role of anthropomorphism. It is known that anthropomorphism changes ‘normal’ care giving practices of pet owners (White, 2007). We suggest that anthropomorphism may have a significant effect on the human – animal bond by blurring the lines between sensual and sexual feelings (zoophilia) for a family pet (Adams, 2006).
Karpman (1961) describes zoophilia as human sexual excitement through stroking or fondling animals. Serpell (1996) suggests many pets share the same bed as their owner, sleep on their lap and interact with their owner in an affectionate and intimate way, which may or may not be sexually arousing to the owner.
Attachment bonds in human dyads are often characteristically dependent on engaging in physical intimacy and body contact (Prato-Previde, Fallani, & Valsecchi, 2006).
The flexibility in the human sexual response system, highlighted by Diamond (2006) considers that sexual orientation and sexual attraction are variable and can be influenced by attachment. This attraction can be irrespective of a predisposing sexual orientation. Thus, the formation of an attachment bond can lead a predisposed heterosexual to become sexually attracted to a same sex person.
Likewise, where anthropomorphic attitudes are high and attachment bonds are formed with an animal, these could develop into a more sexually attractive relationship on the part of the human. This is an extension of the erotic plasticity of the human sexual response and may or may not be acted upon in any manner that compromises animal welfare. Therefore we suggest that zoophilia is a physical and sensual dimension of human-pet relationship occasionally overflowing accepted boundaries, rather than a deliberate calculated process of sexual deviance or animal abuse.

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Published date: January 2010
Keywords: zoophilia, bestiality, attachment, human-animal, anthropomorphism

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 146179
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/146179
ISSN: 1558-7878
PURE UUID: f7a1d4a3-cf63-407f-81f3-5328bb4626ab

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Date deposited: 21 Apr 2010 11:13
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 23:04

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