Inbreeding, Incest, and the Incest Taboo: The State of Knowledge at the Turn of the Century
Is inbreeding harmful? Are human beings and other primates naturally inclined to mate with their closest relatives? Why is incest widely prohibited? Why does the scope of the prohibition vary from society to society? Why does incest occur despite the prohibition? What are the consequences? After one hundred years of intense argument, a broad consensus has emerged on the first two questions, but the debate over the others continues.
That there is a biological basis for the avoidance of inbreeding seems incontrovertible, but just how injurious inbreeding really is for successive generations remains an open question. Nor has there been any conclusion to the debate over Freud s view that the incest taboo is necessary because humans are sexually attracted to their closest relatives--a claim countered by Westermarck's argument for the sexually inhibiting effects of early childhood association.
This book brings together contributions from the fields of genetics, behavioral biology, primatology, biological and social anthropology, philosophy, and psychiatry which reexamine these questions.
Inbreeding Avoidance and Incest Taboos
Genetic Aspects of Inbreeding and Incest
Inbreeding Avoidance in Primates
Explaining the Westermarck Effect or What Did Natural Selection Select For?
Ancient Egyptian Sibling Marriage and the Westermarck Effect
From Genes to Incest Taboos The Crucial Step
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A. H. Bittles Aberle adult afﬁliation American Journal animals anthropologists argued argument attachment biological birth Bronislaw Malinowski brother brother-sister marriage Cambridge cest Chapter child childhood associates chimpanzees Claude LÚvi-Strauss close consanguineous couples cousins cultural Darwinian difﬁcult Durham E. O. Wilson early association Edward Westermarck ethics evidence evolution evolutionary exogamy expression hypothesis father-daughter females fertility ﬁnd ﬁndings ﬁrst ﬁrst-cousin ﬁve Freud genes genetic human nature husband Ibid inbreeding avoidance inbreeding depression incest avoidance incest taboo individuals infant inﬂuence inhibition Kin Recognition kinship males Malinowski maternal minor marriages moral emotions mothers natural selection Neven Sesardic offspring outbreeding parents Patrick Bateson percent primates problem prohibition Pusey relationship relatives Roman Egypt sexual abuse Sexual Attraction sexual aversion sexual behavior sibling marriage signiﬁcant sister social societies Sociobiology species speciﬁc Stanford tion Trobrianders unions University Press Westermarck effect Westermarck’s theory Wife’s Age Wilson Wolf women