Understanding Animal Abuse

Clifton P. Flynn, PhD, will examine cruelty to animals, focusing largely on the social and cultural factors that help us explain it. Drawing on information from his new book, Understanding Animal Abuse: A Sociological Analysis, Dr. Flynn will examine why animal abuse is worthy of serious consideration by researchers and policymakers. We will discuss social factors that are related to the abuse of animals, arguing that individual or psychopathological explanations of animal abuse – while appealing – are insufficient if we want to truly understand and reduce violence to animals. Dr. Flynn will focus on predictors of childhood animal abuse and examine pet abuse in the lives of battered women. We will identify characteristics of offenders, plus explore the roles of gender, power, and control in making sense out of the relationship between violence to animals and to humans. Dr. Flynn will also provide a review of legal policies and recommendations.

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