A new classification of zoophilia

J Forensic Leg Med. 2011 Feb;18(2):73-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jflm.2011.01.004. Epub 2011 Jan 22.


Zoophilia is a paraphilia whereby the perpetrator gets sexual pleasure in having sex with animals. Most jurisdictions and nations have laws against this practice. Zoophilia exists in many variations, and some authors have attempted to classify zoophilia previously. However unanimity does not exist among various classifications. In addition, sexual contact between humans and animals has been given several names such as zoophilia, zoophilism, bestiality, zooerasty and zoorasty. These terms continue to be used in different senses by different authors, creating some amount of confusion. A mathematical classification of zoophilia, which could group all shades of zoophilia under various numerical classes, could be a way to end this confusion. Recently a ten-tier classification of necrophilia has been proposed to bring an end to a similar confusion extant among various terms referring to necrophilia. It is our proposition that various shades of zoophilia exist on a similar continuum. Thus, each proposed class of zoophilia can be "mapped" to a similar class of necrophilia already proposed. This classification has an intuitive appeal, as it grades all shades of zoophilia from the least innocuous behavior to the most criminal. It is hoped that it would also bring an end to the existing confusion among several zoophilia related terms. In addition, since each proposed class of zoophilia can be exactly "mapped" to classes of another paraphilia (necrophilia), it may point to an "equivalence" among all paraphilias not yet explored fully. This area needs further exploration.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Paraphilic Disorders / classification*