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Incest: Marrying Close Relatives Research Paper

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Updated: Oct 24th, 2021


Incest is defined has having close sexually relationship with close relative which is against taboos or laws of a given community. The type of incest sexual relationship between individuals varies with different cultures and jurisdiction. Some communities consider it to comprise only those who reside in the same house or those individuals belonging to the same clan and other communities consider it to consist off individuals who are related by blood or adoption and marriage.

The most common reported forms of incest are fathers-daughters incest. Incest among adults and adolescent which is one type of childhood sexual abuse has been shown to be one of the most tremendous forms of childhood trauma in the word. Adult incest is very unusual and is criminalized activity in most states.

Laws against incest

Most contemporary societies have different forms of incest prevention. The incest taboo is one of the most ordinary of all cultural laws both in modern states and many past communities with authorized penalties compulsory in some jurisdictions. Most current communities have legal or social limitations on incest marriages. Nevertheless in some communities’ for instance Ancient Egypt mother–son, father–daughter, and brother–sister relations were legal practiced among royal family.

Americans have supported the idea against incest, simply because research carried out show that incest siblings may suffer from blinders and imbecility medical disorders. Secondly, incest marriage is considered a sign of barbarism in the United States of America.

Incest was not allowed in many societies because it could interfere with socialization process between different families and the entire community at large, which was very essential asset for many societies. In addition many taboos prohibit incest marriage to safeguard the roles parents play in their families has parents not has lovers with their siblings. Further more, in many contemporary societies incest was not allowed with a reason to enhance unity among different communities, and in the long run promoting peace and exchange of cultural values (Gregory 2002).

Incest sexual relationship can result in parents giving birth to offspring with bad genes and hence reduced chance of survival. For instance close relative having a bad gene called deleterious genes, siblings will inherit the bad genes hence leading to serious medical complication such has hemophilia.

A bad gene combination in humans comes about has a result of sibling inheriting a total of 46 chromosome from the parents, 23 from the father and another set of 23 from the mother. If one of the parents has deleterious genes especially the mother, the siblings will inherit the deleterious genes, and if the parent and the sibling inbreed their siblings might inherit two set copies of deletion genes hence high chance of developing medical problems and reducing the chances of survival and these problem could be prevented if inbreeding is avoided. It takes two individuals with the bad genes to have a sibling with the inherited disease, marrying close relative increase the odds of these birth defects happening (Jean 2005).


The debate against incest is still on, and many supporting and acknowledging it that it favors natural selection and hence preventing inbreeding which is deleterious. Furthermore it enhances human socialization and hence promoting cultural diversity. In the United States of America, if the incest marriage is legalized gay marriages will also be legal.

Work cited

Gregory, J. (2002). Taboos against incest in African society: Chicago: University Of Chicago Press.

Jean, M. (2005). The study of human genetics. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "Incest: Marrying Close Relatives." October 24, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/incest-marrying-close-relatives/.


IvyPanda. (2021) 'Incest: Marrying Close Relatives'. 24 October.

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