by Green Viktor, Nairobi, Kenya

by Green Viktor, Nairobi, Kenya

Necrophilia and ethics

04 Mar, 2019

by Green Viktor, Nairobi, Kenya

Necrophilia is a sub category of sexual disorders. It generally falls under the paraphilia disorder. Necrophiliacs experience uncontrollable sexual urges which seem to increase with the attempt to dismiss them. This sexual fantasies involve absurd objects such as cadavers or mutilated body parts and high end extreme behavior such as getting whipped or injured just so as to see and get stimulation from the sight of blood. It becomes an obsession that one cannot break from without professional help. When then does this cross the line on human rights? The following discussion expounds on Necrophilia and ethical issues associated with it.

Key words: Necrophilia, rights of necrophiliacs, ethical considerations.

Abraham Maslow scientifically invented the hierarchy of needs. As human beings complete one level of a need, they strive to conquer the next. Sex is among the basic needs of this hierarchy as it falls under the category of love. If it is left unchecked, cases of paraphilia may arise. Sexual dysfunctions increase the probability of this disorder. Pre disposing dysfunction include but not limited to, past emotional abuse, psychiatric comorbidity, drugs or substance abuse, discrepancies in sexual needs or cultural factors (Finbow, 2014)

In the course of time, necrophilia can become an obsession towards an object or person leading to sexual gratification. In everyday cases, we find every one having a sex fetish, preferable fantasies in sex as in liked sex position, such as missionary, doggy while others prefer oral or anal sex in order to attain utmost sexual pleasure. With time, the body gets used to these arousals and becomes unresponsive or tolerant to them. It needs a new experience. However, this mostly affects the feeble minded. This pushes necrophiliacs to alleviate their sexual hierarchy and go for greater, stronger or unimaginable acts such as having sex with corpses to get them aroused. Persons that engage in mental images for stimulation are at higher risks of becoming Necrophiliacs. (Aggarwal, 2008)

It is advisable to carefully diagnose a paraphilia accordingly as they can differ from an individual to another. Most individuals suffering from this disorder have high levels of clinical depression and are socially impaired. This is because the society rebukes such acts, does not talk about it therefore making those affected feel like an embarrassment (Finbow, 2014). This poses a great as human needs need to be addressed and exercised. Failure to this, socially unacceptable channels will be sought leading to disasters

Ethical considerations

According to (Aggarwal, 2008) Necrophilia falls into different classes. The Romantic Necrophiliac class, they engage in sexual acts with their dead lover’s bodies or body parts. This leads to the discussion on the rights of necrophiliac and their ethical considerations. Luhyah and luo communities in the Nyanza region, Kenya, the deceased wife is by custom obliged to sleep in the same room with the deceased husband before he is buried. While doing this, she is supposed to imagine having sex with the husband or literally engaging with it. This ritual is believed to release the widow into marriage to the brother’s husband or a close relative otherwise known as wife inheritance (Shiino, 1997). As far as necrophilia is considered illegal, cultural norms that have long been in practice may be overlooked in different parts of the world. These are referred to as unwritten laws.

In other parts of the world, like in Britain, the subject on necrophilia is embarrassing. Studies have proven that cases of such do not reach the British courts. A well-known incident took place in Ohio, United Sates, where a morgue attendant admitted to having sex with corpse while drunk. In another one, a man was charged guilty of murder after having sex with the dead wife. While it is considered a profanity, it is a serious disregard of human rights of the deceased and the wish of the dead. It is ironical that the wishes of the dead are debatable.

The wish on being cremated or donation of body organs to those in need of it is considered just. Indeed, other people on their death bed sign consenting forms for their bodies to be used for research purpose. Their bodies end up embalmed and mutilated by medical professors and student yet the wish on having sex is considered unjust. Humans have just come up with justifiable arguments based on affect to benefit themselves and not the dead. Man has a psychological coping mechanism to send off the deceased in their own view of ‘acceptable’ send off.

How is it considered just to dictate on what death wishes should be honored and which of them will be disposed? How is cremation viewed acceptable or surgically mutilating the body to study organs considered a solace to humanity yet allowing the deceased romantic partner considered insanity? In most cases, the bereaved could have had a difficult relationship with the deceased and needs a closure to psychologically alleviate their pain. If this is not an act of humanity, is cremation it?

Not to be misquoted though, the dead belong to the deceased. That is why those left behind send off the body in a respectful manner such as purchasing an expensive casket and dozens of roses. Critically thinking about it, the dead will not thank you for such send offs. All this man does as coping mechanisms as earlier discussed, all for his own benefit. This does not mean however that every paraphilia psychopath can claim rights to engage sexually with a corpse as the body belongs to the bereaved and its relatives. Therefore decisions should be made by its relatives.


The wishes of the dead on whether one can or cannot have sex with them should be honored just as we would honor their wish on cremation. Just because one would make a ruling based on affect rather than critical analysis should not hinder others from exercising the wish of the dead with respect to situation and dispositional factors. One would argue that having sex with the dead person would lead to infections, oblivious of the fact on the prevalence on sexually transmitted infections and AIDS virus among the live human beings. In addition, the bodies are specially prepared for sex by putting surgical masks on them to prevent the transfer of bacterial infections.

Works cited

Aggarwal. A (2008) [i]Forensic and Medico-Legal Aspects of Sexual Crimes and Unusual Sexual Practices[/i]. New York: CRC Press.
Finbow .S (2014) [i]Grave Desire: A Cultural History of Necrophilia[/i]. UK: Zero books.
Shiino. W (1997), [i]African Study Monographs, Journal of Tokyo Metropolitan University[/I], 18(3,4): 213-218.