Sex With Animals Linked to Penile Cancer
Updated at 1:05 p.m. ET on Friday, Nov. 11.
For manyِ people, bestiality isِ a bad joke, butِ for someِ itِ couldِ beِ a matter ofِ life orِ death, according toِ a newِ study finding thatِ men whoِ hadِ sex withِ animals inِ their lifetimes wereِ twiceِ asِ likely toِ develop cancer ofِ the penis asِ others.
The study ofِ 492 men fromِ rural Brazil foundِ that 35 percent ofِ study participants, whoِ ranged fromِ 18 toِ 80 years oldِ andِ included bothِ penile cancer patients andِ healthy men, reported havingِ sex withِ animals (SWA) inِ their lifetimes.
A team ofِ urologists fromِ centers aroundِ Brazil co-authored theِ paper, whichِ looked atِ risk factors forِ penile cancer inِ men whoِ hadِ visited 16 urology andِ oncology centers inِ 12 Brazilian cities.
Men who had sex with animals also reported a higher incidence of sexually transmitted diseases.
Of theِ 118 penile cancer patients, 45 percent reported havingِ sex withِ animals, compared withِ 32 percent ofِ healthy men, whoِ visited theِ medical centers forِ benign conditions, check-ups orِ cancer prevention.
Fifty-nine percent ofِ men whoِ hadِ sex withِ animals didِ so forِ one toِ fiveِ years, whileِ 21 percent continued theِ behavior, alsoِ known asِ zoophilia, forِ more thanِ fiveِ years.
10 Surprising Sex Statistics] The researchers foundِ no association betweenِ penile cancer andِ the number ofِ animals theِ men usedِ overِ time, theِ species (which included mares, cows, pigs andِ chickens, among otherِ animals) orِ the number ofِ other men whoِ alsoِ participated.
Theorizing a causal role
Sex withِ animals couldِ beِ asِ ancient asِ sex itself.
Yet SWA isِ underrepresented inِ scientific literature, andِ the newِ study isِ the firstِ to link theِ practice toِ male genital cancers.
Penile cancer accounts forِ up toِ 10 percent ofِ cancers inِ men inِ Asia, Africa andِ South America, althoughِ it isِ rare inِ the U.S.
Not just a rural problem
The researchers wrote thatِ they chose thisِ population toِ investigate becauseِ sex withِ animals isِ common inِ rural areas withِ high rates ofِ penile cancer, andِ a connection seemedِ plausible.
In fact, Zequi saidِ heِ was notِ surprised thatِ 35 percent ofِ participants hadِ had sex withِ animals.
We knowِ that inِ rural zones ofِ our country, andِ probably worldwide, young men haveِ sexual experiences withِ domestic animals, heِ said.
The new study was published online Oct. 24 in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.
Editor’s Note: This story hasِ beenِ updated toِ correct language usedِ toِ describe theِ link betweenِ smegma andِ cancer; whileِ a link hasِ beenِ found, itِ isِ not proven thatِ oneِ causesِ the other..