Zoophilia

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Zoophilia logo

Zoophilia is the technical term for the sexual attraction of humans to animals.[1]

Etymology[edit]

it is a favorite term used in popular and furry culture as an alternative to the term bestiality,[citation needed] because it stresses orientation over acts, and is usually regarded as less prejudicial. (For more information on the context and use of the technical term, see: Paraphilia.)

Self-identified zoophiles versus bestiality[edit]

A Zeta pin, used in public by some zoophiles

Most people who identify themselves as zoophiles distinguish between zoophilia and bestiality. Though some zoophiles choose to engage in sexual contact with their animal companions, not all do. Zoophiles state that they are lovers of animals, and that sexual contact, when it is done, is an extension of a deeper emotional and perhaps spiritual relationship with the animal, similar in character to the sexual expression between human companions.[2]

They sometimes refer to those who have sexual contact with animals without emotional bonds as beastialists (and/or beasties). Zoophiles may draw attention to the distinction between bestiality (an act), and zoophilia (sexual attraction), and to the view that those who have sexual contact with animals without an emotional connection are not zoophiles.

Some self-identified zoophiles also use the term to refer to anyone with the kind of emotional bonds they stress as distinguishing them from bestialists, including those who have no sexual contact with or interest in animals.

Zoophilia as a sexual orientation[edit]

While zoophilia is classified as a paraphilia by the APA, many zoophiles conceptualize it instead as their sexual orientation, referring to their attraction as zoosexuality. While most studies analyze zoophilia as a paraphilia or within a criminal context, some scholars have argued in favor of the idea that zoophilia can be conceptualized as a sexual orientation.

In his study of 8 zoophiles, Donofrio[3] (unpublished doctoral dissertation, 1996) suggested that zoophilia may not be a clinically significant problem, and reported that the concept of zoophilia being a sexual orientation was supported by his doctoral study. He suggested using a scale resembling the Kinsey scale to measure sexual interest in humans vs. animals.

More recently, sexologist Hani Miletski surveyed 93 zoophiles, and concluded that zoophilia fits Robert Francoeur's conceptualization of sexual orientation (affectional orientation, sexual fantasy orientation, and erotic orientation).[4][5]

Zoophilia and furry[edit]

It is a common misconception that furries are sexual lovers of animals and, by extension, "zoophiles". It is true that a significant proportion of erotic furry artwork and stories involve beings with animal characteristics having sex with each other or with humans, but it should be noted that the participants are usually anthropomorphic beings.

While some furries are zoophiles, the two terms are not synonymous. Most furries do not have any sexual interest in animals in real life, though some may roleplay otherwise in a fantasy scenario.

As most furries express some degree of sexual attraction towards anthropomorphic beings, several surveys have also asked furries about zoophilia. To date, however, no surveys have asked about bestiality.

Below is a review of the estimates on the prevalence of zoophilia among furries:

Title Results Sample size
The Sociology of Furry Fandom (Rust, J. D., 2001)[6] 2% of respondents stated they were zoophiles. 350
The Furry Sociological Survey (Evans, K., 2008)[7] 17.2% of respondents stated they were zoophiles. 278
2008 Furry Survey (Osaki, A., 2008)[8] 18.4% of respondents stated they were zoophiles. 7,024
2009 Furry Survey (Osaki, A., 2009)[9] 13.9% of respondents stated they were zoophiles. 9,024
2010 Furry Survey (Osaki, A., 2010)[10] 13.6% of respondents stated they were zoophiles. 4,895
2011 Furry Survey (Osaki, A., 2011)[11] 13.3% of respondents stated they were zoophiles. 4,365
2012 Furry Survey (Osaki, A., 2012)[12] 14.9% of respondents stated they were zoophiles. 3,267
Furscience 2019 Studies (Roberts, S., et al., 2019)[13] 6.9% of participants listed zoophilia on an open question about kinks/fetishes. 827
The “Furry” Phenomenon: Characterizing Sexual Orientation, Sexual Motivation, and Erotic Target Identity Inversions in Male Furries (Hsu, K., Bailey, J. M., 2019)[14] 46.7% of participants reported nonzero attraction towards animals. 334
What Are Furries? (fek, 2020)[15] 14.3% of respondents stated they felt any sexual attraction towards animals. 4,790

The simple average across all surveys is 16.1%. Weighing the estimates according to sample size gives a result of 14.9%. Some important limitations of these surveys should be noted, however.

A shortcoming that affects every survey on the furry fandom is the fact that it's impossible to gather a random and representative sample of online communities. As all of these surveys rely on self-selected samples, they may have oversampled furries who have a greater interest in the fandom, a more positive opinion of it, or who simply spend more time online.

Rust, J. D.t's estimate of only 2% would be even lower than what's been estimated for the general population, however this is likely due to social desirability bias affecting the results, as 325 of the participants were interviewed in-person, and respondents had to provide identification plus an email address in order to participate in the online survey.

In Dr. Sharon Roberts' survey respondents were asked to list their kinks and fetishes in an open-ended question. As some zoophilies think of their attraction as a sexual orientation rather than a paraphilia or kink, not all zoophiles may have listed their attraction on this question. Furthermore, only respondents who listed at least one kink were included in the total, hence furries who are asexual or don't have any kinks are not represented in these results.

Hsu, K. and Bailey, J. M's study focused only on participants who identified as male, hence their results are not generalizable to all furries. They also state that 64.7% of participants were recruited via a forum for furries. While they don't specify what forum, other surveys of the fandom suggest that very few furries participate in forums.[16] It should also be noted that while 46.7% of respondents reported some level of sexual attraction to animals this does not necessarily mean that they can all be classified as zoophiles, as many researchers set a threshold of medium or low attraction to make such a classification.

ZooWiki[edit]

ZooWiki logo

ZooWiki was a wiki for the German zoophile community. It was created on May 23, 2005, by Wolfie. It had 89 articles as of October 2006, on topics such as literature, authors, philosophy, events, vendors, anatomy and general trivia.

ZooWiki's policies specified that it should not contain explicit or illegal content. ZooWiki was located at http://zoowiki.zetapin.de/ (defunct, July 2012. Retrieved via the Internet Wayback Machine).

References[edit]

  1. [1]. Retrieved January 20, 2021.
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/14574096/
  3. Also cited by Miletski, 2005.
  4. [http://www.isaz.net/isaz/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Bestiality-and-Zoophilia.pdf#page=90
  5. https://psycnet.apa.org/record/2017-03441-006 ]. Retrieved ?.
  6. https://web.archive.org/web/20050302094251/http://www.visi.com/%7Ephantos/furrysoc.html
  7. https://www.gwern.net/docs/psychology/2008-evans.pdf
  8. http://www.klisoura.com/ot_furrysurvey2008.php
  9. http://klisoura.com/ot_furrysurvey2009.php
  10. http://klisoura.com/ot_furrysurvey2010.php
  11. http://www.klisoura.com/ot_furrysurvey2011.php
  12. http://www.klisoura.com/ot_furrysurvey.php
  13. https://furscience.com/research-findings/appendix-1-previous-research/furscience-2019/
  14. https://www.gwern.net/docs/psychology/2019-hsu.pdf
  15. https://web.archive.org/web/20210116160156/https://whatarefurries.com/
  16. https://sites.google.com/site/anthropomorphicresearch/past-results/international-online-furry-survey-2011

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

Media[edit]