Person who has sex with animals: A mental disorder or sexual preference?

Zoophilia - a sexual fixation on non-human animals is one of the most prevalent and hotly debated paraphilias, according to clinical sexologist Dr Eve.

Dr Eve joined Eusebius McKaiser for this week's 'Talking Sex' to discuss zoophilia based on research.

She says while it is considered to be a mental disorder, zooaphiliacs say they do not experience any distress.

The way we classify disorders is if people feel there is distress involved in what I am doing in my sexual behaviour that I can't control. Now what is really interesting around zoophilias, the ones who were interviewed for this particular piece of research is that they said 'we don't have distress about that'... they're saying this is a sexual orientation.

Dr Eve, Clinical sexologist

Seventy-two percent say there is nothing wrong with sex with animals and what I find really interesting and I wonder if this is just a justification, they really believe that the animal is consenting.

Dr Eve, Clinical sexologist

Dr Eve says South Africa is ranked number four in the world search for zoo sex on the internet but bestiality is illegal.

On the issue of consent, 80% of people who took part in one of the biggest studies on the act believe that they get consent from animals because they get certain signs and cues from them.

Dr Eve believes, however, that that animals cannot give consent.

I don't believe that animals do give consent or can give consent, I do think that is mistreatment of animals.

Dr Eve, Clinical sexologist

There isn't any evidence that I know about that shows that zoophilias have got a certain different or differential part of the brain which would then get them to be sexually attracted to, in love and want to be sexual with an animal.

Dr Eve, Clinical sexologist

Click on the link below to hear the full conversation...


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