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Love Has (NO) Boundaries: Researching a Sexual Taboo


  • Dafna Shir-Vertesh


Sexual and emotional attraction humans feel towards animals, also known as zoophilia, is perhaps the most controversial facet of human-animal relationships. In this article I explore this seemingly ultimate transgression of interspecies boundaries and probe the Israeli cultural encounters with it. I discern how the stated concerns for normative sexuality and animal rights masquerade the underlying factors in the zoophilia taboo, and reveal the cultural implications of human-animal sexual love in Israel. My fieldwork reveals not only the limits of acceptable human-animal love, but also the limits of legitimate research, and the consequences entailed for those who resolve to challenge them.

Suggested Citation

  • Dafna Shir-Vertesh, 2013. "Love Has (NO) Boundaries: Researching a Sexual Taboo," International Journal of Social Science Studies, Redfame publishing, vol. 1(1), pages 161-172, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:rfa:journl:v:1:y:2013:i:1:p:161-172

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    More about this item


    Zoophilia; Israel; Taboo; Sexuality; Fieldwork;

    JEL classification:

    • R00 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General - - - General
    • Z0 - Other Special Topics - - General


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