For the Coil album, see Scatology (album).

In medicine and biology, scatology or coprology is the study of feces. Scatological studies allow one to determine a wide range of biological information about a creature, including its diet (and thus where it has been), healthiness, and diseases such as tapeworms. The word derives from the Greek σκώρ (genitive σκατός, modern σκατό, pl. σκατά) meaning "feces".

In psychology, a scatology is an obsession with excretion or excrement, or the study of such obsessions. (See also coprophilia).

In sexual context scatology refers to sexual acts conducted with human (or other) excrement.

In literature, "scatological" is a term to denote the literary trope of the grotesque body. It is used to describe works that make particular reference to excretion or excrement, as well as to toilet humor. A common example is John Dryden's MacFlecknoe, a poem that ridicules Dryden's contemporary, Thomas Shadwell. Dryden refers to him as "Thomas Sh--," deliberately evoking scatalogical imagery.

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Further reading

Probably the most comprehensive study of scatology was that documented by John Gregory Bourke under the title Scatalogic Rites of All Nations (1891). An abbreviated version of the work was published as The Portable Scatalog, edited by Louis P. Kaplan and with a foreword by Sigmund Freud; New York: William Morrow and Company (1994) ISBN 0688132065

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