Who's Into Bestiality
I asked ~34,000 people if they were interested in bestiality!
Some disclaimers: I learned-as-I-went for most of what I did in this blog post, including some statistics, learning the language (guided track) for making the survey, and learning python for processing the data, which is my first introduction to any programming! I’m spot checking along the way, and occasionally get extra eyes to skim over what I’m doing, but there’s always a chance of error. You can check the code I’m using (at the time of writing this) and the full question texts for the entirety of the survey here, and a sample of the (already mostly cleaned) data (with email columns removed). I’m planning on sharing the full raw data eventually, but I want to spend a lot more effort on ensuring it’s anonymous before doing so. If you find any errors, tell me and I’ll update this post!)
Also my general stance on kink, which I will be including at the beginning of all these posts:
There is no bad kink. People almost never get to choose what turns them on. Being into a rare kink doesn’t make you bad. Being into a kink that is associated with bad things does not make you bad. It is possible to practice high risk kink ethically, or to not practice at all. Any individual demographic of people who are more into a specific kink you might find offensive is not an indication they are bad. If you use it to accuse them of being bad, you are missing the entire point of all of this research, which is to explore the cause and effect of sexuality with open-minded, compassionate curiosity.
My current plan is to post a series of blog posts, each one focused on one fetish category. We’re kickin the first one off with a woof - bestiality!
If people marked they were into bestiality from a checklist of things, then I gave them this question:
"I find bestiality, or sexual interaction with at least one non-human animals/amphibians/insects/birds/etc, to be:
[options: not arousing (0), slightly arousing (1), somewhat arousing (2), moderately arousing (3), very arousing (4), extremely arousing (5)]
*tip: This question is not about *being* an animal; there's a section for that later. It's also *not* including fantasy creatures, strictly about real creatures!
Knowingless is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
14.8% of males and 12.4% of females reported at least some interest.
The full gender breakdown saw more variety though -
Or, for ‘any interest’:
It looks like bestiality is a pretty non-cis preference here. I mean this really neutrally - I don’t think people have any choice over what turns them on, what turns people on is not a moral issue. It’s just really fascinating the way different brains are structured!
As of writing this, my total sample consists of 24,875 bio males, 9,143 bio females, 9,851 cis bio males, 6,692 cis bio females, 1,130 enby bio males, 1,715 enby bio females, 914 transwomen, and 736 transmen. Of these, 1194 females and 3745 males reported any interest in bestiality, and thus went on to receive the rest of the bestiality questions.
(edit: some graphs I’ve added after sample size increased to around 35k, and the updated n is reflected in those images. All non-graph averages and confidence intervals are from the updated sample)
I also asked about which sex acts with animals people found erotic with four separate 0-5 scale questions.
I asked males and females who they were sexually attracted to, on a scale from “people with penises, exclusively” to “people with vaginas, exclusively”.
To clarify this chart: for example, of males who report a majority people-with-penis preference, nearly 30% of them report interest in bestiality. Of males who report exclusively preference for people with vaginas, closer to 8% do.
I’m not sure what to make of this (especially the dropoff for exclusive penis preference?), but this seems like a pretty massive difference.
I changed this question partway through the survey, so am limiting sample to after-change, which is only ~30k. And some of the bins here did get pretty low - the smallest being females reporting slight preference for people with vaginas, which was 214. Next smallest bins were females with exclusive vagina preference (273), males with slight penis preference (277), males with exclusive penis preference (482), and males with majority penis preference (631).
(Around 6.5% of males responding to my survey reported preferring penises over vaginas at least a little bit, and 13% of females reported preferring vaginas over penises at least a little bit)
Age of Onset
I asked people at what age they first experienced interest in bestiality; my question had 10 different age ranges to choose from, most of them gaps of 2 years, but a few larger. I calculated the averages based on the midpoint of the ranges given.
Biological males (cis): 16.1,
95% CI [16, 16.3]
Biological females (cis): 15.5,
95% CI [15.1, 15.9]
Biological males (enby): 15.3
95% CI [14.6, 15.8]
Biological females (enby): 13.7
95% CI [13.1, 14.2]
95% CI [14, 15.1]
95% CI [13.2, 14.6]
This also points at a trend I expect to see more of - females and people with non-cis gender identities experience fetish onset a bit earlier. This holds for bestiality; the average onset for cis people was 1.4 years later than non-cis people, and for males 0.9 years later than females.
I slightly regret that I combined the ages 19-25 in one cluster when providing people options to choose from, as that makes what is probably an artificial bump in this graph.
Correlation between how much people liked bestiality and age they first experienced interest in bestiality was only -0.15 or so, but the average of each bin is interesting.
I have theories that age of onset might be really important for understanding fetishes, and this gestures in that direction - people who report being extremely into bestiality report an average start age of over two years earlier than the more mildly interested groups.
For an even more granular breakdown:
This graph might be a little harder to read, but basically each line represents the group of people reporting different degrees of interest - for example the orange line are people who are extremely into bestiality, and you can see the biggest chunk of people extremely into bestiality reported it starting age 0-4.
This makes me wonder if the difference extreme and less-extreme interests might be evidence of a different type of fetish occurring here, or some different underlying structure. I’m curious to see if this trend holds across the other fetishes I’m going to look into.
Does bestiality increase or decrease as you age?
Neither! Interest in bestiality remained stable across all ages, with a nothingburger correlation of r=0.01. There were also no quirky internal trends (like, no big spikes among young and old) that I could detect.
Which animals do people find the sexiest?
Of people who reported any interest in bestiality:
75.7% found dogs arousing
64.2% found horses arousing
17.3% found octopi/squid arousing
13.8% found more/other (not listed) arousing
13.2% found lions arousing
Filtering for people into bestiality, I looked at the % of men and women who found various animals erotic, and then took the ratio between these scores to find the animals most disproportionately gender-preferred.
Females most prefer:
Lions (1.79x more than males)
Octopi/squid (1.74x more than males)
Bears (1.62x more than males)
While males most prefer:
Horses (1.28x more than femlaes)
Pigs (1.2x more than females)
Sheep (1.15x more than females)
In my survey, I asked people about half of these animals (the ones I estimated would be more popular). If they marked interest in “more animals not listed” there, then I gave them another list of the less popular animals.
A small error resulted in people not getting the second list for part of my survey run. I did end up fixing this, but this means the resulting sample size for the less popular animals is lower - only 1022 males and 482 females.
After people checked all the animals they were into, I then presented them a second question with those animals and asked them to select which animal they liked the most.
This graph below is the ratio of which animals got the ‘most’ rating, to the animals that got ‘any’ interest. For example, if an animal has a score of 0.4, this means that 40% of everyone who selected being sexually interested in that animal, also selected that animal as their *most* favorite.
I did ask two different ‘which of these animals you selected, do you find most arousing’ questions - one for each list of animals I presented, which probably ends up skewing this data by showing a more favorable ratio for less popular animals.
So, is the trope about ‘white women fucking dogs’ true?
Kind of! In fairness it would be most accurate for the stereotype to be about men being sexually attracted to dogs, but white people in general do have the lead here. White women are about as likely to report sexual interest in dogs as are black men though!
But don’t let the y-axis deceive you, the actual difference in interest is pretty small; here’s the full 0-5 interest scale:
Sample was white = 24,623, asian = 3,577, hispanic = 2,805, and black = 1,098. I didn’t include other ethnicities due to lower sample size.
0-5 bestiality interest scale averages:
95% CI [0.414, 0.442]
95% CI [0.338, 0.417]
95% CI [0.277, 0.389]
95% CI [0.291, 0.355]
Since the samples are pretty unevenly distributed (lots of white people and not a lot of others, for example), I’m slightly more suspicious of the results; I interpret this to indicate a greater chance of sampling bias somewhere. For example, black people who took my survey might end up being a more unusual representation because they’re rarer, in the same way you might expect black people at burning man to be a less representative sample of the black population compared to how white people at burning man represent white people. It doesn’t mean they’re definitely not useful for the purpose of what we’re asking, but it does mean we should be more careful.
Filtering for people who expressed any interest in bestiality (the bins do get pretty small here, only 149 black people for example), here’s the average bestiality onset ages per ethnicity.
95% CI [15.6, 16.5]]
95% CI [14.3, 15.9]
95% CI [14.8, 15.8]
95% CI [15.6, 15.9]
I made this graph using the average of male and female % interest, which I calculated separately, in order to “control” for different male/female response rates in different countries. If there’s a better way to do this, let me know!
Most of my sample came from North America and western Europe. I didn’t include options with lower samples; the smallest bin included above is India, with 793 people.
Overall the difference isn’t huge - just a ~6% or so difference between the least and most bestiality-inclined countries.
In my survey, I broke down all the fetishes into about 30 categories, which I refer to as the ‘primary fetishes.’ You can find how I did this here, but basically the goal was to give people a reasonable amount of ‘overview’ questions that also didn’t leave out any important elements. All of these were rated on the same 0-5 spectrum.
The average correlation between bestiality and the other primary fetishes was r=0.18, which means if you’re into bestiality, you’re slightly more likely to be into everything else, too. I also think this means when I tell you a correlation between bestiality and another fetish, you might want to subtract 0.18 to get a feeling for what’s unique to bestiality itself, as opposed to the general bump in correlation people get from being horny for everything.
Here’s the correlations, from least to most. I’m using the primary fetish shorthand, but in the survey they were much more clearly defined, with examples.
I’m not really bothering with significance here, the smaller bin (females) starts flirting with p=0.0001 at around r=0.04 or so. Again, would rather use odds ratios for this, but I haven’t learned how to do this in python yet.
But what about correlation with things besides primary fetishes (or the subcategories of those fetishes)? Here’s a list - please keep in mind most of these are weak.
Interest in bestiality was correlated with:
arousal from fisting anuses (r=0.21 for males, 0.16 for females)
preference for animated (over live action) porn (r=0.25 for males, r=0.15 for females)
higher proportion of porn consumption being violent (r=0.19 for males and females)
attraction to trans people (r=0.17 for males, r=0.11 for females)
finding it arousing when other people feel disgust or revulsion (r=0.16 for males, r=0.17 for females), when they themselves feel disgust or revulsion (r=0.15 for both males and females), despair and horror in both self and other (r=14ish for both males and females), and cruelty/brutality in both self and other (r=1.13ish in both males and females).
being polyamorous (r=0.15 for males, r=0.16 for females)
feeling as though they’ve induced fetishes in themselves through porn use (r=0.15 for both males and females)
watching porn more often (r=0.12 in males, r=0.15 females)
preferring erotic content to feature more nonconsent (r=0.18 males, r=0.21 females)
Notably absent from this list is anything related to childhood. I asked a bunch of questions about childhood, and none of them correlated. For a list of all the childhood-related questions that did not correlate with bestiality preference:
Were your mom and/or dad there to raise you
How sexually liberated was your upbringing
When did you start masturbating
When did you first have sex
What religion did you grow up in
How important was that religion (externally and internally)
How did people feel about violating gender roles
How did people feel about genderbending
What was your social class
How clean was your home
Was agency placed more on you or on the world?
How often were you spanked
How painful were the spankings
Were you abused as a child
How often were you verbally abused (by adult man, and adult woman)
How often were you neglected
How often were you physically abused (by adult man, and adult woman)
Were you sexually assaulted as a child, and if so by whom
What’s the gender of your siblings
Still though, people who were severely assaulted in childhood do score about 2x more interest in bestiality than people who weren’t assaulted at all.
Dominance and submission preference also did not correlate.
What about rates of committing sexual assault? I asked people if they’d ever had a sexual experience with someone else who did not want the experience, with the awareness that the other person didn’t want it (with a clarification that I’m not talking about consensual nonconsent) - and this had no real correlation to interest in bestiality either.
I also asked about mental illnesses, politics, Big-5, relationship attachment style, about random stuff like what kind of sex positions do you like - none of these correlated. You can check my full list of questions to see all of the things that didn’t correlate!
If you have a question about any other thing (excluding subcategories of the primary fetishes!) that might have correlated with interest in bestiality from my survey, the answer is probably no, it didn’t correlate interestingly enough, or else I would have included it here.
But okay - what about subcategories of primary fetishes? These get kinda boring and repetitive because my survey was way too thorough, and I think 90% of the interest is summed up with the above correlation chart. But in the interests of being flamboyant, here’s the strongest correlations for the 0-5 bestiality interest scale (excluding correlations with the bestiality subcategory questions themselves)
(below for males only)
r=0.43 with the number of total primary fetish categories selected
r=0.36 with number of options selected from a checkbox question that presented various pairings for parent/child incest fantasies
r=0.33 with interest in parent-child incest
r=0.32 with interest in dragons
r=0.32 with number of options selected from a checkbox question that presented options for creepy fetishes
r=0.32 with number of options selected from a checkbox question that presented options for pregnancy/reproduction
r=0.31 with interest in sibling incest
r=0.31 with mother/daughter incest
r=0.3 with interest in parts of a human body being animal body parts
r=0.3 with interest in oviposition (laying eggs into someone/birthing the eggs)
r=0.3 with animal transformations in general
r=0.3 with interest in father-daughter incest
r=0.3 with interest in transforming into a dog
r=0.3 with number of options selected from a checkbox question that presented options for types of abnormal body parts/states
r=0.3 with interest in transforming into a horse or pony
r=0.29 with interest in brother-sister incest
r=0.29 with werewolves
r=0.29 with number of options selected from a checkbox question that presented options for types of transformations
r=0.29 with interest in brother-sister incest, with an age gap
r=0.28 with interest in mother-and-father-with-daughter incest
And so on.
Bestiality is a surprisingly common preference, given how taboo it is! You almost certainly know someone who’s aroused by bestiality - maybe it’s you!
I didn’t ask questions about childhood that might correlate specifically with bestiality, like “did you grow up with pets,” and I’m still curious if there’s a connection there.
The non-cis preference is really interesting to me; based on glancing through other data, I think this is pointing towards a larger trend of nonstandard gender identities also having nonstandard sexual preferences. I’ll likely write more about this specifically after I condense more of the data.
Knowingless is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.