The general term was first introduced into the field of research on sexuality by in his book . In, and popular use, it has a variety of meanings, revolving around affinity, affection, or erotic attraction between a human being, and a. It can refer to either the general emotional-erotic attraction to animals, or to the specific of the same name.
The terms , signifying the entire spectrum of emotional or sexual attraction and/or to animals, and zoosexual, have been used since the 1980s . Technical discussion of zoosexuality as a in is discussed in that article.
Individuals with a strong affinity for animals but without a sexual interest can be described as "non-sexual" zoophiles, but may object to the label. They are commonly called instead