Anonymous asked this question on 4/7/2000:
It used to be that homosexuality was considered a disorder in the DSM. Now it is considered a normal variation. What is the current thinking re zoophilia? Is it considered a disorder to be "corrected", or is it considered better to help a person feel good about their feeling for animals? Is it likely that in time the DSM will go the same way with zoophilia as it has with homosexuality, or did it only change for homosexuality because of pressure from activists?
Are there any known errors in the DSM?
How much of the DSM is opinion subject to whim and change?
To what degree do phycologists and phyciatrists follow the DSM rather than their own feelings?
Imhere2listen_help gave this response on 4/20/2000:
I am not a doctor, but I can tell you, that I know there are errors in the DSM. I have known doctors who use the DSM to make a decision about a lot of what they do, and the margin for error is, in my opinion, can turn out to be extremely irresponsible. Example. I go to a doctor, and I have symptoms of sexual abuse, but have never been sexually abused. If the doctor goes by the DSM, I've been sexually abused, and am in denial. It doesn't matter what the truth is, the DSM is the Bible for some doctors and psychologists. Psychiatry and Psychology are not exact sciences, therefore, you must rely on what doctor says what to put together a book. I'm not totally against the DSM. It can be helpful, in finding medication side effects, gives you a general overview of what different problems may be connected to, and so forth, but I can't see how the DSM will ever be anything more than a guide book, to help out with basic diagnosis, or medication therapy. As far as zoophelia is concerned, I know down south there are more states where it is a crime than up north. I do believe if it becomes more predominant than it already is, it will be addressed because, in many cases, it is more of a crime to do something to an animal, than it is a child. You can get a severe prison sentence for zoophelia, but with child abuse, the reprisals are much less severe, on a general basis. There was a case, just recently where the people who took care of the children, had them caged for years, and didn't take care of them. The judge let them walk, because it wasn't really abusive to the child, if you did that to an animal, the EPA would be involved, as would the Animal Rights Activists. The person would be punished. I think as long as we have laws that protect animals more than children, that zoophelia will continue to be looked down on. I think the psychiatric professionals will continue to look down on sexual behavior on animals, for quite some time, and the DSM will list it as a disorder until, someday, a famous case will arive in court, and the person who is the defendant has a large sum of money. When that happens, a precedent will be set, and the outlook on beastiality will change.
Anonymous asked this follow-up question on 4/22/2000:
Thank you for your comments about the DSM. There is no such word as beastiality. I assume you mean bestiality. I don't think the laws against bestiality have anything to do with concerns for animal welfare. They are left over from the time when laws were based on the Bible. They have mostly not been removed because there has been no pressure to do so. I believe that most phycologists/phyciatrists these days would not consider zoophilia something that needs curing unless it was causeing distress. That is the way that homosexuality went in the DSM. It should only be a matter of time before zoophilia is regarded in the same way as homosexuality is now.
Imhere2listen_help gave this response on 4/23/2000:
I tend to disagree with you about the concerns about animals. There is no word as causeing. I assume you meant causing. I looked up the laws in the different states and the reprisals are much more severe when having sex with an animal, than to have sex with a child. I, personally, would think that this is a personal manner, and it's a lot better than being a pedophile, or pederast. I think it's better than rape, or forced sodomy or forced fellatio with a human being. However in most states, the punishment is more severe for doing anything sexual with animals, than what is allowed to be done with young children. There are precedents, if you read the newspaper, turn on the t.v., read a non-fiction book, or do some law research, you will find that in cases to do with children, many have had nothing done to them. If it's with an animal, it's much more severe. You may be right. My personal opinion, is that children should come before animals. How badly are you going to damage the mind of a sheep, as opposed to a 4 yr. old?
Anonymous asked this follow-up question on 5/14/2000:
The severe penelties for bestiality are due to the laws not having been updated since they were created based on the Bible. The lawmakers certainly don't consider sex with an animal worse than rape or child sexual abuse. A young child may "consent" to sex with an adult, then years later have a breakdown when they remmeber what happened to them.
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