Krafft-Ebing was born in in MannheimGermany, studied medicine at the University of Heidelbergwhere he specialized in psychiatry.
He later practiced in psychiatric asylums. After leaving his work in asylums, he pursued a career in psychiatry, forensicsand hypnosis.
He died in Graz in He was recognized as an authority on deviant sexual behavior and its medicolegal aspects. Krafft-Ebing's principal work is Psychopathia Sexualis: A Clinical-Forensic Studywhich was first
Define psychopathia sexualis in and expanded in subsequent editions. The last edition from the hand of the author the twelfth contained a total of case histories of human sexual behaviour.
Translations of various editions of this book introduced to English such terms as " sadist " derived from the brutal sexual practices depicted in the novels of the Marquis de Sade " masochist ", derived from the name of Leopold von Sacher-Masoch " homosexuality ",  " necrophilia ",  and " anilingus ". Psychopathia Sexualis is a forensic reference book for psychiatrists, physicians, and judges.
Written in an academic style, its introduction noted that, to discourage lay readers "Define psychopathia sexualis," the author had deliberately chosen a scientific term for the title of the book and that he had written parts of it in Latin for the same purpose.
It proposed consideration of the mental state of sex criminals in legal judgements of their crimes. During its time, it became the leading medico—legal textual authority on sexual pathology. The twelfth and final
Define psychopathia sexualis of Psychopathia Sexualis presented four categories of what Krafft-Ebing called " cerebral neuroses ":.
The term "hetero-sexual" is used, but not in chapter or section headings.
The term "bi-sexuality" appears twice in the 7th edition, and more frequently in the 12th. There is no mention of sexual activity with children in Chapter III, General Pathologywhere the "cerebral neuroses" including sexuality the paraesthesias Define psychopathia sexualis covered. Various sexual acts with children are mentioned in Chapter IV, Special Pathologybut always in the context of specific mental disorders, such as dementia, epilepsy, and paranoia, never as resulting from its own disorder.
However, Chapter V on sexual crimes has a section on sexual crimes with children.
This section is brief in the 7th edition, but is expanded in the 12th to cover Non-Psychopathological Cases and Psychopathological Casesin which latter the term paedophilia erotica is used. Krafft-Ebing considered procreation the purpose of sexual desire and that any form of recreational sex was a perversion of the sex drive.
In some cases, homosexual libido was classified as a moral vice induced by the early practice of masturbation. Although the primary focus is on sexual behavior in men, there are sections on Sadism in WomanMasochism in Womanand Lesbian Love.