Definition of incest taboo and its Theories,Overview


incest taboo theories and images

Incest is a system of sexual involvement of two people who are closely related to each other. For an example, we can take the family in which a father is indulging in sexual activity with his daughter, moreover a brother and a sister. Society considers it is prohibited activity i.e. society should prefer exogamy, i.e. physical intimacy should be done between two people who belong to two separate family or society. Biologically also this practice of endogamy, i.e. the physical interaction between two members of the same family, is restricted and not allowed or prohibited.

When subjected term is analysed biologically, incest’s is restricted as  when an egg is fertilised by a sperm the zygote receives many qualities, disqualifies, skin colour, habits and also a father shares his diseases with his son genetically, these diseases are less intense and can be cured very easily with medicines or by certain precautions, as the couples are genetically different; thus when two members of the same family gets sexually indulge with each other, they both share genes of the same couple, thus they both are prone to same diseases and when they give their offsprings, the genes carry very high number of such alleles and thus there is high risk of defected child with such a practise.

With new technology and growth in genetic technology the increase in frequency of birth defects often attributed to inbreeding which is caused directly by an increase in the frequency of homozygous alleles or genes

In other words, incest is considered as a taboo or an activity which is prohibited by a society. Society is a structure, which is constructed with the base of rules; these rules are made in such a manner that they are not supposed to question. The society hence restricted the practice of incest within a society and hence the practice of indulging sexually by one’s own family is termed as “incest-taboo”

The anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss argued that the incest taboo in human societies should be prohibited, he claims that a part of incest should be prohibited, i.e.  The endogamy must be prohibited an exogamy should be promoted. Through exogamy, unrelated households or lineages will form relationships through marriage, thus strengthening social bonds.

Following types of incest are developed within a society, they are:-

  • between adults and children
  • between childhood siblings
  • between consenting adults
  • aunts, uncles, nieces or nephews
  • between adult siblings
  • cousin relationships
  • defined through marriage

Between adults and children includes involvement, in sexual activity, or an adult member and a child in the incest activity. This practice is often termed a child abuse

Between childhood siblings includes childhood sibling-sibling incest, i.e. exploitation of a  younger sibling by an older sibling while both are the member of the similar society, this practice is considered as widely spread but expected to be rarely reported

Between consenting adults involves sexual exploitation of a younger one and by the adult who is close in relation with him/her in a family.

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