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Incest: A Biosocial View - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780126394603, 9781483296661

Incest: A Biosocial View

1st Edition

Author: MOST
eBook ISBN: 9781483296661
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 28th May 1983
Page Count: 213
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Incest: A Biosocial View focuses on the sociobiological theory of incest and compares it with other theoretical approaches to the problem. The argument made in this book is that the existence of culture does not lead to the exemption of Homo sapiens from the evolutionary process. Instead, it creates a coevolutionary process, of which the evolution of incest avoidance in human beings is the simplest, yet most instructive, example. Comprised of 11 chapters, this volume begins with an introduction to the problem of incest, followed by a discussion on the sociobiological theory in general and some important methodological issues. Epigenetic rules and the importance of reproduction are considered, along with inclusive fitness and kin selection; kinship altruism (nepotism); reciprocal altruism; mate selection and parental investment, parent-child and sibling conflict; aggression and social order; and the biosocial view of culture. The next three chapters survey the theories and empirical findings that led to the sociobiological theory of incest, with particular reference to the views of Edward Westermarck as well as the kibbutz and the sim-pua. The propositions of the sociobiological theory of incest are then outlined. The book concludes by summarizing the classic theories of incest and synthesizing them in light of the sociobiological theory. This monograph is relevant to psychoanalysts, sociologists, biologists, anthropologists, and psychologists studying the problem of incest.

Table of Contents



1 Introduction

2 The Biosocial View

Epigenetic Rules

The Importance of Reproduction

Inclusive Fitness and Kin Selection

Kinship Altruism (Nepotism): The Nucleus of Human Sociality

Reciprocal Altruism

Mate Selection and Parental Investment

Parent-Child and Sibling Conflict

Aggression and Social Order

Summary: The Biosocial View of Culture

3 Incest: Concepts, Definitions, and Issues


Regulations of Incestuous Intercourse

The Use of Animal Data




4 Edward Westermarck

5 The Kibbutz and the Sim-Pua: Fooling Mother Nature

The Kibbutz: Collective Education

The Sim-Pua Marriage


6 Contributions to the Development of the Sociobiological Theory of Incest

Miriam Kreiselman Slater: The Demographic Explanation

Robin Fox

Aberle et al.: A System and Methodological Breakthrough

Gardner Lindzey

N. Bischof

Melvin Ember

Jeffrey T. Burnham

Parker and Others


7 The Sociobiological Theory of Incest

The Balance of Inbreeding and Outbreeding

The Costs of Inbreeding

The Benefits of Inbreeding

Cost-Benefit Analysis and the Evolution of Incest Avoidance

Inbreeding Avoidance in Animals

The Coevolutionary Process: Incest Regulations in Three Incestuous Dyads

Persistence of Incest Regulations

The Evidence


8 Freud and the Family—Socialization School

Sigmund Freud—Totem and Tahoo

Bronislaw Malinowski

Brenda Z. Seligman

George Peter Murdock

Talcott Parsons


9 The Alliance School

Edward B. Tylor

Reo Fortune

Leslie A. White: The Culturologist

Claude Levi-Strauss: The Structuralist


10 Goody and Schneider: The Problem of Definition

David M. Schneider: From Facts of Incest to the Meaning of Incest


11 Conclusions



Author Index

Subject Index


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© Academic Press 1983
28th May 1983
Academic Press
eBook ISBN:

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