A study by Hensley and Tallichet (2005) depicts the similarity in killing and torturing methods of inmates who committed acts of animal cruelty as children. Four factors linked to childhood animal aggression and later aggression towards humans are: 1) type of cruelty 2) type of animal targeted 3) motivation and 4) response to cruelty. Hensley, Tallichet and Dutkiewicz (2012) performed a study of 180 male inmates with a history non-human animal cruelty.
A logistic regression analysis was conducted to determine the following percentages of inmates who committed specific acts of cruelty: 82% hit, 36% kicked, 33% shot, 22% engaged in sexual acts, 17% choked or drowned victims and 15% burned their non-human animal victims. Four significant correlations were found based on the findings of the regression analysis: 1) inmates who covered up acts of cruelty were less likely to report a feel of guilt 2) those who committed frequent acts of cruelty were more likely to use drowning as a means of torture 3) abusers who drown the victims were more likely to use kicking, choking and burning methods 4) those who kicked the victim were more likely engage in asphyxiation by means of choking.
The psychopathology of animal abusers is understudied (Hensley & Hallichet, 2005) and complex. Each factor is used as a catalyst in determining human aggression (Kellert & Felthous 1985; Merz-Perez, Heide & Silverman, 2001). The next study that will be examined is a mixed sample of both males and females. The present study solely focused on a male population which leaves many questions unanswered regarding female behavior towards animal cruelty.
Kellert, S. R., & Felthous, A. R. (1985). Childhood cruelty toward animals among criminals and noncriminals. Human Relations, 38(12), 1113-1129
Hensley, C., & Tallichet, S. E. (2005). Animal cruelty motivations: assessing demographic and situational influences. Journal Of Interpersonal Violence, 20(11), 1429-1443.
Hensley, C., Tallichet, S. E., & Dutkiewicz, E. L. (2012). The predictive value of childhood animal cruelty methods on later adult violence: examining demographic and situational correlates. International Journal Of Offender Therapy & Comparative Criminology, 56(2), 281-295
Merz-Perez, L., Heide, K. M., & Silverman, I. J. (2001). Childhood cruelty to animals and subsequent violence against humans. International Journal Of Offender Therapy & Comparative Criminology, 45(5), 556.