Zoophilia or bestiality is a paraphilia that implies a sexual fixation on animals and not on humans. The terms are often used interchangeably, but some researchers make a distinction between the attraction (zoophilia) and the act (bestiality).

Although sex with animals is not prohibited in some countries, in most countries, bestiality is illegal under animal abuse laws or laws dealing with crimes against nature.

Three key terms commonly used in relation to the topic (zoophilia, bestiality, and zoosexuality) are often used interchangeably. Some researchers distinguish between bestiality (such as a persistent sexual interest in animals) and bestiality (such as sexual acts with animals), because bestiality is often not driven by a sexual preference for animals. Some studies have found that a preference for animals is rare among people who have sexual contact with animals. Additionally, some zoophiles report that they have never had sexual contact with an animal. People with zoophilia are known as “zoophiles”, but also sometimes as “zoosexuals”, or even very simply “zoos”. Zoerasty, sodomy, and zooerasty are other terms closely related to the subject, but are less synonymous with the above terms and are rarely used.

The term zoophilia was introduced to the field of sexuality research in Psychopathia Sexualis (1886) by Krafft-Ebing, who described a number of cases of “animal rape (bestiality)” as well as zoophilia erotica, which he defined as sexual attraction to the animal’s skin. The term zoophilia derives from the combination of two Greek nouns: ζῷον (zṓion, meaning “animal”) and φιλία (philia, meaning “(brotherly) love”). In contemporary usage generally, the term zoophilia may refer to sexual activity between human and nonhuman animals, the desire to engage in such, or to specific paraphilia (i.e., atypical arousal) indicating a definite preference for animals. non-human About human beings as sexual partners. Although Krafft-Ebing also coined the term zooerasty for the paraphilia of exclusive sexual attraction to animals, that term has fallen out of general use.