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- This article is about zoophilia, and bestiality, and zoosexuality. For other meanings of these words, see the terminology section.
Zoophilia (from the Greek Zôon, "animal", and Philia, "friendship" or "love") is a paraphilia, defined as an affinity or sexual attraction by a human to a (non-human) animal. Such individuals are called zoophiles. The more recent terms zoosexual and zoosexuality also describe the full spectrum of human/animal attraction. A separate term, bestiality (more common in mainstream usage), refers to human/animal sexual activity. To avoid confusion about the meaning of zoophilia — which may refer to the affinity/attraction, paraphilia, or sexual activity — this article uses zoophilia for the former, and zoosexuality for the sexual act. The two terms are independent: not all sexual acts with animals are performed by zoophiles, neither are all zoophiles interested in being sexual with animals.
Sexual acts with animals are often condemned as animal abuse and/or outlawed as "crimes against nature". However, some, such as philosopher and animal rights author Peter Singer, argue that this is not inherently the case. Although research has broadly been supportive of at least some of zoophiles' central claims, common culture is generally hostile to the concept of animal-human sexuality.
The activity or desire itself is no longer classified as a pathology under DSM-IV (TR) (the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association) unless accompanied by distress or interference with normal functioning on the part of the person. Critics point out that that DSM-IV opinion says nothing about acceptability or the well being of the animal; defenders, on the other hand, argue that a human/animal relationship can go far beyond sexuality, that research supports their perspective, and that animals are capable of forming what is claimed to be a genuine loving relationship that can last for years and is not considered functionally different from any other love/sex relationship.
Template:Wiktionarypar3 The general term zoophilia was first introduced into the field of research on sexuality by Krafft-Ebing in his book Psychopathia Sexualis (1894). The terms zoosexual and zoosexuality, signifying the entire spectrum of emotional and sexual attraction and/or orientation to animals, have been used since the 1980s (cited by Miletski, 1999), to suggest an analogy to homosexual or heterosexual orientations. Individuals with a strong affinity for animals but without a sexual interest can be described as "non-sexual" (or "emotional") zoophiles, but may object to the zoophile label. They are commonly called animal lovers instead.
The ambiguous term sodomy, usually referring to non-procreative sex,<ref name="sodomy_law">Lawrence v. Texas ruling - "Early American sodomy laws were not directed at homosexuals as such, but instead sought to prohibit nonprocreative sexual activity more generally"</ref> has sometimes been used in legal contexts to include zoosexual acts. Zooerasty is an older term, not in common use. In pornography, human/animal sex is occasionally referred to as farmsex, dogsex or animal sex; these terms are often used regardless of the context or species involved.
Amongst zoophiles and some researchers,<ref name="bestialist">Dr. LaFarge, an assistant professor of Psychiatry at the New Jersey Medical School, who is the Director of Counseling at the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and works with the New York correctional system, is quoted as commenting that: "it's important to make the distinction between bestialists and zoophiles, because zoophiles try not to hurt their animals, whereas bestialists do" </ref> the term bestialist has acquired a negative connotation implying a lower concern for animal welfare. This usage originated with the desire by some zoophiles to have a way to distinguish zoophilia as a fully relational outlook (sexual or otherwise), from simple "ownership with sex." Others describe themselves as zoophiles and bestialists in accordance with the dictionary definitions of the words.
In a non-zoophilic context, words like bestial or bestiality are also used to signify acting or behaving savagely, animal-like, extremely viciously, or lacking in human values.
Extent of occurrence
The extent to which zoophilia occurs is not known with any certainty, largely because feelings which may not have been acted upon can be difficult to quantify, lack of clear divide between non-sexual zoophilia and everyday pet care, and reluctance by most zoophiles to disclose their feelings. Instead most research into zoophilia has focused on its characteristics, rather than quantifying it. (Main article: Demographics of sexual orientation, also see Duberman's comments on the Kinsey Reports<ref name="kinsey_research">Martin Duberman, reviewing the Kinsey Reports stated that: ... as for the call for a "random sample," a team of independent statisticians studying Kinsey's procedures had concluded as far back as 1953 that the unique problems inherent in sex research precluded the possibility of obtaining a true random sample, and that Kinsey's interviewing technique had been "extraordinarily skillful." They characterized Kinsey's work overall as "a monumental endeavor."  The controversial results were hotly debated, especially by some who felt that inclusion of prison results had allowed sampling bias to distort the conclusions. Gebhard, who investigated these claims and later "cleaned up" Kinsey's large quantities of data in response to these issues, stated that to his surprise, the 1960's "cleaning" of Kinsey's data had not in fact changed any of kinsey's findings significantly.</ref>)
Scientific surveys estimating the frequency of zoosexuality, as well as anecdotal evidence and informal surveys, suggest that more than 1-2% -- and perhaps as many as 8-10% -- of sexually active adults have had significant sexual experience with an animal at some point in their lives. Studies suggest that a larger number (perhaps 10-30% depending on area) have fantasized or had some form of brief encounter. Larger figures such as 40-60% for rural teenagers (living on or near livestock farms) have been cited from some earlier surveys such as the Kinsey reports, but some later writers consider these uncertain.<ref name="kinsey_research" /> Anecdotally, Nancy Friday's 1973 book on female sexuality My Secret Garden comprised around 190 women's contributions; of these, some 8% volunteered a serious interest or active participation in zoosexual activity.<ref name="Nancy_Friday">Nancy Friday: - My Secret Garden contains around 190 fantasies:
- 15 represented zoosexual activity as an actual interest or major fantasy, either past or present:
- Jeanne (p.85), Lisa (p.87), Kate (p.89 **), Jo (p.161), Rosie ( p.163), Dawn (p.163), Wanda (p.163), Raquel (p.168), Felicia (p.195 **), Sonia (p.196), Trudy (p.198:**), Nina (p.202 **: youthful experimentation), Jocelyn (p.279 **), Esther (p.288 **), Anon (p.300).
(** - actual activity or strong stated interest in actual activity)
- Jeanne (p.85), Lisa (p.87), Kate (p.89 **), Jo (p.161), Rosie ( p.163), Dawn (p.163), Wanda (p.163), Raquel (p.168), Felicia (p.195 **), Sonia (p.196), Trudy (p.198:**), Nina (p.202 **: youthful experimentation), Jocelyn (p.279 **), Esther (p.288 **), Anon (p.300).
- For a further 8 (23 total = 12%) it was represented as one of multiple fantasies:
- Madge (p.18: humiliation), Hilda (p.48: size), Esther (p.69: fantasy), Alexandra (p.218: fantasy/domination), Gelda (p.230: fantasy), Tina's husband (p.244: both interested in animal mating), Bobbie (p.256: fantasy/horses), Paula (p.259: sex on horseback)
- It should be noted these figures are for sexually interested aspects only. Non-sexual zoophilia is excluded from the above book.
- Various sources comparing genders in zoophilia, express an expectation that the rate for zoosexuality in men would be expected to be higher than the rate in women.</ref>
Sexual fantasies about zoosexual acts can occur in people who do not wish to experience them in real life, and may simply reflect normal imagination and curiosity. Latent zoophile tendencies may be common; the frequency of interest and sexual excitement in watching animals mate is cited as an indicator by Massen (1994) and commented on by Masters (1962).<ref name="watching">From Masters (1962) section 'Psychical bestiality' -- "Sexual arousal at the sight of animals copulating has been reported by a great many persons, both famous and obscure, who have added that such arousal leads sometimes to acts of bestiality, sometimes to masturbation, and occasionally to heterosexual coitus with anyone available. (That the latter result may be forthcoming has always been well known to operators of houses of prostitution, who have staged exhibitions of animal coitus and of bestiality for the express purpose of stimulating the carnal appetites of their patrons...)"</ref>
Zoosexual acts are illegal in many jurisdictions, while others generally outlaw the mistreatment of animals without specifically mentioning sexuality. Because it is unresolved under the law whether sexual relations with an animal are inherently "abusive" or "mistreatment", this leaves the status of zoosexuality unclear in some jurisdictions.
Historically "there is some evidence that bestiality was particularly reviled because of fear that it would produce monsters... At early common law, there was no offense of cruelty to animals... The focus of [cruelty to animals] statutes is different from that of the traditional sodomy statute; anticruelty statutes are concerned with both the treatment of the animal and with the offense to community standards, while antibestiality provisions embodied in the sodomy statutes are aimed only at offenses to community standards." <ref name="posner">Posner, Richard, A Guide to America's Sex Laws, The University of Chicago Press, 1996. ISBN 0-226-67564-5. Page 207.</ref>
- Many U.S. states (see footnote<ref name="us_state_laws">US State Laws where known:
- Misdemeanor: Arkansas (Ark. Stat. Ann. @5-14-122 (2005): "Bestiality" - Class A Misdemeanor), California (Penal Code Section 286.5 "Crime Against Nature" - misdemeanor), Connecticut (CT Penal Code 952.53a-73a "Sexual assault in the fourth degree" - Class A Misdemeanor), Iowa (2005 Merged Code 717C.1 "Bestiality" Aggravated Misdemeanor - up to 2yrs and $500-$5000 fine), Kansas (K.S.A. @21-3505 "Criminal Sodomy" Class B Nonperson Misdemeanor), Minnesota (Minn. Stat. @609.294, (1993): Either fine of not more than $3,000 or sentence of not more than 1 year), Missouri (Mo Rev. Stat. @566-111 "Unlawful Sex with an Animal" - Class A Misdemeanor (1st offense) thereafter Class D Felony), Nebraska (Neb. Statutes @28-1010 "Indecency with an animal" - Class III misdemeanor), New York (NY CLS Penal @130.20 (1994): Class A misdemeanor), North Dakota (N.D. Cent. Code @12.1-20-12 "Deviate Sexual Act" is a Class A Misdemeanor), Oregon (Oregon Laws 2003 @167.333 "Sexual Assault of Animal" a class A misdemeanor), Utah (Bestiality 76-9-301.8: Class B Misdemeanor), Wisconsin (Wis. State. @944.17(2)(c) and (d)(1993) "Sexual Gratification" a class A misdemeanor).
- Felony: Delaware (11 Del. C. @777 (1993): Class D Criminal felony), Georgia (O.C.G.A. @16-6-6 (1994): 1-5 yr. jail sentence), Idaho (Idaho Code @18-6605 (1994): "length of imprisonment in excess of 5 years is in discretion of court."), Illinois (720 ILCS 5/12-35 (2003): Sexual Conduct (or Contact) with an Animal - Class D Felony), Louisiana (RS 14:89 (2003) "Crime Against Nature" up to $2,000 fine and/or 5yrs with or without hard labor), Maine (17-A M.R.S. @ 251 (1994): Class C Crime; 3-5 yrs), Maryland (Unnatural/Perverted Sexual Acts Article 27, Section 553: Up to $1,000 fine, max of 10 years prison), Massachusetts (Mass. Ann. Laws ch. 272 @34 (1994) "Crime against Nature" prison term of not more than 20 years), [[Michigan (MCL @750.185 (1992): Jail sentence not more than 15 years), Mississippi (Miss. Code. Ann, @97-29-59: Sentence of not more than 10 years), Montana (Mont. Code. Ann, @45-5-505 (1994): 10 year sentence and/or $50,000 fine), North Carolina (N.C. Gen. Stat. @14-177 (1994): Class I felony. 3-10 yrs), Oklahoma (Okl. St. @21-886 (1994): "imprisonment not to exceed 10 years"), Rhode Island (R.I. Gen. Laws @11-10-1 (1993): 7-20 years), South Carolina (S.C. Code Ann. @16-15-120 (1993): 5 yrs jail and/or fine of at least $500), South Dakota (SD Codified Laws 22-22-42 (1995): "Bestiality" - Class 6 Felony 1st offense, Class 5 subsequent offenses), Virginia (Va. Code. Ann. @18.2-361 (1994): Class 6 Felony), Washington D.C. (DC Code @22-3502 (1994) ("Sexual Psychopath" chapter): Fine not more than $1000 and/or sentence of not more than 10 yrs).
- Legislation in progress as of 2006: Arizona (introduced after a "spate of recent cases" ), New Jersey, Washington (introduced after the Kenneth Pinyan case in Enumclaw). The Arizona legislator is quoted in that source as stating: "Arizona appears to be in the minority of states that does not make sex with animals a crime. That doesn't necessarily mean we're wrong. But why shouldn't we be in line with everybody else if the rest of the nation thinks it's a problem?"
- Believed illegal or 'other': Pennsylvania (18 Pa. C. S. @3101, 3123 and 3124 (1994)), Tennessee (Tenn. Code. Ann. @39-13-511 (1994) specifically mentioned under Public Indecency if done in a public place)</ref> for list) explicitly outlaw sex with animals (sometimes under the term of "sodomy"). In the 2000s, six U.S. states adopted new legislation against it: Oregon, Maine, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana. Many U.S. state laws against "sodomy" (generally in the context of male homosexuality) were repealed or struck down by the courts in Lawrence v. Texas, which ruled that perceived moral disapproval on its own was an insufficient justification for banning a private act. On the other hand, the 2004 conviction of a man in Florida (State vs. Mitchell) demonstrated that even in states with no specific laws against zoosexual acts, animal cruelty statutes would instead be applied, and Muth v. Frank showed that some courts might be "desperate to avoid the plain consequences" of Lawrence and may make "narrow and strained" efforts to avoid seeing it as relevant to other consensual private acts beyond the realm of homosexuality.<ref name="MuthvFrank">From main article Muth v. Frank - "The grounds for dismissal, that Lawrence had dealt specifically with homosexual sodomy and not other consensual private sexual activity between adults, were considered "narrow and strained" by at least one newspaper, the Boston Globe . As legal scholar Matthew Franck observed, the writer of the opinion, Judge Daniel Manion, must have been "desperate to avoid the plain consequences of the [Supreme] Court's recent precedents on sexual liberty". "</ref> Finally, the 1999 Philip Buble case showed that when a self-confessed zoophile is assaulted and the assault is motivated by his zoophilia (ie hate crime), a jury can convict the assailant and a judge give a stern sentence, despite the controversial nature of the cause.
- In Australia, laws are determined at the state level, with all but the Australian Capital Territory and Jervis Bay Territory explicitly outlawing it.
- In Germany, sex with animals is not specifically outlawed (but trading pornography showing it is, cf. §184a StGB). In West Germany, the law making it a crime (§175b StGB, which also outlawed homosexual acts) was removed in 1969. East Germany before reunification had no law against zoosexuality; zoosexual pornography, however, was very restricted. Certain barriers are set by the Animal Protection Law (Tierschutzgesetz).
- In Sweden, zoosexual acts are legal, although animal cruelty is not. A 2005 report by the Swedish Animal Welfare Agency for the Swedish government expressed strong concerns over the increase in reports of horse-ripping incidents, although noting that "the rise in documented cases did not necessarily mean that there was a de facto increase", and distinguished zoosexual activity from incidents involving physical injury (zoosadism). The Animal Welfare Agency gave as its opinion that current animal cruelty legislation needed updating as it was not sufficiently protecting animals from abuse, but concluded that on balance it was not appropriate to call for a ban. 
- In the United Kingdom, it is illegal, with section 69 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 reducing the sentence to a maximum of 2 years imprisonment for human penile penetration of or by an animal.
- Zoosexual acts are illegal in Canada (section 160 forbidding "bestiality". The term is not defined, so it is not quite clear what it might cover.)
- Zoosexual acts are illegal in New Zealand under a variety of sections contained in the Crimes Act 1961. Section 143, makes "bestiality" an offence, but as in Canada, the meaning of bestiality is derived from case law. There are also associated offences of indecency with an animal (section 144) and compelling an indecent act with an animal (section 142A). It is interesting to note that in the 1989 Crimes Bill considered abolition of bestiality as a criminal offence, and for it to be treated as a mental health issue. In Police v Sheary (1991) 7 CRNZ 107 (HC) Fisher J considered that "[t]he community is generally now more tolerant and understanding of unusual sexual practices that do not harm others."
- In the Netherlands zoosexual acts are legal, despite a call for a ban in 2004 by several political parties and organisations.
- In Belgium zoosexual acts are legal, however the spreading of zoosexual pornography is not according to a court ruling in 2006 against a man who frequently had sex with dogs in a shelter he had worked for. He was acquitted from the charge of animal abuse and was only found guilty of violating public decency by spreading zoosexual pornographic material he had made at the shelter, which he did mainly via his website under the nickname Freki. The Belgian animal rights organisation Gaia, which filed the complaint, has appealed against the court ruling however and calls for the law to be changed to criminalize zoosexual acts.
- In some countries laws existed against single males living with female animals. For example, an old Peruvian law prohibited single males from having a female alpaca (llama).
Zoophilia as a lifestyle
Separate from those whose interest is curiosity, pornography, or sexual novelty, are those for whom zoophilia might be called a lifestyle or orientation. A commonly reported starting age is at or before puberty, around 9 - 11, and this seems consistent for both males and females. Kinsey found that the most frequent incidence of human/animal intercourse was more than eight times a week, for the under-15 years age group. Those who discover an interest at an older age often trace it back to nascent form during this period or earlier. As with human attraction, zoophiles may be attracted only to particular species, appearances, personalities or individuals, and both these and other aspects of their feelings vary over time.
Zoophiles tend to perceive differences between animals and human beings as less significant than others do. They often view animals as having positive traits (e.g. honesty) that humans often lack, and to feel that society's understanding of non-human sexuality is misinformed. Although some feel guilty about their feelings and view them as a problem (also see denial), others do not feel a need to be constrained by traditional standards in their private relationships.
The biggest difficulties many zoophiles report are the inability to be accepted or open about their animal relationships and feelings with friends and family, and the fear of harm, rejection or loss of companions if it became known (see outing and the closet, sometimes humorously referred to as "the stable"). Other major issues are hidden loneliness and isolation (due to lack of contact with others who share this attraction or a belief they are alone), and the impact of repeated deaths of animals they consider lifelong soulmates (most species have far shorter lifespans than humans and they cannot openly grieve or talk about feelings of loss). Some of these concerns may be qualitatively similar to historical perceptions in other sexual groups that have been legal or illegal at different times in history. Zoophiles do not usually cite internal conflicts over religion as their major issue, perhaps because zoosexuality, although seemingly condemned by some religions, is not a major focus of their teachings.
Zoophilic sexual relationships vary, and may be based upon variations of human-style relationships (eg Monogamy), animal-style relationships (each make own sexual choices), physical intimacy (non-sexual touch, mutual grooming, closeness), or other combinations.
Zoophiles may or may not have human partners and families. Some zoophiles have an affinity or attraction to animals which is secondary to human attraction; for others the bond with animals is primary. Miletski argues that a scale similar to Kinsey's could be applied for this.<ref name="miletski_orientation">Miletski, Hani: "The findings of this question... clearly indicate that different people have different levels of sexual inclination toward animals. "Is there a sexual orientation toward nonhuman animals?" — yes, so it appears...it very clearly shows that some people...have feelings of love and affection for their animals, have sexual fantasies about them, and admit they are sexually attracted to them. Sexual orientation, as we know it, can be fluid and changing with time and circumstances...We can place people on all levels of the Kinsey scale, even when we apply this scale to sexual orientation toward animals. It is logical to assume that the majority of the human race will be placed around the zero point of this Kinsey-like scale...but the current study shows that there are some humans whose place on this Kinsey-like scale is definitely not zero. In fact, there are some...individuals whose place on this scale would be the other extreme (6=sexual inclination exclusively with animals)." (Miletski ch.13 pp.171-172)</ref> In some cases human family or friends are aware of the relationship with the animal and its nature, in others it is hidden. This can sometimes give rise to issues of guilt (as a result of divided loyalties and concealment) or jealousy within human relationships . In addition, zoophiles sometimes enter human relationships due to growing up within traditional expectations, or to deflect suspicions of zoophilia, and yet others may choose looser forms of human relationship as companions or housemates, live alone, or choose other zoophiles to live with.
Although the term is often used to refer to sexual interest in animals, zoophilia is not necessarily sexual in nature. In psychology and sociology it is sometimes used without regard to sexual implications. The first definition listed for the word on dictionary.com is "Affection or affinity for animals". Other definitions are:
- "Erotic attraction to or sexual contact with animals"
- "Attraction to or affinity for animals"
- "An erotic fixation on animals that may result in sexual excitement through real or fancied contact"
The common feature of "zoophilia" is some form of affective bond to animals beyond the usual, whether emotional or sexual in nature. Non-sexual zoophilia is generally accepted in society, and although sometimes ridiculed, it is usually respected or tolerated. Examples of non-sexual zoophilia can be found on animal memorial pages such as petloss.com, in-memory-of-pets.com (memorial, tribute and support sites), by googling "pet memorials", or on sites such as MarryYourPet.com and other pet marriage sites. (See also: Animal love)
Zoophiles and other groups
Zoophiles are often confused with furries or therians (or "weres"), that is, people with an interest in anthropomorphism, or people who believe they share some kind of inner connection with animals (spiritual, emotional or otherwise). While the membership of all three groups probably overlap in part, it is untrue to say that all furs or therians have a sexual interest in animals (subconscious or otherwise). Many furs find anthropomorphic adult art erotic and enjoy the companionship of animals, but have no wish to extend their interest beyond an affinity or emotional bond to sexual activity. Those who consider themselves both zoophiles and furries, often call themselves zoo-furs or fuzzies. The size of this group is not known, although an oft-cited figure is 5% of furries, which is not dissimilar to typical estimates of the percentage within the population generally. Expressions of fur fetishism such as fursuiting, are usually considered a form of costuming, rather than an expression of zoosexual interest and are usually legal.
Finally, zoophilia is not related to sexual puppy or pony play (also known as "Petplay") or animal transformation fantasies and roleplays, where one person may act like a dog, pony, horse, or other animal, while a sexual partner acts as a rider, trainer, caretaker, or breeding partner. These activities are sexual roleplays whose principal theme is the voluntary or involuntary reduction or transformation of a human being to animal status, and focus on the altered mind-space created. They have no implicit connection to, nor motive in common with, zoophilia. They are instead more usually associated with BDSM. Zoosexual activity is not part of BDSM for most people, and would usually be considered extreme, or edgeplay.
Sciences studying zoophilia
Zoophilia is in the main covered by four sciences:
- Psychology - the study of the human mind
- Sexology - the study of human sexuality
- Ethology - the study of animal behavior (including animal culture, learning, communication, and animal sexuality)
- Anthrozoology - the study of human-animal interactions and bonds
Zoophilia may also be covered to some degree by other (non-science) fields such as ethics, philosophy, law, animal rights and animal welfare. It may also be touched upon by sociology which may look at zoosadism in examining patterns and issues related to abuse, and look at non-sexual zoophilia in examining the role of animals as emotional support and companionship in human lives, and may fall within the scope of psychiatry if it becomes necessary to consider its significance in a clinical context.
Perspectives on zoophilia
Psychological and research perspectives
DSM-III-R (APA, 1987) stated that sexual contact with animals is almost never a clinically significant problem by itself (Cerrone, 1991), and therefore both this and the later DSM-IV (APA, 1994) subsumed it under the residual classification "paraphilias not otherwise specified".
The first detailed studies of zoophilia date from prior to 1910. Peer reviewed research into zoophilia in its own right has happened since around 1960. There have been several significant modern studies, from Masters (1962) to Beetz (2002), but each of them has drawn and agreed on several broad conclusions:
- The critical aspect to study was emotion, relationship, and motive, it is important not to just assess or judge the sexual act alone in isolation, or as "an act", without looking deeper. (Masters, Miletski, Beetz)
- Zoophiles' emotions and care to animals can be real, relational, authentic and (within animals' abilities) reciprocal, and not just a substitute or means of expression. (Masters, Miletski, Weinberg, Beetz)
- Most zoophiles have (or have also had) long term human relationships as well or at the same time as zoosexual ones. (Masters, Beetz)
- Society in general at present is considerably misinformed about zoophilia, its stereotypes, and its meaning (Masters, Miletski, Weinberg, Beetz)
- Contrary to popular belief, there is in fact significant popular or "latent" interest in zoophilia, either in fantasy, animal mating, or reality (Nancy Friday, Massen, Masters)
- The distinction between zoophilia and zoosadism is a critical one, and highlighted by each of these studies.
- Masters (1962), Miletski (1999) and Weinberg (2003) each comment significantly on the social harm caused by these, and other common misunderstandings: "This destroy[s] the lives of many citizens".
At times, research has been cited based upon the degree of zoosexual or zoosadistic related history within populations of juvenile and other persistent offenders, prison populations with records of violence, and people with prior psychological issues. Such studies are not viewed professionally as valid means to research or profile zoophilia, as the results would be based upon populations pre-selected as knowingly having high proportions of criminal records, abusive tendencies and/or psychological issues. This approach (used in some older research and quoted to demonstrate pathology) is considered discredited and unrepresentative by researchers.
An example of such a statistic is a statement that "96% of people who commit bestiality will go on to commit crimes against people" quoted by PETA , which is sourced from a study of such a population  . When read in full however, the study also includes the following caution regarding interpretation of their results: "It is difficult to assess 'normality' in a study where all 381 participants were adjudicated juvenile offenders living in state facilities ... It is possible that among other populations ... sex acts with animals might be performed out of love, the need for consolation, or other motivations. In these and other populations, there might not be any link whatsoever to offenses against humans." This qualification is not mentioned by PETA.
Most organized religions take a critical or sometimes condemnatory view of zoophilia or zoosexuality, with some variation and exceptions.
- Passages in Leviticus 18 (Lev 18:23: "And you shall not lie with any beast and defile yourself with it, neither shall any woman give herself to a beast to lie with it: it is a perversion." RSV) and 20:15-16 ("If a man lies with a beast, he shall be put to death; and you shall kill the beast. If a woman approaches any beast and lies with it, you shall kill the woman and the beast; they shall be put to death, their blood is upon them." RSV) are cited by Jewish, Christian, and Muslim theologians as categorical denunciation of bestiality. Some theologians (especially Christian<ref name="christianview">In Judaism and Islam, having desirous sexual thoughts is not considered, theologically, a major sin. In Judaism it is subsumed within the category of Avon, as a failing of emotional control (Judaism focuses more on wrongful acts than wrongful thoughts in its theology). Christianity often takes a notably more rigid line in this area; compare Matthew 5:28-29 "But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away."</ref>) extend this, to consider lustful thoughts for an animal as a sin, and the Christian theologian Thomas Aquinas described it along with homosexuality as the worst sexual sins "because use of the right sex is not observed." Alternatively, many Christians and some non-Orthodox Jews do not regard the full Levitical laws as binding upon them, and may consider them irrelevant. Some zoophiles take this injunction to indicate that sex with animals in the missionary position is forbidden, but that other positions are not specifically mentioned nor apparently against the divine will.
- Views of its seriousness in Islam seem to cover a wide spectrum. This may be because it is not explicitly mentioned or prohibited in the Qur'an, or because sex and sexuality were not treated as taboo in Muslim society to the same degree as in Christianity. Some sources claim that sex with animals is abhorrent, others state that while condemned, it is treated with "relative indulgence" and in a similar category to masturbation and lesbianism (Bouhdiba: Sexuality in Islam, Ch.4 link). A book "Tahrirolvasyleh", cited on the Internet, which quotes the Ayatollah Khomeini approving of sex with animals under certain conditions, is unconfirmed and possibly a forgery.
- There are several references in Hindu scriptures to religious figures engaging in sexual activity with animals (e.g. the god Brahma lusting after and having sex with a bear, a human-like sage being born to a deer mother), and actual Vedic rituals involving zoosexual activity (see Ashvamedha), as well as explicit depictions of people having sex with animals included amongst the thousands of sculptures of "Life events" on the exterior of the temple complex at Khajuraho. Orthodox Hindu doctrine holds that sex should be restricted to married couples, thereby forbidding zoosexual acts. A greater punishment is attached to sexual relations with a sacred cow than with other animals. However, the Tantric sect of Hinduism makes use of ritual sexual practices, which could include sexual contact with animals.
- Buddhism addresses sexual conduct primarily in terms of what brings harm to oneself or to others, and the admonition against sexual misconduct is generally interpreted in modern times to prohibit zoosexual acts, as well as pederasty, adultery, rape, or prostitution. Various sexual activities, including those with animals, are expressly forbidden for Buddhist monks and nuns.
- In the Church of Satan, sexual acts involving children and/or animals are universally condemned, as are those in which a human who is too naive to understand is involved. The Satanic Bible states (p.66) that animals and children are treated as sacred as they are regarded as the most natural expression of life.
Animal studies perspectives
(Main article: Non-human animal sexuality)
The common concept of animals as heterosexual and only interested in their own species, is seen as scientifically inaccurate by researchers into animal behavior. Animals are in the main, considered as sexual opportunists by science, rather than sexually naive. Ethologists such as Desmond Morris who study animal behavior, as well as formal studies, have consistently documented significant masturbation and homosexuality in a wide range of animals, apparently freely chosen or in the presence of the opposite gender, as well as homosexual animal couples, homosexual raising of young, and cross-species sexual advances. Peter Singer reports of one such incident witnessed by Biruté Galdikas (a notable ethologist considered by many the world's foremost authority on primates):
- "While walking through the camp with Galdikas, my informant was suddenly seized by a large male orangutan, his intentions made obvious by his erect penis. Fighting off so powerful an animal was not an option, but Galdikas called to her companion not to be concerned, because the orangutan would not harm her, and adding, as further reassurance, that "they have a very small penis." As it happened, the orangutan lost interest before penetration took place, but the aspect of the story that struck me most forcefully was that in the eyes of someone who has lived much of her life with orangutans, to be seen by one of them as an object of sexual interest is not a cause for shock or horror. The potential violence of the orangutan's come-on may have been disturbing, but the fact that it was an orangutan making the advances was not." 
Animal rights, welfare and abuse concerns
One of the primary critiques of zoophilia is the argument that zoosexuality is harmful to animals. Some state this categorically; that any sexual activity is necessarily abuse. Critics also point to examples in which animals were clearly abused, having been tied up, assaulted, or injured. Defenders of zoophilia argue that animal abuse is neither typical of nor commonplace within zoophilia, and that just as sexual activity with humans can be both abusive and not, so can sexual activity with animals.
Andrea M. Beetz, PhD. in her book "Love, Violence, and Sexuality in Relationships between Humans and Animals" (2002) reports: "In most [popular] references to bestiality, violence towards the animal is automatically implied. That sexual approaches to animals may not need force or violence but rather, sensitivity, or knowledge of animal behavior, is rarely taken into consideration."
In comment on Peter Singer's article "Heavy Petting", which controversially argued that zoosexuality need not be abusive and if so relationships could form which were mutually enjoyed, Ingrid Newkirk, then president of the American animal rights group PETA, added this endorsement: "If a girl gets sexual pleasure from riding a horse, does the horse suffer? If not, who cares? If you French kiss your dog and he or she thinks it's great, is it wrong? We believe all exploitation and abuse is wrong. If it isn't exploitation and abuse, [then] it may not be wrong."
(A few years later, Newkirk wrote to the editor of the Canada Free Press in response to a column by Alexander Rubin, making clear that she was strongly opposed to any exploitation, and all sexual activity, with animals. This was necessary since some had sought to interpret her former statement as condoning zoosexuality. Accordingly, the response was a clarification of her position regarding zoosexual acts, rather than a different response per se to Singer's actual philosophical point, namely "if it isn't exploitation and abuse [then is there any moral basis for objecting?]")
Dr. LaFarge, an assistant professor of Clinical Psychiatry at the New Jersey Medical School, who is the Director of Counseling at the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and works with the New York correctional system, is quoted in a media article (1999) as reporting that:
- "it's important to make the distinction [between bestiality per se, and zoophilia] because zoophiles try not to hurt their animals..."
- "There is no evidence yet that zoophilia leads to sexual deviation, but that's not to say that's not the case. We do make the link between other forms of physical violence against animals as being a predicator of physical violence against women and children. I would go on to say that someone who is sexually violent with an animal ... is a predator and might very well do that toward people." 
Ernest Bornemann (1990, cited by Rosenbauer 1997) coined the separate term "zoosadism" for those who derive pleasure from inflicting pain on an animal, sometimes with a sexual component. Some extreme examples of zoosadism include necrozoophilia, the sexual enjoyment of killing animals (similar to "lust murder" in humans), sexual penetration of fowl such as hens (fatal in itself) and strangling at orgasm, mutilation, sexual assault with objects (including screwdrivers and knives), interspecies rape, and sexual assault on immature animals such as puppies. Some horse-ripping incidents have a sexual connotation (Schedel-Stupperich, 2001). The link between sadistic sexual acts with animals and sadistic practices with humans or lust murders has been heavily researched. Some murderers tortured animals in their childhood and also sexual relations with animals occurred. Ressler et al. (1986) found that 8 of their sample of 36 sexual murderers showed an interest in zoosexual acts. (Main article: Zoosadism)
Sexology information sites (if sufficiently detailed) are usually careful to distinguish zoosadism from zoophilia: Humboldt Berlin University Sexology Dept (list of paraphilias) sex-lexis.com and sexualcounselling.com.
Historical and cultural perspectives
Health and safety
Humans and other animals cannot make each other pregnant. (There have been speculations that humans and chimpanzees may be capable of cross-fertilization but not one verified case has ever been shown. See Humanzee & Oliver the chimpanzee). Infections due to improper cleaning could be an issue for either party. Most viruses are specific to particular species and cannot be transmitted sexually, so humans and animals cannot catch many viral diseases from zoosexual acts. However, a few uncommon but treatable infections (known as zoonoses) such as Brucellosis can be transferred. HIV is fragile and only lives in primates (humans, apes and monkeys) and is not believed to survive long in other species. Animals' and humans' bodily fluids are not incompatible, but allergic reactions can sometimes occur.
In terms of physical compatibility and injury, many medium/large domesticated species appear to be physically compatible with humans. The main non-deliberate physical risks are of injury, either through ignorance of physical differences, forcefulness, or, for female animals, excessive friction or infection. Humans may also be at substantial physical risk and seriously harmed by sexual activity with animals. Larger animals may have the strength and defensive attributes (e.g. hooves, teeth) to injure a human, either in rejecting physical or sexual contact, or in the course of sexual arousal. For example, the penis of a sexually aroused dog has a broad bulb at the base which can cause injury if forcibly pulled from a body orifice (see canine copulation), and equines can thrust suddenly and "flare", and many animals bite as part of sexual excitement and foreplay. In July 2005, a 45 year old aerospace engineer, Kenneth Pinyan, died in Enumclaw, Washington after being anally penetrated by a stallion. ("The prosecutor's office says no animal cruelty charges were filed [against the other man present] because there was no evidence of injury to the horses.")  
Arguments about zoophilia or zoosexuality
Platonic love for animals is usually viewed positively, but most people express concern or disapproval of sexual interest, sometimes very strongly. Criticisms come from a variety of sources, including moral, ethical, psychological, and social arguments. They include:
- "Sexual activity between species is unnatural."
- "Sexual activity between species is (or should be) naturally repugnant to anyone in their right mind", sometimes called the "yuck factor". (For contrasting view see: Wisdom of repugnance)
- "Animals are not sentient, and therefore unable to consent." (similar to arguments against sex with human minors)
- "Animals are incapable of relating to or forming relationships with humans."
- "Zoosexuality is simply for those unable/unwilling to find human partners."
- "Sexual acts with animals by humans constitute physical abuse."
- "Animals mate instinctively to produce offspring, hence they are deceived when these activities are performed."
- "It takes advantage of animals' innate social structure which forces them to please a leader."
- "Humans are guardians in charge of animals, so a sexual relationship is a betrayal of the trust earned by this duty of care."
- "Zoosexuality is 'profoundly disturbed behaviour.'" (cf. the UK Home Office review on sexual offences, 2002)
- "It offends human dignity<ref name="argument_from_dignity">An example of argument from human dignity is given by Wesley J. Smith, a senior fellow and Intelligent Design proponent at the Center for Science and Culture of the conservative Christian Discovery Institute: - "such behavior is profoundly degrading and utterly subversive to the crucial understanding that human beings are unique, special, and of the highest moral worth in the known universe--a concept known as 'human exceptionalism' ... one of the reasons bestiality is condemned through law is that such degrading conduct unacceptably subverts standards of basic human dignity and is an affront to humankind's inestimable importance and intrinsic moral worth." wesleyjsmith.com and weeklystandard.com Aug 31 2005</ref> or is forbidden by religious law."
Defenders of zoophilia or zoosexuality state that:
- "'Natural' is debatable; it's also not necessarily relevant." (ie, naturalistic fallacy)
- "Animals are capable of sexual consent - and even initiation - in their own way."
- "Animals do form mutual relationships with humans."
- "Many zoophiles appear to have human partners and relationships; many others simply do not have a sexual attraction to humans."
- "Many zoophiles have an attraction to species which are relatively inaccessible, such as dolphins; tending to oppose the view that they are simply 'looking for easy sex'."
- "It is a misperception that zoosexual activity need necessarily be inherently harmful/abusive. Usually it needs only sensitivity, mutuality, and understanding of everyday animal behavior."
- "Instinct does not exclude enjoyment, volition or learning."
- "Animal and human social structure is flexible enough both to allow for different species in it and can easily encompass dynamically changing roles and leads."
- "People choosing to take responsibility for an animal, have to also take responsibility for its sexual drive. Neutering and ignoring are a failure to accept animals as they are, often used to avoid facing an uncomfortable aspect of animal reality or 'best care'." <ref name="neutering.org">See neutering.org, an advocative site discussing the view that spay and neuter, far from helping animals, is a lazy and harmful way to manage sexuality and is practiced more for its human convenience than because of its ethical appropriateness. Also see subpage How to Care For a Sexual Being (adult content/parental tagged) for alternatives.</ref>
- "Both male and female domestic animals of several species can experience the physical sensation of orgasm, and can unambiguously solicit and demonstrate appreciation for it in their body language. Animals of many species also masturbate, even if other sexual partners are accessible." <ref name="animal_masturbation">See Non-human animal sexuality for more information on animal's sexuality, and both male and female masturbation in the animal kingdom and natural world.</ref>
- "The psychological profession consensus does not consider it intrinsically pathological. Academic and clinical research consistently tends to substantiate rather than deny zoophiles' claims."
- "Perspectives on human dignity and religious viewpoints differ and are personal; many individuals do not consider them relevant."
They also assert that some of these arguments rely on double standards, such as expecting informed consent from animals for sexual activity (and not accepting consent given in their own manner), but not for surgical procedures including aesthetic mutilation and castration, potentially lethal experimentation and other hazardous activities, euthanasia, and slaughter. Likewise, if animals cannot give consent, then it follows that they must not have sex with each other (amongst themselves). [Also see: speciesism]
Critics of this reasoning state that animals can communicate internally (hence consent) within their own species, but cannot communicate cross-species. Others state that animal communication is clear and unambiguous cross-species as well.
In discussing arguments for and against zoosexual activity, the "British Journal of Sexual Medicine" commented over 30 years ago, "We are all supposed to condemn bestiality, though only rarely are sound medical or psychological factors advanced." (Jan/Feb 1974, p.43)
People's views appear to depend significantly upon the nature of their interest and nature of exposure to the subject. People who have been exposed to zoosadism, who are unsympathetic to alternate lifestyles in general, or who know little about zoophilia, often regard it as an extreme form of animal abuse and/or indicative of serious psychosexual issues.<ref name="herek_ATLG">The finding that attitudes to alternate sexualities correlate strongly with nature of contact and beliefs, is stated in a variety of research into zoophilia and also mirrored in societal attitudes towards homosexuality, which have been more thoroughly researched over a longer time period. Thus Herek, who established the Attitudes Toward Lesbians and Gay Men Scale in psychology, states "The ATLG and its subscales are consistently correlated with other theoretically-relevant constructs. Higher scores (more negative attitudes) correlate significantly with high religiosity, lack of contact with gay men and lesbians, adherence to traditional sex-role attitudes, belief in a traditional family ideology, and high levels of dogmatism (Herek, 1987a, 1987b, 1988, 1994; Herek & Glunt, 1993; Herek & Capitanio, 1995, 1996)" , and that "the strongest predictor of positive attitudes toward homosexuals was that the interviewee knew a gay man or lesbian. The correlation held across each demographic subset represented in the survey--sex, education level, age--bar one: political persuasion. [Conservative men and women]" </ref> Mental health professionals and personal acquaintances of zoophiles who see their relationships over time tend to be less critical, and sometimes supportive.<ref name="herek_ATLG" /> Ethologists who study and understand animal behaviour and body language, have documented animal sexual advances to human beings and other species, and tend to be matter-of-fact about animal sexuality and animal approaches to humans; their research is generally supportive of some of the claims by zoophiles regarding animal cognition, behaviour, and sexual/relational/emotional issues. Because the majority opinion is condemnatory, many individuals may be more accepting in private than they make clear to the public. Regardless, there is a general societal view which regards zoophilia with either suspicion or outright opposition.
Mythology and fantasy literature
From cave paintings onward and throughout human history, zoophilia has been a recurring subject in art, literature, and fantasy.
In Ugaritic mythology, the god Baal is said to have impregnated a heifer to sire a young bull god. In Greek mythology, Zeus appeared to Leda in the form of a swan, and her children Helen and Polydeuces resulted from that sexual union. Zeus also seduced Europa in the form of a bull, and carried off the youth Ganymede in the form of an eagle. The half-human/half-bull Minotaur was the offspring of Queen Pasiphae and a white bull. King Peleus continued to seduce the nymph Thetis despite her transforming into (among other forms) a lion, a bird, and a snake. The god Pan, often depicted with goat-like features, has also been frequently associated with animal sex. As with other subjects of classical mythology, some of these have been depicted over the centuries since, in western painting and sculpture. In Norse mythology, Loki had intercourse with a stallion, though in the form of a mare, and gave birth to Sleipnir; see also Sagaholm.
Fantasy literature has included a variety of seemingly zoophilic examples, often involving human characters enchanted into animal forms: Beauty and the Beast (a young woman falls in love with a physically beast-like man), William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream (Queen Titania falls in love with a character whose head is transformed into that of a donkey's), The Book of One Thousand and One Nights (a princess champions a man enchanted into ape form), the Roman Lucius Apuleius's The Golden Ass (explicit sexuality between a man transformed into a donkey and a woman), and Balzac's A Passion in the Desert (a love affair between a soldier and a panther). In more modern times, zoosexuality of a sort has been a theme in science fiction and horror fiction, with the giant ape King Kong fixating on a human woman, alien monsters groping human females in pulp novels and comics, and depictions of tentacle rape in Japanese manga and anime.
Modern erotic furry fantasy art and stories are sometimes associated with zoophilia, but many creators and fans disagree with this, pointing out that the characters are predominantly humanoid fantasy creatures who are thinking, reasoning beings that consider and consent to sex in the same manner humans would. "Furry" characters have been compared to other intelligent and social non-human fictional characters who are subjects of love/sexuality fantasies without being commonly regarded as zoophilic, such as the Vulcans and Klingons in Star Trek, or elves in fantasy fiction. Animals and anthropomorphs, when shown in furry art, are usually shown engaged with others of similar kind, rather than humans.
Because of its controversial standing, different countries and medias vary in how they treat discussion of zoosexuality. Often sexual matters are the subject of legal or regulatory requirement. For example, in 2005, the UK broadcasting regulator (OFCOM) updated its code stating that:
- "Freedom of expression is at the heart of any democratic state. It is an essential right to hold opinions and receive and impart information and ideas. Broadcasting and freedom of expression are intrinsically linked. However, with such rights come duties and responsibilities ... The focus is on adult audiences making informed choices within a regulatory framework which gives them a reasonable expectation of what they will receive, while at the same time robustly protecting those too young to exercise fully informed choices for themselves ...
- "OFCOM sets out a watershed and other precautions for explicit sexual material, to protect young people, and specifies that discussion of zoosexuality along with other sexual matters may take place, but in an appropriate context and manner." 
The contrasting views between cultures are highlighted by the case of Omaha the Cat Dancer, a furry comic book, which was simultaneously the subject of a raid by Toronto police for pornographic depiction of bestiality (as noted, furry art is not usually considered "bestiality"), and the subject of praise by the New Zealand government committee on import of printed material for its mature depiction of relationships and sexuality.
References to zoosexuality are not uncommon in some media, especially cartoon series such as Family Guy (episode: "Screwed the Pooch") and South Park (Recurring themes), satirical comedy such as Borat, and films (especially shock exploitation films), although a few broadcasters such as Howard Stern (who joked about bestiality dial-a-date on NBC) and Tom Binns (whose Xfm London Breakfast Show resulted on one occasion in a live discussion about the ethics of zoosexual pornographic movies at peak child listening time) have been reprimanded by their stations for doing so.
Pornography involving sex with animals is widely illegal, even in most countries where the act itself is not explicitly outlawed. In the United States, zoosexual pornography (in common with other pornography) would be considered obscene if it did not meet the standards of the Miller Test and therefore is not openly sold, mailed, distributed or imported across state boundaries or within states which prohibit it. Under U.S. law, 'distribution' includes transmission across the internet. Production and mere possession appear to be legal, however. U.S. prohibitions on distribution of sexual or obscene materials are as of 2005 in some doubt, having been ruled unconstitutional in United States v. Extreme Associates (a judgement which was overturned on appeal, December 2005). Similar restrictions apply in Germany (cf. §184 StGB ). (See also: Obscenity, Pornography, Legal status of internet pornography)
Using animal fur or stuffed animals in erotic photography (in a sense, the combination of necrophilia and zoophilia) doesn't seem to be taboo, nor do photographs of nude models posed with animals provided no sexual stimulation is implied to the animal. Stuffed animals are sometimes used in glamour erotic photography with models touching their sexual organs against such animals, and likewise models may be posed with animals or on horseback. The subtext is often to provide a contrast: animal versus sophisticated, raw beast versus culturally guided human. (Nancy Friday comments on this, noting that zoophilia as a fantasy may provide an escape from cultural expectations, restrictions, and judgements in regard to sex.)
Materials featuring sex with animals are widely available on the Internet, however, because of their ease of production, and because production and sale is legal in countries such as the Netherlands and Denmark. The promotion of "stars" began with the Danish Bodil Joensen, in the period of 1970-72, along with other well-known porn stars such as the Americans Linda Lovelace (Dogarama, 1969), and Chessie Moore (multiple films, c.1994). Another early film to attain great imfamy was "Animal Farm", smuggled into Great Britain around 1970 without details as to makers or provenance.<ref name="animal_farm_documentary">The Search for Animal Farm (documentary, part of the Dark Side of Porn series) (April 2006, Channel 4, UK): - "Investigates the story behind one of the most infamous films in porn history, and reveals how it came to be made." The film was smuggled into Great Britain around 1970. No one was quite sure where the film came from or how it was made. The Search for Animal Farm traced the people who made the film, the impact it had on Britain's porn industry and the woman who became known for a time as 'the queen of bestiality.' </ref> Into the 1980s the Dutch took the lead, creating figures like "Wilma" and the "Dutch Sisters". Today, in Hungary, where production faces no legal limitations, zoosexual materials have become a substantial industry that produces numerous films and magazines, particularly for Dutch companies, and the genre has stars such as "Hector" (a Great Dane starring in several films). Many Hungarian and Russian mainstream performers also appeared anonymously in zoophilia pornography in their early careers. Prior to the advent of mass-market full-color glossy magazines such as Playboy, so-called Tijuana Bibles were a form of pornographic tract popular in America, sold as anonymous underground publications typically comprising a small number of stapled comic-strips representing characters and celebrities. An example digitized Tijuana Bible entitled The Pet from the 1960s is linked at tijuanabibles.org page link (also see full size and search).
Pornography of this sort has become the business of certain spammers such as Jeremy Jaynes (8th most prolific spammer, sentenced to 9 years for spamming) and owners of some fake TGPs, who use the promise of "extreme" material as a bid for users' attention.
Whether there is such a thing as a "zoophile community" or subculture, in the same sense as the gay community or any other alternative lifestyle communities, is a controversial question. Some zoophiles point to the number and quality of computerized meeting-places in which zoophiles can meet and socialize, the manner in which this extends to offline social networks, and the trend of social and cultural evolution of community consensus over time, or use the term to imply "the community of zoophiles in general". Others point to the differing viewpoints and attitudes, the trust issues and risks due to lack of safety inherent in socializing, and lack of any true commonality between zoophiles beyond their orientation. Whether or not it should be construed as a "community", the following outline is a rough description of the social world of zoophiles, as it has existed to date.
Prior to the arrival of widespread computer networking, most zoophiles would not have known others, and for the most part engaged secretly, or told only trusted friends, family or partners. (This almost certainly still describes the majority of zoophiles; only a small proportion are visible online). Thus it could not be said there was a "community" of any kind at that time, except perhaps for small sporadic social networks of people who knew each other by chance. As with many other alternate lifestyles, broader networks began forming in the 1980s when networked social groups became more common at home and elsewhere, and as the internet and its predecessors came into existence, permitting people to search for topics and information in areas which were not otherwise easily accessible and to talk with relative safety and anonymity. The newsgroup alt.sex.bestiality (reputedly started in humor), personal bulletin boards and talkers, were among the first group media of this kind in the late 1980s and early 1990s, rapidly drawing together zoophiles, some of whom also created personal and social websites and forums. By around 1991 - 1993 it became accurate to say that a wide social net had evolved.
This changed significantly around 1995-96 (due to the double impact of Miletski's research and the unrelated mid/late-1990s boom in zoosexual pornography), and then a few years later again around 1998-2000 in the wake of the controversy over the first proposed public US appearance of a zoophile on the Jerry Springer show ("I married a horse", 1998, pulled before viewing), which was followed by the 1999-2000 Philip Buble case (in which a plaintiff petitioned the court to let his dog attend judgement as his "wife"). Whilst some zoophiles saw these as attempts to state a personal viewpoint or encourage debate, others saw them in a negative light as ill-advised, futile, harmful, or ultimately egoistic attempts to obtain a public hearing which could only backlash strongly both legally and otherwise against zoophiles. There was also a perception that as knowledge of zoosexuality as a lifestyle became wider spread, the smaller but more formative social groups were being diluted by large numbers of newcomers who had not grown up within the same "culture" or communal values, and many website owners came to be less interested compared to the past.
In the wake of these changes, a number of the older pro-zoophile websites and forums were voluntarily removed or vanished from the net between 1995 and 2001, and many of the more established individuals and social groups at that time withdrew<ref name="GAFIAted">This is an established and common pattern in other online communities and subcultures too, as people (typically in their 30's) develop more diverse offline lives or commitments over time. Often they return from time to time, or retain an irreglar presence; sometimes they leave the net completely. See GAFIA.</ref> from the online community, perceiving the risks and benefits to no longer be worth it, as they already had sufficient offline friends amongst other zoophiles. This led to a period of change and consolidation during the late 1990s and early 2000s as old sites closed and the older and newer 'generations' mingled. Most of the major "talkers" faded and closed too, especially following the increasing popularity of instant messenger chat and an incident on "Planes of Existence" (Germany, 2000). At the same time, many other social groups online drew lessons from these and other incidents, leading to a maturing consensus which tended to replace the previous divides on common topics such as the desirability vs. harmfulness of public debate and acceptance, ethics, and conduct.
Websites catering to zoosexuality at present can be broken down into several groups:
- Sites which restrict or prohibit explicit material (such as pictures, stories, contacts, etc)
- Sites which embrace these explicit aspects
- Sites owned by amateur and professional pornographers, marketing pictures, stories and videos
- Sites providing personal perspectives and information
Sites providing support and social assistance to zoophiles (including resources to help and rescue abused or mistreated animals) are not usually publicized. Such work is often undertaken as needed by individuals and friends, within social networks, and by word of mouth.
Zoo Code and trivia
- Zoo Code - In 1996, a zoophile version of the Geek Code was created, known as the Zoo Code, intended as a shorthand "signature" for zoos to describe themselves, their philosophies, and their stances on certain common issues such as animal welfare and vegetarianism. It achieved some degree of popularity for a time and is still occasionally encountered today, having also been translated into French and German.
- The First Church of Zoophilia used to perform human-animal marriages for those in love with a pet or companion animal. 
Other popular references
- Satirical songwriter Tom Lehrer, whose 1950s recordings mentioned many topics not normally openly discussed in those days, referenced a friend of his who "practiced animal husbandry, until they caught him at it one day!"
- A common urban myth that Catherine the Great of Russia died whilst attempting sexual intercourse with a stallion is untrue. Supposedly the harness broke and she was crushed. In fact, Catherine died of a stroke.
- American novelist Kurt Vonnegut refers to a photo of a woman attempting sexual intercourse with a Shetland Pony in The Sirens of Titan, Slaughterhouse Five, and God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater.
- A pornographic photograph depicting oral sex on a pony is mentioned repeatedly in John Irving's novel The Cider House Rules.
- In Woody Allen's Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex (But Were Afraid to Ask), a doctor falls in love with a sheep.
Books, articles and documentaries
Academic and professional
- Andrea Beetz Ph.D.: Bestiality and Zoophilia (2005), ISBN 1557534128
- Andrea Beetz Ph.D.: Love, Violence, and Sexuality in Relationships between Humans and Animals (2002), ISBN 3832200207
- Profesors Colin J. Williams and Martin S. Weinberg: Zoophilia in Men: a study of sexual interest in animals. - in: Archives of sexual behavior, Vol. 32, No.6, December 2003, pp. 523-535
- Hani Miletski Ph.D.: Bestiality - Zoophilia: An exploratory study, Diss., The Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality. - San Francisco, CA, October 1999
- Hani Miletski Ph.D.: Understanding Bestiality and Zoophilia, 2002, available at Hani Miletski's Homepage (Book review by Journal of Sex Research, May 2003)
- Josef Massen: Zoophilie - Die sexuelle Liebe zu Tieren (Zoophilia - the sexual love of/for animals) (1994), ISBN 3-930387-15-8
- R.E.L. Masters Ph.D.: Forbidden Sexual Behaviour and Morality, an objective examination of perverse sex practices in different cultures (1962), ISBN LIC #62-12196
- Roland Grassberger Ph.D.: Die Unzucht mit Tieren (Sex with Animals) (1968)
- Hans Hentig Ph.D.: Soziologie der Zoophilen Neigung (Sociology of the Zoophile Preference) (1962)
- Gunther Hunold Ph.D.: Abarten des Sexualverhaltens: Ungewohnliche Ersheinungsformen des Trieblebens (Perverse Sexual Behaviour) (1978)
- Mandetta and Gustaveson: Abortion to Zoophilia: A Sourcebook of Sexual Facts (1976), ISBN 0-89055-114-6
- Davis and Whitten: The Cross-Culture Study of Human Sexuality (Annual Review of Anthropology 1987, Volume 16, pp. 69-98), ISSN 00846570
- S. Dittert, O. Seidl amd M. Soyka: Zoophilie zwischen Pathologie und Normalität: Darstellung dreier Kasuistiken und einer Internetbefragung (Zoophilia as a special case of paraphilia: presentation of three case reports and an Internet survey) - in: Der Nervenarzt : Organ der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Psychiatrie, Psychotherapie und Nervenheilkunde; Organ der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Neurologie, 2004, published online in German June 10 2004 (PDF) English machine translation
- Havelock Ellis, Studies in the psychology of sex, Vol. V (1927) ch.4
covering Animals as Sources of Erotic Symbolism--Mixoscopic Zoophilia--Erotic Zoophilia--Zooerastia--Bestiality--The Conditions that Favor Bestiality--Its Wide Prevalence Among Primitive Peoples and Among Peasants--The Primitive Conception of Animals--The Goat--The Influence of Familiarity with Animals--Congress Between Women and Animals--The Social Reaction Against Bestiality. online version
- Ellison, Alfred, Sex Between Humans & Animals: The Psycho-Mythic Meaning of Bestiality, San Diego: Academy Press, 1970. [paperback, volumes 1 and 2]
- Harris, Edwin. Animals as Sex Partners, 1969
- Midas Dekkers: Dearest Pet: On Bestiality, ISBN 1859843107
- Mark Matthews: The Horseman: Obsessions of a Zoophile, ISBN 0-87975-902-X
(German translation: Der Pferde-Mann, 2nd Print 2004, ISBN 3833408642)
- Marjorie B. Garber: Dog Love, ISBN 0641042728
- Brenda Love: The Encyclopedia of Unusual Sex Practices (1994), ISBN 1569800111
- Nancy Friday: My Secret Garden (ISBN 0671019872), Forbidden Flowers (ISBN 0671741020), "Women on Top" (ISBN 0671648446), notable for readability, and neutral treatment of a wide scope of women's sexuality including zoophilia.
- Raymond A. Belliotti: Good Sex; perspectives on sexual ethics (1993), ISBN 0700606041 or ISBN 070060605X
- Bram Dijkstra: Idols of Perversity: Fantasies of Feminine Evil in Fin-De-Siecle Culture, zoophilic art
- Gaston Dubois-Dessaule: Etude sur la bestialité au point de vue historique, médical et juridique (The Study of Bestiality from the Historical, Medical and Legal Viewpoint) (Paris, 1905)
- A.F. Neimoller:
- Bestiality and the Law: A Resume of the Law and Punishments for Bestiality with Typical Cases from Fifteenth Century to the Present (1946)
- Bestiality in Ancient and Modern Times: A Study of the Sexual Relations of Man and Animals in All Times and Countries (1946)
- Marie-Christine Anest: Zoophilie, homosexualite, rites de passage et initiation masculine dans la Greece contemporaine (Zoophilia, homosexuality, rites of passage and male initiation in contemporary Greece) (1994), ISBN 2739421466
- Gaston Dubois-Desaulle: Bestiality: An Historical, Medical, Legal, and Literary Study, University Press of the Pacific (November 1, 2003), ISBN 1410209474 (Paperback Ed.)
- Robert Hough: The Final Confession Of Mabel Stark (Stark was the worlds premier tiger trainer of the 1920s, specializing in highly sexualized circus acts. She wore white to hide the tiger's semen during mating rituals and foreplay which the audience took to be vicious attacks)
- Otto Soyka: Beyond the Boundary of Morals
Print and online media
- The Joy Of Beasts (3 December 2000, Independent on Sunday, UK)
- Heavy Petting (2001, Peter Singer Nerve.com article link)
- Laying with Beasts (March 1996, The Guide)
- Sexual Contact With Animals (October 1977, Pomeroy Ph.D.) (co-author of the Kinsey Reports)
- Wet Goddess: Recollections of a Dolphin Lover  (2002, Malcolm J. Brenner) "A novel about a man's love affair with a dolphin. (Online version)"
- All opposed, say "neigh" (1999, RiverFront Times, discussing the British documentary and Missouri's legislation)
- A Goat's Eyes are so Beautiful (May 2004) "Tanya Gold, reviewing the Edward Albee play, finds that love affairs with pets are not as unusual as you'd think"
- Liking it Ruff (July 2005, The Eye, article link, follow-up to original article follow-up link)
- Depraved Indifference (2006, Steven Rinella, published on Nerve.com article link)
Television and radio
- Animal passions (part of the Hidden Love series) (1999, follow-up sequel 2004, Channel 4, UK)
- Ofcom [the UK television regulator] reported that: "This was a serious documentary exploring a rare minority sexual orientation. Although the programme gave an opportunity for zoophiles to express their opinions, the effect was neither to sensationalise nor normalise their behaviour."
- Sexe et confidences (April 2002, CBSC Decision C01/02-329, Canada)
- Hour-long sex information program hosted by sexologist Louise-Andrée Saulnier discussing zoosexuality. Covered folklore, academic studies and general information, plus telephone call-in from viewers describing their zoosexual experiences and stories they had heard.
- Talk Sport Radio (December 2002, UK)
- Live talkshow interview with lifelong zoophile, followed by call-in discussion.
- Animal Love (1995, Ulrich Seidl, Austria) imdb entry
- Human sexuality and sexual orientation: Category:Human sexuality -- Sexology -- Sexual orientation -- Environment, choice, and sexual orientation -- Gender and sexuality studies -- Paraphilia -- Kinsey Reports
- Ethics, morality and philosophy: Wisdom of repugnance -- Argument from incredulity -- Anthropocentrism
- Other: Historical and cultural perspectives on zoophilia -- Andrea Beetz (German) (English translation) -- Philip Buble case -- John Travers (a zoosadist)
- Websites supportive of zoophilia
- UZP, the Ultimate Zoo Page, general resources
- Zoophile.org zoophile community and support site
- Zoophilia Essay by writer Manawolf
- Dr. Hani Miletski's Page information on survey and research work on zoosexuality, prologue provided for future book published on work.
- Websites against zoophilia
- Humane Society of the U.S. viewpoint and "First Strike" campaign Fact Sheet
- Animal rights site, Germany (English translation)
- Dr. Miletski, extract from cited book, re: meeting with zoophiles for her research, and attitudes described
- deviantdesires discussion of zoophilia and issues arising
- sex-lexis reference section on zoophilia and related topics
- Encyclopedia of Human Sexuality, Bestiality entry, at Humboldt University Berlin Sexology Dept
- Other / Art
- Pet-Abuse.Com Database bestiality and zoosadism legal cases from the U.S. and UK.
- Museum of bestial art an online museum of zoophilic representation in art, from prehistoric to modern.
- PervScan - Bestiality index of bestiality stories in the news from the website Pervscan.
- alln.org - the animal love and loss network.
- petloss support links