Incest: A Biosocial View

Incest: A Biosocial View

1st Edition - May 28, 1983

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  • Author: MOST
  • eBook ISBN: 9781483296661

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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

  • Foreword


    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

Product details

  • No. of pages: 213
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 1983
  • Published: May 28, 1983
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • eBook ISBN: 9781483296661

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