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Incest is sexual activity between close family members who are forbidden by law or custom from marrying. Incest is considered taboo, and forbidden (though not always punished severely) in the majority of current and past cultures. This is and was the case even in cultures that are or were sexually permissive in other ways, such as the French Polynesian Marquesas prior to Western influence, who permitted child sexuality and experimentation, but disallowed incest.
The precise meaning of the word varies widely. Different cultures have differing notions of what behaviors constitute sexual activity, and what familial relationships are considered "close". Some cultures consider only those related by birth, while others include those related by adoption or marriage. Some prohibit sexual relations between people who grew up in the same household, while others prohibit sexual relations between people who grew up in related households.
Incest can occur between same-sex as well as opposite-sex relatives. It can occur between people of any age.
Incest between close blood-relations is a crime in most jurisdictions even in cases where the sex is consensual, although again the extent of the definition of "close" varies. However, since incest is an interpersonal act that takes place in private, it is a difficult law to enforce. There are wide differences between nations as to how serious the crime of incest is. In some countries, such as Australia, incest is a serious indictable offense, while in others it is a minor crime with much less serious consequences.
- 1 Inbreeding among animals
- 2 Distinctions between incest and inbreeding
- 3 Genetics
- 4 Endogamy and exogamy
- 5 Forms of incest
- 6 Laws regarding incest
- 7 History
- 8 In religious traditions
- 9 In folklore
- 10 Fiction
- 11 See also
- 12 External links
- 13 References
- 14 Further reading
Inbreeding among animals
Inbreeding between close relatives, including parents and children, has been observed in some species, although patterns of parenting behavior and the structure of dominance hierarchies serve to discourage inbreeding. For example, offspringâ€”sometimes only the male offspringâ€”are often driven away by the mother about when they reach sexual maturity.
Inbreeding increases the frequency of homozygotes within a population. Depending on the size of the population and the number of generations in which inbreeding occurs, the increase of homozygotes has positive or negative effects.
Distinctions between incest and inbreeding
The concepts of incest and inbreeding are distinct. Incest describes socially taboo sexual activity between individuals who are considered to be too closely related to enter into marriage. In other words, it is a social and cultural term.
Inbreeding describes procreation between individuals with varying degrees of genetic closeness, regardless of their relative social positions. It is a scientific term, rather than a social or cultural term.
In many societies, the definition of incest and the degree of inbreeding may correlate positively. For example, sexual relations between people of a given degree of genetic closeness is considered incestuous. In other societies, the correlation may not be as obvious. Many cultures consider relationship between parallel cousins incestuous, but not those between cross cousins, although the degree of genetic relationship does not differ. Relationships may be considered incestuous even when there is no genetic relationship at all: stepparentâ€“stepchild relationships, and those between siblings-in-law, have been considered incestuous, even though they involve no risk of inbreeding above that of the marriage that relates them.
While the exact nature of kin-recognition psychology awaits definition, and while the degree to which it can be overcome by cultural forces is poorly understood, an overwhelming body of research now shows that evolutionary biology and evolved human psychology play a central role in human aversion to incest.
Inbreeding leads to an increase in homozygosity (the same allele at the same locus on both members of a chromosome pair). This occurs because close relatives are much more likely to share the same alleles than unrelated individuals. This is especially important for recessive alleles that happen to be deleterious, which are harmless and inactive in a heterozygous pairing but, when homozygous, can cause serious developmental defects. Such offspring have a much higher chance of death before reaching the age of reproduction, leading to what biologists call inbreeding depression, a measurable decrease in fitness due to inbreeding among populations with deleterious recessives. Recessive genes, which can contain various genetic problems, appear more often in the offspring of procreative couplings whose members both have the same gene. For example, the child of persons who are both hemophiliac has a 25% chance of having hemophilia.
Leavitt has argued that inbreeding in small populations can have long-term positive effects: "small inbreeding populations, while initially increasing their chances for harmful homozygotic recessive pairings on a locus, will quickly eliminate such genes from their breeding pools, thus reducing their genetic loads". (Leavitt 1990, p. 974.) However, other specialists have argued that these positive long-term effects of inbreeding are almost always unrealized because the short-term fitness depression is enough for selection to discourage it. In order for such a "purification" to work, the offspring of close mate pairings must be either homozygous-dominant (completely free of bad genes) or -recessive (will die before reproducing). If there are heterozygous offspring, they will be able to transmit the defective genes without themselves feeling any effects. This model does not account for multiple deleterious recessives (most people have more than one) and multi-locus gene linkages. The introduction of mutations negates the weeding out of bad genes, and evidence exists that homozygous individuals are often more at risk to pathogenic predation. Because of these complications, it is extremely difficult to overcome the initial spike in fitness penalties incurred by inbreeding. (Moore 1992; Uhlmann 1992.)
Therefore, animals inbreed only in extremely unusual circumstances: major population bottlenecks and forced artificial selection by animal husbandry. Pusey & Worf (1996) and Penn & Potts (1999) both found evidence that some species possess evolved psychological aversions to inbreeding, via kin-recognition heuristics.
Evolutionary psychologists have argued that humans should possess similar psychological mechanisms. The Westermarck effect, that children who are raised together during the first five to ten years of life have inhibited sexual desire toward one another, is one strong piece of evidence in favor of this. In what is now a key study of the Westermarck hypothesis, the anthropologist Melford E. Spiro demonstrated that inbreeding aversion between siblings is predictably linked to co-residency. In a cohort study of children raised communally (as if siblings) in the Kiryat Yedidim kibbutz in the 1950s, Spiro found practically no intermarriage between his subjects as adults, despite positive pressure from parents and community. The social experience of having grown up as brothers and sisters created an incest aversion, even though the children were genetically unrelated.
Further studies have supported the hypothesis that some psychological mechanisms cause children who grow up together to lack sexual attraction to one another. Spiro's study is corroborated by Fox (1962), who found similar results in Israeli kibbutzum. Wolf and Huang (1980) reported similar aversions in Taiwanese "child marriages", in which the future wife was brought into the family and raised with her fiancÃ©. Such marriages were notoriously difficult to consummate and led to decreased fertility of the marriage. Lieberman et al. (2003) found that childhood co-residency with an opposite-sex sibling (biologically related or not) was significantly correlated with moral repugnance toward third-party sibling incest. 
It is not unusual for biological siblings who did not know each other in childhood to be attracted to each other when meeting as adults (see genetic sexual attraction).
Endogamy and exogamy
Template:Close Relationships Anthropologists have found that marriage is governed, though often informally, by rules of exogamy (marriage between members of different groups) and endogamy (marriage between members of the same group). The definition of a group for purposes of exogamy or endogamy varies considerably between societies. In most stratified societies, one must marry outside of one's nuclear familyâ€”a form of exogamyâ€”but is encouraged to marry a member of one's own class, race, or religionâ€”a form of endogamy. In this example, the exogamous group is small and the endogamous group is large. But, in some societies, the exogamous group and endogamous group may be of equal size, as in societies divided into clans or lineages.
In most such societies, membership in a clan or lineage is inherited through only one parent. Sex with a member of one's own clan or lineageâ€”whether a parent or a genetically very distant relativeâ€”is considered incestuous, whereas sex with a member of another clan or lineageâ€”including the other parentâ€”is not be considered incest (although it may be considered wrong for other reasons).
For example, Trobriand Islanders prohibit both sexual relations between a man and his mother and those between a woman and her father, but they describe these prohibitions in very different ways: relations between a man and his mother fall within the category of forbidden relations among members of the same clan; relations between a woman and her father do not. This is because the Trobrianders are matrilineal; children belong to the clan of their mother and not of their father. Thus, sexual relations between a man and his mother's sister (and mother's sister's daughter) are also considered incestuous, but relations between a man and his father's sister are not. Indeed, a man and his father's sister will often have a flirtatious relationship, and a man and the daughter of his father's sister may prefer to have sexual relations or marry. Anthropologists have hypothesized that, in these societies, the incest taboo reinforces the rule of exogamy, and thus ensures that social ties between clans or lineages will be maintained through intermarriage.
Chinese and Indian societies have very broad notions of the exogamous group: relations between individuals with the same surname may be banned.[unverified]
Some cultures include relatives by marriage in incest prohibitions; these relationships are called affinity rather than consanguinity. For example, the question of the legality and morality of a widower who wished to marry his deceased wife's sister was the subject of long and fierce debate in the United Kingdom in the 19th century, involving, among others, Matthew Boulton. In medieval Europe, standing as a godparent to a child also created a bond of affinity.
The Bible, primarily in Leviticus, contains prohibitions against sexual relations between various pairs of family members. Father and daughter, mother and son, and other pairs are forbidden, on pain of death, to have sexual relations. (Fatherâ€“daughter incest is covered by a prohibition on sexual relationships between a man and any daughter born to any woman he has had sexual relationships with, thereby prohibiting his incest not only with his own daughter but also with women who could not possibly be his daughters by blood.) It prohibits sexual relations between aunts and nephews, but not between uncles and nieces. Christians interpret it to include the latter by implication, though Jews traditionally do not.
The Qur'an mentions incest in the Surat An-Nisa, which prohibits a man from having sexual relationships with the his mother, daughter, sister, paternal aunt, maternal aunt, and niece. Relations with wet nurses are also prohibited.
Forms of incest
Incest perpetrated by parents of either sex against children of either sex is generally considered a form of child abuse.
Sibling incest between children
Consensual incest between similar-age brothers and sisters is not uncommon, according to a study by Floyd Martinson, who found that 10-15% of college students had childhood sexual experiences with a brother or sister. However only 5-10% of those included intercourse; and therefore most probably represent a form of child sexuality.[unverified] Where significant differences in age or capabilities occur between siblings, where elders fail to provide functional families, and/or where force or deception is used, childhood sibling incest can cause serious psychological damage to the younger or less capable sibling, according to researcher Richard Niolon. Sibling incest can also damage or destroy the sibling bonds.Template:Specify [unverified]
Sexual relations between cousins and other distant relatives
- See also: Cousin couple
In most of the Western world, while incest generally describes forbidden sexual relations within the family, the applicable definitions of family vary. Within the United States, marriage between first cousins is illegal in some states, but not in others, and sociologists have classified marriage laws in the United States into two categories: one in which the definitions of incest are taken from the Bible, which frowns upon marriage within one's lineage but less so on one's blood relatives; and one that frowns more on marriage between blood relatives (such as cousins), but less on that within one's lineage.
Twenty-four states prohibit marriages between first cousins, and another seven permit them only under special circumstances. Utah, for example, permits first cousins to marry only if both spouses are over age 65, or at least 55 with evidence of sterility; North Carolina permits first cousins to marry unless they are "double first cousins" (cousins through more than one line); Maine permits first cousins to marry only upon presentation of a certificate of genetic counseling. The other states with some, but not absolute, limits on first-cousin marriage are Arizona, Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin.
First-cousin marriage without restriction is permitted in nineteen statesâ€”Alabama, Alaska, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, and Virginiaâ€”and the District of Columbia.
First-cousin marriage is illegal in Arkansas, Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas (such marriages may not be performed after 1 September 2005, although previous marriages are still recognized), Washington, West Virginia, and Wyoming, although the United States Constitution has been interpreted as requiring these states to give "full faith and credit" to such marriages performed in other states. [unverified] Yet, in the absence of a United States Supreme Court ruling, the scope of the Full Faith and Credit Clause is not clear in this context, especially as it would have implications on whether states were required to recognize marriages commenced in Massachusetts between same-sex couples. There are conflicts and courts have interpreted the clause differently. Some states, such as Wisconsin , have marriage abroad laws that make marriages by their residents in jurisdictions in order to circumvent their state's marriage restrictions null and void, and marriages contracted in that state to avoid restrictions in another jurisdiction likewise void.
Covert forms of incest
Template:Unreferencedsect Covert incest (Adams 1991), emotional incest (Love 1991, Turner and Maryanski 2005), or psychic incest (Kavaler-Adler 1996, Bly 1990) are terms used by some authors to describe forms of incest between relatives, usually parent-child, in which there is no actual sexual contact, but, rather, inappropriate adult-child role reversals. For instance, parents who interact with their children in the same way they would with a sexual partner or spouse, but who refrain from physical forms of incest against the child, are seen as committing non-contact forms of incest. Researchers, psychologists and sexologists who use the term covert incest to describe psychological forms of incest, often use the term overt incest to distinguish between non-contact and contact forms of incest. However, most non-professionals know little or nothing about covert incest, see overt incest as the only form of incest, and make no distinctions between covert and overt incest.
Laws regarding incest
Degrees of criminality
The laws of many U.S. states recognize two separate degrees of incest, the more serious being the closest blood relationships, such as fatherâ€“daughter, motherâ€“son, and brotherâ€“sister, with the less serious charge being pressed against more distantly related individuals who engage in sexual intercourse, usually to and including first cousins and sometimes half-cousins. In New York State, close-blood-relation incest is a felony with a maximum penalty of four years in prison, while the less serious charge is usually only a misdemeanor. Many incest laws do not expressly proscribe sexual conduct other than vaginal intercourseâ€”such as oral sexâ€”or any sexual activity between relatives of the same sex (though if either party is a minor, it may be punishable otherwise).
In Australia, incest is punishable by a maximum of 25 years imprisonment for the more serious form of penetrating one's offspring, even if that child is legally an adult, and 5 years for the less serious charge of sexual penetration of a sibling or half-sibling.
For many years, Andrew Vachss has written about the incest loophole in the laws of most U.S. states.
New York's law–much like that of most other states–allows the possibility of privileged treatment for a special class of offender: the perpetrator who is related to his prey. In other words, the penal code gives a discount to child rapists who grow their own victims.
In New York, sex with a child under the age of 11 is a Class B felony, punishable by up to 25 years in prison. The law is indexed appropriately, in the chapter on sex offenses. If, however, the sexually abused child is closely related to the perpetrator, state law provides for radically more lenient treatment. In such cases, the prosecutor may choose to charge the same acts as incest. This is not listed as a sex offense, but instead as an "offense affecting the marital relationship," listed next to adultery in the law books. It is a Class E felony, for which even a convicted offender may be granted probation.
The latter was repealed through legislative action in 2006.
Incestuous relations between adults, such as between an adult brother and sister, are illegal in most parts of the industrialized world [unverified] Template:Specify These laws are sometimes questioned on the grounds that such relations do not harm other people (provided the couple have no children) and so should not be criminalized. Proposals have been made from time to time to repeal these laws â€” for example, the proposal by the Australian Model Criminal Code Officer's Committee discussion paper "Sexual Offenses against the Person" released in November 1996. (This particular proposal was later withdrawn by the committee due to a large public outcry. Defenders of the proposal argue that the outcry was mostly based on the mistaken belief that the committee was intending to legalize sexual relations between parents and their minor children.)
In the wake of the Lawrence v. Texas (539 U.S. 558 2003) decision by the U.S. Supreme Court, striking down laws criminalizing homosexual sodomy as unconstitutional, some have argued that by the same logic laws against consensual adult incest should be unconstitutional. Some civil libertarians argue that all private sexual activity between consenting adults should be legal, and its criminalization is a violation of human rights â€” thus, they argue that the criminalization of consensual adult incest is a violation of human rights. In Muth v. Frank (412 F.3d 808), the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals interpreted the case applying to homosexual activity, and refused to draw this conclusion from Lawrence, however â€” a decision that attracted mixed opinions. The Supreme Court refused to hear this case.
In France, incest is not a crime. Incestuous relations between a parent and minor child are prohibited and punished by law, but not between adults.
In February 2007 a German brother and sister, Patrick StÃ¼bing and Susan Karolewski, called for the country's incest laws to be abolished so that they could continue their sexual relationship. Although they were born into the same family, Patrick was not living with them when Susan was born and they met for the first time in 2000. Between 2002 and 2006 they had four children although three have been taken into foster care. Two of the children have disabilities and while it is possible that these were caused by inbreeding, premature birth may also have contributed. The siblings' lawyer, Endrik Wilhelm, has lodged an appeal with Germany's highest judicial body, the federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe, in order to overturn the country's ban on incest, suffering the misconception that the law prevented anything but the mental and physical disabilities equaling negligent bodily harm due to the inbreeding.
It is relatively accepted that incestuous marriages were widespread at least during the Graeco-Roman period of Egyptian history. Numerous papyri and the Roman census declarations attest to many husbands and wives as being brother and sister (Lewis 1983, Bagnall and Frier 1994, Shaw 1993). In (Hopkins 1980) this is conclusively demonstrated, and more recent scholars in the field have not questioned it. Some of these incestuous relationships were in the royal family, especially the Ptolemies.
Incestuous unions were frowned upon and considered as nefas (against the laws of gods and man) in Roman times, and were explicitly forbidden by an imperial edict in AD 295, which divided the concept of incestus into two categories of unequal gravity: the incestus iuris gentium, who was applied to both Romans and non-Romans in the Empire, and the incestus iuris civilis which concerned only the Roman citizens. Therefore, for example, an Egyptian could marry an aunt, but a Roman could not. Despite the act of incest being unacceptable within the Roman Empire, Roman Emperor Caligula is rumored to have had open sexual relationships with all three of his sisters, (Julia Livilla, Drusilla, and Agrippina the Younger), killing his favorite (Drusilla) when she became pregnant with his child.
In religious traditions
Examples of incest in mythology are rampant. In Greek mythology Zeus and Hera are brother and sister as well as husband and wife. They were the children of Cronus and Rhea (also married siblings) and, according to some sources, grandchildren of Uranus and Gaia (a son who took his mother as consort, in some sources as brother and sister, first people on Earth). Cronus and Rhea's siblings, the other Titans, were also all married brothers and sisters. Poseidon also managed to produce a child by Gaia namely Antaeus.
The play Oedipus the King features the Ancient Greek King having an inadvertent incestuous relationship with his mother.
In Norse mythology, Loki accuses Freyr and Freyja of committing incest, in Lokasenna. He also says that NjÃ¶rÃ°r had Freyr with his sister. This is also indicated in the Ynglinga saga which says that incest was legal among the Vanir.
Hinduism speaks of incest in highly abhorrent terms. Hindus were greatly fearful of the bad effects of incest and thus practice to date strict rules of both endogamy and exogamy, that is, marriage in the same caste (varna) but not in the same family tree (gotra) or bloodline (Parivara).
In the Hebrew Bible, Lot's daughters wanted to continue their family line, because their mother had died without leaving any sons to continue their family. They assumed it was their responsibility to bear children and enable the continuation of their family. On two subsequent nights, according to the plan of the oldest daughter, they got their father drunk enough to have sexual intercourse with them, drunk enough that he is described as being unaware of what was happening. Soon afterwards they each became pregnant. The first son was named Moab (Hebrew, lit., "from the father" [meh-Av]). He was the patriarch of the nation known as Moab. The second son was named Ammon or Ben-Ammi (Hebrew, lit., "from our nation"). He became the patriarch of the nation of Ammon. The resulting unusual complicated family relationships are explored in a riddle in the Exeter Book, which says that of Moab and Ben-Ammi, each is the other's uncle and nephew.
In Icelandic folklore a common plot involves a brother and sister (illegally) conceiving a child. They subsequently escape justice by moving to a remote valley. There they proceed to have several more children. The man has some magical abilities which he uses to direct travelers to or away from the valley as he chooses. The siblings always have exactly one daughter but any number of sons. Eventually the magician allows a young man (usually searching for sheep) into the valley and asks him to marry the daughter and give himself and his sister a civilized burial upon their deaths. This is subsequently done.
In Norse legends, the hero Sigmund and his sister Signy murdered her children and begot a son, SinfjÃ¶tli. When SinfjÃ¶tli had grown up, he and Sigmund murdered Signy's husband Siggeir. The element of incest also appears in the version of the story used in Wagner's opera-cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen, in which Siegfried is the offspring of Siegmund and his sister Sieglinde.
In Sri Lankan folklore, there are at least three significant instances where incest is mentioned. The forefather of the Sinhala race, "Sinhabahu", is a king who married his own sister "Sinhaseevali". Incest is again mentioned when King Vijaya's son and daughter fled to the jungle together in protest of their father's second marriage. Also, the brother "Dantha" and the sister "Hemamalini" who brought the sacred tooth relic of Lord Buddha to the island, seemed to also have a married relationship. Despite the liberal mentioning of incest in folklore, Sri Lankan culture regards incest as a taboo. Then again, contemporary Sri Lankan culture is heavily influenced by the cultures of former colonial rulers, during the last couple of centuries.
In fairy tales of Aarne-Thompson folktale type 510B, the persecuted heroine, the heroine is persecuted by her father, and most usually, the persecution is an attempt to marry her, as in Allerleirauh or Donkeyskin. This was taken up into the legend of Saint Dymphna.
Several Child ballads have the motif of brother-sister incest, such as Sheath and Knife. This is usually unwitting (as in The Bonny Hind, the siblings usually have not seen in each in a long time, or at all) but always ends tragically.
In ancient Vietnamese folklore, there is a tale of a brother and a sister. As children, the brother and sister fought over a toy. The brother smashes a stone over his sister's head, and the girl falls down unconscious. The boy thinks he has killed his sister, and afraid of punishment, he flees. Years later, by coincidence, they meet again, fall in love, and marry without knowing they are siblings. They build a house along a seashore, and the brother becomes a fisherman while his sister tends to the house. Together they have a son. One day, the brother discovers a scar on his wife's head. She tells him about the childhood fight with her brother, and the brother realizes that he has married his own sister. Overwhelmed with guilt over his incest, the brother goes out on the sea. Every day, the sister climbs to the top of the hill to look for her brother, but he never comes back. She died in waiting and became "Hon vong phu" (The stone waiting for her husband).
Main article: Incest in fiction
- Child sexual abuse
- Genetic sexual attraction
- Human sexual behavior
- Kinship and descent
- Levirate marriage
- Westermarck effect
- Incest pornography
- Incest taboo
- Pedophilia and child sexual abuse in fiction
- Pedophilia and child sexual abuse in films
- Pedophilia and child sexual abuse in the theatre
- Prohibited degree of kinship
- Royal intermarriage
- Sexual morality
- RAINN Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network National, toll-free hotline for victims of sexual assault: 1-800-656-HOPE
- VOICES in Action Victims Of Incest Can Emerge Survivors, an international organization providing assistance to adult and adolescent victims of child sexual abuse and trauma.
- The Awareness Center, Inc. The Jewish Coalition Against Sexual Abuse/Assault (JCASA)
- Making Daughters Safe Again Online resources for mother-daughter incest survivors.
- SASIAN Sibling Abuse Survivors Information and Advocacy Network
- SIA Survivors of Incest Anonymous World Service Office, Inc. links many independent SIA 12-step support groups around the world.
- PROTECT is a national pro-child, anti-crime membership association working to eliminate the "incest exception" laws in states where they still exist.
- Article: The Gentle People -- "Impressed by their piety, courts have permitted the Amish to live outside the law..."
- Forbidden Fruit -- "Inbreeding among polygamists along the Arizona-Utah border is producing a caste of severely retarded and deformed children."
- Male Sexual Abuse Victims of Female Perpetrators: Society's Betrayal of Boys, by Kali Munro, M.Ed.
- Exogamy and Incest Prohibitions
- Social Science Research Network -- Child Sexual Abuse and the State: Applying Critical Outsider Methodologies to Legislative Policymaking
- Andrew Vachss, attorney dedicated to representing children and youth.
Science and Biology
- Adult Survivors of Incest, published by the Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault (ICASA)
- Sky News "Challenge To Incest Laws".
- BBC News "Couple Stand by Forbidden Love".
- Adams, Kenneth, M., Silently Seduced: When Parents Make Their Children Their Partners, Understanding Covert Incest, HCI, 1991.
- Adams, Kenneth, M., When He's Married to His Mom: How to Help Mother-Enmeshed Men Open Their Hearts To True Love, Fireside, 2007.
- Anderson, Peter B., and Cindy Struckman-Johnson, Sexually Aggressive Women: Current Persectives and Controversies, Guilford, 1998.
- Bagnall, Roger S. and Bruce W. Frier, The demography of Roman Egypt: Cambridge, 1994
- Bixler, Ray H. "Comment on the Incidence and Purpose of Royal Sibling Incest," American Ethnologist, 9(3) (Aug. 1982), pp. 580-582.
- Blume, E. Sue, Secret Survivors: Uncovering Incest and its Aftereffects in Women, Ballantine, 1991.
- DeMilly, Walter, In My Father's Arms: A True Story of Incest, University of Wisconsin Press, 1999.
- Elliot, Michelle, Female Sexual Abuse of Children, Guilford, 1994.
- Forward, Susan (1990). Toxic Parents: Overcoming Their Hurtful Legacy and Reclaiming Your Life, Bantam. ISBN 0-553-28434-7.
- Gil, Eliana, Treating Abused Adolescents, Guilford, 1996.
- Herman, Judith, Father-Daughter Incest, Harvard University Press, 1982.
- Hislop, Julia, Female Sexual Offenders: What Therapists, Law Enforcement, and Child Protective Services Need to Know, Issues, 2001.
- Hopkins, Keith, Brother-Sister Marriage in Roman Egypt, Comparative Studies in Society and History 22: 303-354, 1980
- Leavitt, G. C. "Sociobiological explanations of incest avoidance: a critical claim of evidential claims", American Anthropologist 92: 971-993, 1990
- Lew, Mike, Victims No Longer: Men Recovering from Incest and Other Sexual Child Abuse, Nevraumont, 1988.
- Lewis, Naphtali, Life in Egypt under Roman Rule: Oxford, 1983
- Lobdell, William, "Missionary's Dark Legacy," Los Angeles Times, Nov. 19, 2005, p. A1.
- Love, Pat, Emotional Incest Syndrome: What to Do When a Parent's Love Rules Your Life, Bantam, 1991.
- MÃ©ndez-Negrete, Josie, Las hijas de Juan: Daughters Betrayed, Duke University Press, 2006. ISBN 978-0-8223-3896-3
- Miletski, Hani, Mother-Son Incest: The Unthinkable Broken Taboo, Safer Society, 1999.
- Miller, Alice, That Shalt Not Be Aware: Society's Betrayal of the Child, Farrar Strauss Giroux, 1983.
- Pryor, Douglass, Unspeakable Acts: Why Men Sexually Abuse Children, New York University Press, 1996.
- Rosencrans, Bobbie, and Eaun Bear, The Last Secret: Daughters Sexually Abused by Mothers, Safer Society, 1997.
- Scruton, Roger, Sexual Desire: A Moral Philosophy of the Erotic, Free Press, 1986.
- Shaw, Brent D., Explaining Incest: Brother-Sister Marriage in Graeco-Roman Egypt, Man, New Series, Vol. 27, No. 2 (Jun., 1992), pp. 267-299 JSTOR article
- Shaw, Risa, Not Child's Play: An Anthology on Brother-Sister Incest, Lunchbox, 2000.
- Tyldesley, Joyce, Ramesses: Egypt's Great Pharaoh: London, 2000.
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