We live in a world of numbers and statistics. So when i was reading a book about Necrophilia (the very well written "Necrophilia" by Anil Aggrawal, i was very interested in the section on epidemiology; how common IS necrophilia? But the author soon points out the problem in answering such a question. And in fact, it occurred to me, it's a problem that *several* related topics have. To wit:
Question: What is the frequency of necrophilia, and how does it compare to the reported cases?
Answer: probably it's alot more common then simple numbers would suggest. The reason being, *it would hardly ever be reported*. Reasons why include:
1. There's no victim to report the crime.
2. There's a societal stigma on reporting some types of offenders (ie, mortuary workers) because it would damage businesses and reputations.
3. The acts take place, by nature, in secret. That makes anyone stumbling into them, by nature, very low.
4. The people involved have a *seriously* good reason to not talk about it with others, so theres little risk of self-reporting.
5. Not every case that's found would be prosecuted, or reported, due to the disgusting nature of events.
End result? It's like cockroaches: if you see 1, there's probably *50* that you don't see. The thought is pretty unpleasant, to be sure.
What's interesting is that there's lots of incidents like this. In fact, any incident where the perpetrator is hiding, is pretty much unlikely to be properly reported to authorities. Take the case of a voyeur - how would you ever know he was watching you unless you caught him? and maybe the one time you caught him was only one time out of dozens. So you might say, "i had a voyeur i caught once', but really you'd been (voyeurized?) many times without your knowledge. So, reported rates would be lower then one would rationally think.
It's interesting to find the holes in the world like that, where our knowledge breaks down.